Employing someone at 19 was the biggest decision I have made, however has defiantly been the best.
Amy started with me last August just after my 19th birthday. It was a step I knew I could afford as Amy is on an apprenticeship wage but wasn’t sure how I was capable of managing an individual so they would achieve their potential.
Google has always helped with my business questions, but being a ‘boss’ was something I knew it couldn’t answer. Even though Amy has been with me 9 months now and it still baffles me everyday on how to be the perfect ‘boss’. I keep putting boss in speech marks because I still don’t feel I am one and quite honestly don’t think I ever want to. Most days I feel like some sort of big sister/friend/colleague/leader/manager but never a ‘boss’. You see I’ve never coped with being told what to do (Just ask my mum!) I’ll happily do anything for anyone but usually voluntary. So working for someone else and having a ‘boss’ of my own wasn’t what I wanted.
So when it came to the time for me to employ, I wanted every downside of working for someone else not to be there. Amy has flexibility during the week, can pretty much chose when she works and what time she arrives.. She’s contracted for 30hrs a week and as long as she does this I’m happy. Our work means weekends aren’t as available but I make sure we still get the balance right and go to parties when we can considering we are still teenagers.
We have a white board in our office, on it has just about everything needed doing, to every idea we have. There aren’t many ideas we don’t discuss together and I believe this is key to a successful team. Amy knows I trust her and there’s nothing I hide. For many to have authority enough to manage a person means to be firm and to make sure everyone knows there place. But to me all you need is trust. My name is on everything to do with the business, Amy knows who owns it and who pays her wages without me needing to be strict.
Don’t get me wrong I’m still wading around in some sort of confusion when it comes to getting the balance right, but I’m a lot more sure than I was 9 months ago. But then, does one ever know if they’re doing it right?
The thing I’m now trying to figure out is what happens next? Even now there’s two of us I still have to turn people down. I’d like to get another apprentice once Amy finishes hers, but working out if I’m capable of handling one employee is hard enough let alone two! Right now our office system couldn’t be better. We know who does what and thats how it works well, but that doesn’t mean we can duplicate ourselves at the weekends!
The government might constantly be scorn for not running the country well enough but I profoundly believe the money and promotion they put into apprenticeships is truly worth it and is only visible in the outcome we can see in apprentices today.
Click here to see how Amy is doing!