by Kerry McCoy
Owning a business will make you a pioneer. As Arkansas Flag and Banner grew so did my need for departments. Necessity truly is the mother of invention. A new department is a type of new beginning. It’s like starting a business within a business. If your company has grown and your employees are stretched too thin, you may need to develop a new branch of your organization. When doing this, keep in mind that this new division is a path untraveled. Stay flexible and hold in your heart that if you stay focused on the goal, work hard and with integrity your new baby department will mature.
In my 40 plus years, I have started a sales, sewing, graphics, screen printing, shipping, purchasing, accounting, marketing, call center departments, a retail store, Dreamland Ballroom, Brave Magazine and the radio show, Up In Your Business with Kerry McCoy. Having done all that, I have seen some reoccurring patterns.
Please don’t let what you are about to read dishearten you, rather use it to free yourself from the burden of guilt or condemnation, because when you make mistakes it is easy to feel like you’ve failed. Remember, procedures evolve from resolved mistakes. Hence wisdom comes from experience.
Your new department has no age, it hasn’t even learned to walk yet. Mistakes are bound to happen and it is no one’s fault. Many are unforeseeable. This is where a leader must stay flexible, be encouraging and remember that mistakes are not malicious behavior.
Okay (as if that’s not bad enough) this is the disheartening part. Because starting a department is slow, frustrating and stressful, my experience has been that rarely the same group of employees who start in the new department are the ones manning it at year’s end. It takes persistence and willingness on everyone’s part to redirect without taking it personally. Expect turnover. The hard part of business growing pains. In the end, your hard work will pay off. While pioneering the new department you’ve improved working conditions, expanded your business and did your part to stimulate the economy.