You’ve got a great business idea. You’ve got an even greater business plan to make it happen. You even have your finances in place to get started. But what about people? Do you have a team in place to support you? Because you will need them – trust us! Nobody can run a business, especially not to its (and your!) fullest potential!) completely on their own. So if this is still an area you need to work on, where do you start with team building?
Your ‘Home’ Team.
This is the first of the two teams you’re going to need – your ‘Home’ team. Running a business is a roller-coaster. If you don’t have the support of your family and friends, who will support you when you hit the ‘down’ parts and celebrate with you when you reach those amazing highs?
The key here is communication, especially with your partner if you have one. The decision to start a business means both of you making a commitment on a number of levels, especially:
- Financial – starting a business may mean a negative impact on your household finances, especially in the early days, and you need to have a plan to manage that
- Time – self-employment is so much more than 9-5. It’s a huge commitment of time and resources, which may mean doing things differently than you have in the past
- Care – how will the new business fit around care commitments? Especially if you have young children.
Building a team at home is really crucial to your success as a business owner – their support, as you take on this incredible, but so challenging, entrepreneurial journey. So if you haven’t done it already, sit down with friends and family. Talk to them about your intentions. Get their feedback and ideas on what you plan to do. But most importantly, gain their support. It will be the primary foundation upon which you can begin to build.
Team building at work.
It’s important to realise and acknowledge that none of us can expect to build a business alone. None of us have the skills and expertise to deliver absolutely everything that we need to succeed to the level we desire. We are all experts in our own field. But we can’t be experts in every field.
The first thing to think about here is whether there are any gaps in your knowledge and expertise. Perhaps you are very creative, but finance is not quite your forte. If so, you need a great accountant. Maybe you’re not particularly comfortable finding your way around social media. Think about doing some training. Or hire a professional to help you.
So take some time to do a ‘skills audit’. Think about your strengths and weaknesses. And think about what your business actually needs from you.
Secondly, think about how you should be spending your time. As business owners, especially in the early days, our instinct says that we should keep control of everything so that things can be delivered exactly how we wish them to be.
But this isn’t necessarily the right approach when you are in command of the business as a while. For example, you may be amazing at marketing. But as a business owner, it’s far more important that you focus on the strategic direction of your marketing efforts, rather than the minutiae of daily social media posts. Hand in hand with this comes what your business needs you to be doing. This means that you can’t always do what you want to be doing.
Then, once you know where your gaps or needs are, you need to fill them with the people you need to start building a team.
So tell us – do you know who is in your Home and Business Teams? This blog is intended as an introduction to team building when you’re a small business owner. We’ll be expanding on it further in future articles, so keep your eyes peeled! And if you want any more in depth support with building your own teams, we have a module on this very subject!