Knowledge is money, especially in a small organization where one individual knows almost everything about a particular set of tasks such as online marketing.
The U.S. has 6 million businesses with at least one employee in addition to the owner, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Out of that total, about 60 percent have only one to four employees.
A small publishing company with a Web presence has little choice but to concentrate its marketing efforts in a small number of people. In many cases, it concentrates those efforts in one person.
But what if that person left the company?
Even worse, what if that person was fired and left abruptly? Much of the knowledge in the form of what to do, how to do it, where to find it, what are the passwords, etc., would be gone as well.
Even if that person didn’t leave, he or she would be faced with a form of isolation that limits creativity and stimulation.
The answer lies with several related ways of sharing tasks and knowledge:
Have a backup person who performs some of the same tasks regularly. Simply identifying that person isn’t enough. The backup needs to practice search engine optimization or other online marketing tactics on a regular basis to understand it and implement it correctly and quickly in case of a problem.
Create a team of three or more people. Think of the team as a hierarchy with the person having primary responsibility at the top and at least two more underneath who again perform at least a small set of tasks on a regular basis.
Create a knowledge base by documenting everything. Put the documents in an online environment so anyone with permission can access them in case of an immediate need. In particular, put logins and passwords in a secure location with access limited to only a few people in a position of responsibility.
It is tempting to say that no one has the time to take on these extra tasks or to document everything.
The truth is they do have the time. It may be only 10 minutes a week via a reminder from a calendar notification. Maybe it’s a brief 10 minute meeting of the team.
An organized and consistent approach to managing online marketing tactics using more than one person — even in a small organization — is a long-term investment that will pay off, especially on that day when the marketing person leaves.
Have no doubt. Everyone leaves eventually — simply because no one lives forever.