James Caan (Dragons Den) educates a room full of accountants on what makes a great (accountancy) business…
Having founded, what is now a £1billion multi-national business, in his kitchen, James Caan knows a thing or two about growing a business.
It’s probably why the Government asked him to help them distribute £500million through the ‘StartUpLoans’ organisation to a target of 1,000 businesses. In the end, Mr Caan got funds to 28,000 businesses that now employ 41,000 people.
Being personally invested in 40 businesses (including a legal business) and being ranked 7th in the world on LinkedIn it was great to hear a few valuable messages directly relevant to accountants.
One key message for accountants…
It was a great pleasure and privilege to present a few of my own insights at the recent QBConnect event at Tobacco Dock in London but want to share the number one insight from James Caan’s presentation at the event.
Mr Caan was generous in his insights but he made it very clear the one skill which dominates his time, and the one skill dictating the success of his business, the success of your firm, the success of my business and every business.
1. The number one skill of every business owner, including accountants, is “hiring the right people”.
Mr Caan suggested he invests upwards of 70% of his time recruiting people for his business(es) which contrasts radically with the leaders of most accountancy firms.
He acknowledged that finding and recruiting the right people is far from easy. And it takes time looking for the best people.
But it’s too important to ignore or treat half-heartedly.
Here’s James Caan’s hiring KPI…
What stood out for me was the fact he has 8 people in his ‘hiring pipeline’ at any one time.
This means he’s recruiting all the time, not just when he’s hiring – a message the firms I consult with will be familiar with – be constantly recruiting all the time.
And yes, recruiting is a marketing job pure and simple. So adopt a marketing approach to finding and attracting high-quality people. This is one of the reasons James Caan invests heavily in LinkedIn and why he invests in high quality content to attract readers and followers.
How do you make the most of this insight?
I appreciate you’re already seriously busy and so the thought of investing chunks of time in hiring is the last thing on your mind. So…
…what about making sure your next hire is a really good one?
Before consulting and advising accountancy firms I ran a manufacturing business. However before that I was lucky to experience three years in recruitment and so learned a few important things about recruiting the best people. It’s this experience that fed the 4-page report we created on hiring brilliant people.