The 4 Small Business Employees You Can’t Go Without

  • The Producer
  • The Administrator
  • The Entrepreneur
  • The Integrator

Successful investors generally say that there are three things they look for in business potential: the right product, in the right market, with the right leadership.  It’s the latter of these three that I’m interested in discussing here, because with the right team with the right intermixed personalities and skill sets designed to complement each other, the likelihood of success dramatically increases.

What I mean is this; if you thought this blog was about the right set of titles for the 4 employees you need in your growing small business, then you would be mistaken.  Sure, I could have said, like what a lot of people think, that you need a CEO, VP Sales, VP Development, and a VP Customer Services as the 4 employees every startup needs; and then some of you would argue that even these titles are the wrong set.  Actually, I’m not interested in titles at all; getting a startup from ground zero to a highly scaled successful business should not be about the right titles, but about getting the right work done the right way.

How do you build a leadership team that can focus on the right work the right way?

It begins by looking at the leadership team’s abilities (not just skill) and their strengths (not just personality) in 4 areas: producer, administrator, entrepreneur, and integrator.  Known by some to be the PAEI model, developed by Dr Ichak Adizes, a management expert and the founder of the Adizes Institute, it can help orient your thinking to ensure getting the right 4 employees you need.

Here are the 4 small business employees you should have:

The producer

This is the employee gets things done.  They are an expert at delivering results and are the complete opposite of laziness.  If you need your retail business setup and ready, the producer quickly makes it happen; if you need reports done, the producer will have the reports ready when you need them; and so on.  A producer also could be great for managing a team of producers, to build a product, assembly processes, inventory, purchasing, and even solving problems.  Every business needs a producer because they create progress that moves the business forward.

The administrator

Meet your organizer.  They have a unique ability to categorize, structure, and keep things straight.  It’s not just stuff they organized, but ideas too.  Often the administrator can take something that is complex and seem to make it simple.  Great administrators can be great strategist by organizing the way the business looks at different types of customers, how you do marketing and promotions, or simply keeping your financials and books straight in order for everyone else to stay focused on the business.  Every business needs an administrator to keep your business running smoothly.

The entrepreneur

This role is often a charismatic leader with great ideas. This doesn’t have to just be the CEO or Founder. This persona should exist in at least one other place on the team. It’s this person that thinks about what aspects of the business, or the entire business, could look like in 3 months, 12 months, or 3 years from now.  They have a vision, and they know how to encourage and motivate others to reach that vision.  Often it is the entrepreneur that is the founder of the business because they had an idea, and with the help of their administrator along with a producing team, this small business entrepreneur will find success.  Every business needs an entrepreneur to stay focused and motivated for why you are there in the first place.

The integrator

This is the leader who helps bring people together.   Often the integrator is your lead salesperson – an extrovert – that has a natural talent for reaching out to people.  But a great integrator does more than just talk to people; they also know how to unify people.  Getting a group of employees to work together as a unified team will double, or even triple your company output.  Integrators are team leaders, and problem solvers.  They are sensitive to what people are thinking, and are often self-sacrificing for the benefit of the company to keep it unified.  Every business needs an integrator, to not only help grow the business, but to also get through the hard times.

Forget about titles for a moment. Take a closer look at the people you have on the team and make changes.  Do you have someone who fits one or more of these abilities and strengths?  What role do you fit, and where are you weak?  If you find gaps, then now you know the type of person(s) you need to fill that gap.  Once you have these 4 employees leading your business, you will find that things will work in better ways that you could ever have imagined!


Thanks for reading.