How To Build A Winning Small Business Team
Why climb the corporate ladder when you can build an elevator in your own building? ~ Joshua E. Leyenhorst (Tweet this)
If you want to make it in business, you have to eventually start building a business team. The reality is that while we may start off doing everything by ourselves, it’s completely unsustainable if we want our businesses to grow. It’s the power of scalability, and hiring a business team is one of the best ways to grow as a business owner. It also helps you delegate stuff to other people so that you can focus on income-generating activities.
Additionally, we don’t know everything. I hire an accountant because I don’t know taxes. I hire an attorney because I don’t know trademark law. The list of the links in my business team goes on and on.
Building a business team
There are two reasons people may be resistant to building a business team:
The first reason is that they don’t want to spend the money. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “You have to spend money to make money.” Nowhere is this truer than when hiring people. Building a business team isn’t wasting money; it’s an investment into your business—one that pays off in dividends.
The second reason small business owners may be resistant to building a business team is they just don’t know where to start. After all, we’ve all heard horror stories of bad employees or crooked attorneys. The reality is there are good people out there you can trust in your business—you just have to find them!
We’ve got you covered with this quick guide on how to build a winning business team. Use our tips to start scaling and find the best people.
1. Start with the basics – Identify positions
Perhaps the easiest place to start when building a business team is to start with the basics. First, you need to find the founders. Of course, this is if you want co-founders since not everyone does; however, if you don’t want to be the only founder, or feel like someone else’s expertise can compliment your own then you’ll need to find people you can work with for the long term.
The most important step here is settling on how the business will be set up and how decisions will be made. You’ll also need to determine who does what. For instance, are you a behind-the-scenes kind of person whereas your co-founder is more comfortable in front of a camera? Then perhaps your co-founder should be the one worrying about press interviews while you handle logistics.
For small business this means an attorney, an accountant, and sales & marketing professionals.
Granted, not every small business needs this right away. I didn’t hire an attorney until I started trademarking stuff and I didn’t hire an accountant until I was making more money than I could manage on my own. However, I do kind of regret this because I feel like I would be better off had I started with these team-members sooner.
You want to start off on the right foot. And if you’re taking your business seriously you have to make sure it’s protected and that the finances are being handled correctly.
In the case of both attorneys and accountants you’ll probably want to find them by means of referrals. These are two areas in your business team where you really don’t want to mess around so it’s better to go with trusted sources.
Unless you are good at sales and marketing (including social media marketing) yourself, you’ll likely need to find people who can handle this for you. Sales are an integral part of your business because if you aren’t selling then you aren’t making any money. If you feel like this is an area where you struggle, then consider finding business team members who have solid experience in sales and marketing to help out.
Also remember that initially, you may not need full-time employees, you can start with part-time resources for now, or—thanks to the internet—virtual contracted employees who work a certain amount of hours.
2. Hire people who balance out your weaknesses
We all have weaknesses. This goes back to business owners not knowing everything. As such, one really great way to start building a winning business team is to hire people who balance out your weaknesses.
For example, in the beginning of 2014 I was still handling my business by myself. I was a disorganized mess and realized that systems and organization were not my strong suit. I’m a very creative person by nature and systems are just not my thing.
Being aware of this, I set out to find a virtual assistant who was really good at setting up systems. Within a couple of months I was no longer using a pile of spreadsheets to manage leads, but rather I was using an actual client-relationship manager. She also got me set up with my first operations manual, video tutorials and a project-management system.
Since she’s come on the business team everything is far more streamlined and organized. It makes my life easier to know that someone is handling the organization of the business so that I can focus on my strengths: creating stuff and making sales.
3. Don’t hire your friends
This is Business 101 but it bears repeating. Ideally, there needs to be a certain level of separation between you and other members of your team. Friends may not be on your same page, they may not give you honest feedback and emotions can run high.
However, I will admit that I’ve had one instance where hiring someone I was already close to worked out really well. Granted, I did not make this decision lightly and it actually took me months to come around to the idea.
Perhaps even worse than hiring your friends is partnering with people you may not know at all. I’ve been to networking events where two people meet for the first time and by the end of the event they are planning on filing papers for partnership. Let’s just say that usually ends really badly. In many ways it’s kind of like marrying someone you just met.
4. Make sure everyone is on board with your vision
When I started building my business team I was very keen on the fact that they needed to be 100-percent on board with my business vision. Because I knew this, I actually tapped into my community to find members of my team. Almost every single member of my team was already aware of my business and me before we formally met or discussed any business. To me, that was a clear sign that they would be a good fit.
5. Remember that credentials aren’t everything
While qualifications are important, they aren’t everything. As a former recruiter I can tell you that sometimes the least qualified person would get hired simply because they were a better fit with the company culture.
Someone could sound really great on paper, but it’s how he or she interacts with you and members of your business team that’s really going to matter at the end of the day. This doesn’t mean you should just hire anybody who gets along with everyone else, but it does mean you shouldn’t solely rely on someone’s credentials.
The problem is that many entrepreneurs start with good intentions to create a new mindset system but then slack off. The solution is to make that system part of your daily routine. ~ Lisa A. Mininni (Tweet this)
Building a business team is going to be one of the best investments you will ever make in your business. It’s also an investment you should take very seriously. By using our tips you’ll be able to ensure that you’re putting your money in the right places.