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Ask Erik: RAW! - Build Your Growing Team, Part 1: Assembling the Band of the Hand Featured

Choose carefully who you ride with in building your growing team. Choose carefully who you ride with in building your growing team.


I have been growing for almost three years now. Every harvest, I have invested a portion of my profits back into my gear, so the operation has been expanding since my first crop. While I am not short on space or places to set-up new grows, what I am short on is sets of hands. My grower friends are often too busy to help out and my non-grower buddies are stuck at their nine to five jobs, so getting extra sets of hands and eyes has been a little sporadic. One of the things I have been learned in part through the growing articles in your magazine is that it’s important to stay on top of things and to make sure they get done when they need to. “Tomorrow” is just not an option for me because part of my personal goals here are to maximize production in my cropping calendar. This means nipping things in the bud right away.

Any advice as to how I can get some help for my expanding growing enterprise? I live in an area where there are numbers of growers, so I am figuring there must be skilled help around. And, I do not expect anyone to work for free but I am not sure what to offer in terms of compensation. Any ideas there too?


Skilled and reliable help in the grow room is a very important link in the chain to growing success for any serious grower, and there is no quick answer. That’s why we are going to answer your questions as a multi-part Ask Erik: RAW! series (great question btw, thanks!)

Finding and managing the right kind of peeps can play a really strong role in future growing successes or potential failures and losses.

If you have some reliable friends that you trust and who may have already gained some experience in your growing affairs by helping out before, you have a great place to start.

But don’t sweat it, because by acknowledging that you are going to need help in your expanding growing business is a really important first step in becoming a real team leader, which is exactly the role you are going to need to take, and also happens to be the path that you are already on.

Think of how a pro sports team might get put together: there is the scouting of talent, which involves some research and observation. From there, negotiations take place so both you as the team leader and your potential new team player know exactly what will be expected - when, for how long, and how often. The level of compensation will naturally depend on what they bring to the table. For example “greenies” who have little or no experience might come in at $15-$20 per hour, while seasoned and experienced “grow managers” might command some serious annual salaries and a vested interest in the crop.

We will get more into what to look for later and how you can manage and motivate your team members, but first you are going to need to find your talent.

The old adage that “it’s better to do business with the devil you know than the devil you don’t” can hold some water when it comes to hiring for hydroponics. And so is “hire slowly and fire quickly.” If you have some reliable friends that you trust and who may have already gained some experience in your growing affairs by helping out before, you have a great place to start. On the other hand if their help has not been all that wonderful, don’t invest too much of your personal loyalties into your business, and consider looking elsewhere.

You mentioned you have some nine-to-five type friends. Usually these types of upwardly mobile citizens can be very reliable, and often as “working stiffs” find that they might have difficulties making ends meet, especially if there are others relying on them too. If you are really serious about your growing business and continued expansion, consider dropping some cash onto the table and announce, “ you are now working for me full time. How do they feel about that?” You might be surprised at how many non-growing types would like to jump aboard a growing enterprise for more freedom and higher potential earnings. If they have kids, the flexibility in scheduling can be a big selling point for you.

Next, we will have a look at how to hire from outside of your inner circles. We’ll also start to talk more about the types of qualities you want to look for and will want to instil in your new team members. We’ll also talk about how to manage your employees once you have them aboard. As the head of a growing enterprise, you need to consider some factors that you might now if you ran another type of business. Until then, start scanning those you rub elbows with as potential candidates to join your winning grow team!

- Read part 2 of this article here

- Read part 3 of this article here


Cheers, Erik Biksa

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Boarding Pros shedding some light on the importance of team work and the qualities you want to watch out for - starting at 2:50.
Last modified on Tuesday, 07 August 2012 13:49

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