You really can’t do it all alone. No small business becomes a big business with a single person at the wheel. It takes a team of experts to scale your growth and success; you need to build your team.
The problem is, building that team brings its own stress.
How can you know who to trust? Where will you find the time to train? What if you can’t afford to outsource?
These and other questions prevent entrepreneurs like you from turning a good business idea into a 6- or even 7-figure empire. Here’s what to do about it.
Know Your Personal Work Style & Preferences
Not everyone works in a similar style. Some people love to touch base by phone, while others prefer email. Some people require lots of direction and step-by-step guidance, while others work better when they can figure it out independently.
No way is right or wrong, but if you’re a phone person and you hire an email lover, there will be conflict.
Look for team members who fit your preferred work style, and you’ll be much happier with the end result.
Having said that, don’t miss out on a great employee just because they don’t work as you do. As the owner, the buck stops with you, so learn to bend where you need to and be humble enough to learn new ways from others; their way could actually save some time!
Commit To The Effort
Building a team takes time. Not only do you have to spend time looking for the right person, interviewing several candidates, and onboarding your final choice, but you also have to train your new team members.
Remember, no matter how skilled she or he might be, they have never worked in your business, so there will be a learning curve. Encourage them to ask questions, and take the time to answer carefully. Expect mistakes—at least in the beginning—and build enough time in your schedule to allow for fixing them.
The effort and time you put in upfront are well worth it when you have a team you can count on. (Tweet it!)
Create SOPs well before hiring, outlining the most important and repetitive tasks. These can make up your staff training manual and work in combination with you to provide a secondary way of learning. Some people prefer reading, and the SOPs will communicate the details so that employees can take the initiative to manage their own learning.
SOPs also make sure everyone is doing things the same way. The only thing as important as creating the SOPs is having your team all follow them for streamlined process management.
Don’t Be Afraid to Cut Ties
Not everyone you hire will be a good fit. As a business owner, it’s up to you to do the right thing for your business growth (and your own stress levels), and sometimes that means moving on from a relationship that’s not working.
Remember, it’s business, not personal. Sometimes even the best-looking applicant turns out to be all wrong, and that’s okay. Take what you’ve learned from the experience, and use that knowledge for the next hire.
Bear in mind that hiring and firing are costly to a business. If you have had several employees in a similar position that have not worked out, it may be time to look at what is not working in more detail. Communication is often one of the biggest culprits, and if you find your employee is not following your instructions, it may be that you are not communicating with them well enough.
While you might dream of working two hours per day and taking entire summers off, it’s unrealistic to think you can go from 12-hour days to stress-free entrepreneurship in a few short weeks.
To build your team, hire one person to take on the most disliked tasks, then slowly grow your team and their responsibilities. Eventually, you’ll be left with only the work you truly want to do (and that you enjoy), and your business will run even more smoothly.
Remember, It’s A Team Effort!
Creating a great team is not just down to one person; it’s down to all the team members, but as the owner, the rest of the team will look to you for leadership and direction. Creating a culture that outlines your expectations before you hire can aid in this process. Measure performance and provide feedback all the time, not just in pay reviews.
In a small business, it can be beneficial to include the employees in the culture-creation process. Talk to your employees and find out what floats their boat. What is important to them, and how do they like to receive feedback? Having a sense of inclusion in things that shape the company can go a long way to building loyal and productive employees.
Now get to work and start building that dream team!