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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Featured Biz Question

I own a retail store that does roughly $350,000 in sales a year. I'm fairly new to the business and have kept on a manager (paid at $24,000) to help me learn. There are benefits to this system. I can be with my children, and he's an excellent salesperson. But I don't trust him to make competent decisions. He's getting better, but he has done several things that make me question his leadership ability. On the other hand, I have an excellent assistant manager (paid at $8.30 an hour) who makes sound decisions, but lacks the manager's drive to make money. I want to eliminate the manager's position, handling ordering etc.. myself and promote the assistant manager to a sales manager position. I'd prefer not to confront the manager but rather eliminate the post. Any ideas?? It seems to me I'm paying too much for functions I can do myself. But, with the manager in place, I'm allowed to have my own life. Help! This problem plagues me day and night!!

Answer from our Guest Expert Peter Hupalo of Hupalo Ltd.

Hi, There!

Sounds like you have a strong business! Congratulations! Now, regarding your employee angst -- It's difficult to give meaningful advice for a specific situation in human resources management because so many subtle human nature-type insights play a role in the big picture. Only you have that information. For example, we don't know exactly what the manager has done to make you question his judgment. So an in-depth answer is a tough nut to crack.

Hiring and firing employees is often an overwhelming task for many small business owners. So don't feel alone. Sometimes, decisions we dread making, deep down inside, we know are correct. In retrospect, we often realize we mulled over and worried about decisions far more than was justified. Be confident of one thing: You know far more about the situation and what's best for you and your company than anyone else. It's your decision, and you can make it on objective grounds. That's every business owner's right. Your thinking seems very astute about the issues. You like having time with your children, but $24,000 is probably a big chunk out of the overall profit pie. If you haven't made a decision yet, I've made a few suggestions and observations here that might help you rest easier at night (and day!). continued

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About the Expert

Peter Hupalo
Owner of HCM Publishing, Inc.
Peter investigates the latest computer-programming technologies and researches companies for investment. He also writes a column about entrepreneurship and small business for and reviews biz books. Peter wrote Thinking Like An Entrepreneur, about how to make savvy business decisions and take real control of your financial destiny. more