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New employers must 'overcome their fears' if they want to grow

The biggest obstacle to growth for sole traders, according to Government research, is the fear of taking on an employee. And the longer businesses continue without employing anyone, the less likely it is that they ever recruit.

Some sole traders may be content with that - but if they want to grow, they shouldn't be.

In the words of Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, self-made founder of The Black Farmer company, 'You can't grow unless you have people on board.'

Talking to the Business is Great campaign, he said that the fear of employing someone was 'a very very important thing to overcome'.

But he acknowledged how 'fearful' one can be. 'When you employ someone the scariest thing is that you know you'll be responsible for their livelihood, and you don't want to let people down.'

Building a team, he said, was about recruiting people who had 'faith in your vision', who were different from you, and who could 'supplement your weaknesses'. It was a mistake, he thought, to go for people because you liked them or because they were similar to you. Strength is to be found in diversity.

There's little reason to be afraid when you have Acas to support you. Acas has at its fingertips a wealth of information, advice and guidance for new employers (as well as old hands), including issue-specific Help for small firms and step-by-step guides on everything from recruiting people to letting them go.

Free, expert advice is also available through the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100.

Furthermore, Acas runs practical training courses, including Employing People - A Practical Introduction, which features 'Human Resource Management for Beginners', Recruitment and Staff retention, giving you the skills and understanding you need to make a success of your business.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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We recommend that you explore further information and advice available on this website, particularly within our Advice A-Z guidance pages. If you have questions about workplace rights and rules visit Helpline Online.

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