Isadora Teich

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How to Build a Great Team for Your Small Business

If you want your small business to grow, you need an amazing team to make it happen. This is often a roadblock for many entrepreneurs. How exactly do you transition from a solopreneur to a leader who can build a great team?

Usually, entrepreneurs are passionate and driven people who want to do things their way in order to achieve their vision. For this reason, bringing other people in and entrusting them to get the job done can be an issue for some.

Here are some things that you can do to build a stellar team for your small business.

Appreciate Individual Strengths

If you want to build a strong team, you have to be strategic about who you choose to be a part of it. Genuinely take stock of people’s individual strengths.

Your team will likely all have different personalities, backgrounds, and professional and personal experiences. You want to go much deeper than simply picking people based on their resumes or qualifications.

The simple truth is that, in most cases, there are a number of people with similar qualifications. A resume alone does not really tell you the whole truth of what someone can bring to the table. What sets them apart is their personality and perspective.

Especially in a small business setting, and in the beginning stages, a small team of people will likely be working closely together. They will need to get things off the ground or expand upon something that’s already strong.

The fastest way to derail all of that is by bringing in the wrong person or people.

However, correctly evaluating the strengths of the individuals on your team, and giving them the opportunity and direction to thrive, can fast track you on the road to success.

Be Clear About Your Vision On The Small Scale

Some entrepreneurs fall into traps relating to clarity. Some have grand dreams, but no day-to-day actionable plans for achieving them. When you work on your own, you can figure all this out on the fly.

However, when you are leading a team, they are looking to you for the overall plan. If you cannot communicate one, your team may have no idea what exactly they are supposed to do day in and day out.

For driven professionals who like to succeed and feel purposeful in their work, this can be a nightmare. It is demotivating to be confused and directionless every day. This can cause people to perform poorly in their jobs and eventually leave them altogether.

Don’t Forget About The Large Scale

On the flip side, if you want to build a company culture and a true team, a leader needs to do more than just assign daily tasks. Be open with your team about your future goals and the kind of culture and company you want to build.

Let them know that they are helping to build something bigger, and are part of creating a brighter future.

This can help them feel connected to the work and each other on a deeper and more meaningful level.

This is key to creating a positive workplace culture.

The Importance of Workplace Culture if you Want to Build a Great Team

Workplace culture is way more important than many realize. We are currently experiencing what is known as The Great Resignation in the US. While there are many opinions about why this is happening, the numbers cannot be argued with.

The Harvard Business Review writes:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. Resignations peaked in April and have remained abnormally high for the last several months, with a record-breaking 10.9 million open jobs at the end of July.

Likely, one factor in this is that many workers find their workplace culture lacking.

According to research by OC Tanner, when asked about their satisfaction with the organizational culture where they work, the average employee rated their workplace at 65 out of 100.

Leverage a Cultural Edge

By creating a supportive environment where employees feel invested and connected, you will have a huge advantage over other employers.

This will likely lessen the negative impacts of employee turnover in your own organization.

The cost of high turnover is actually a lot higher than many people think.

It’s estimated that losing an employee can cost 1.5 to 2 times that employee’s salary. For higher-level employees, this can be even more.

This cost is so high because not only do you have to use resources to find and train someone else, but your business takes a hit while no one is doing that vital work.

Some businesses try to lessen this hit by having remaining employees take on extra responsibilities, without raising their pay.

Placing unreasonable expectations on employees without compensation will likely send them packing as well, causing a chain reaction of resignations.

Sometimes, people even stay in jobs they do not feel passionate partially due to the community they form with other co-workers. If this community disappears, they may also leave.

These may be some factors in what was called the Great Resignation, as well as the shifting attitudes especially a lot of younger employees have toward work.

React Appropriately To The Positive

Running a business is full of ups and downs, and being able to recognize and respond to them appropriately is potentially the most important skill any leader can hone.

For example, if a team member is doing an excellent job, let them know. If your team is working so well that your business is thriving, let them know that they are doing good work and it is appreciated.

While certain personality types can continue doing their work without any positive feedback, many thrive in the face of positive affirmation.

And, regardless, everyone likes to feel appreciated and like they are succeeding. There is no downside to giving your team deserved compliments.

This is especially important if you are helming a remote team. Go out of your way to give positive feedback when it’s deserved.

The last thing you want is for your team to dread hearing from you because you only communicate with them when something is wrong. Instead, foster neutral and positive communication as well.

Tackling the Negative is Key if You Want to Build a Great Team

On the opposite side of this, you have to be able to identify problems early. Some people pretend that running a business is all joy, freedom, and instant riches.

That is wildly unrealistic. Things will go wrong. You will make mistakes. People on your team will make mistakes. Especially if people spend a lot of time together, they will have miscommunications and disagreements at some point.

You have to accept this and be prepared to solve problems proactively. The more people that are involved in a project of any kind, the more complicated things can become.

If something is not working, you have to figure out why.

While you should try to solve problems to the best of your ability and only fire people as a last resort, in some instances this is the best option for everyone.

If you are left with no choice but to let someone go, be sure to follow all local legislation related to termination closely.

Final Thoughts on How to Build a Great Team for Your Small Business

Building a great team for your small business is an integral part of ensuring success.

By finding the right people, setting clear expectations and goals, and fostering a positive environment through collaboration, you can become well on your way to having a productive, successful team.

It’s important to understand that building a strong team takes time. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen overnight — the key is to stay consistent and strive for progress.

Utilize the tips in this post as guiding pieces to help you build an amazing team that’s highly motivated.

It may seem daunting at first, but with thoughtful planning and guidance from experienced individuals or coaches, this endeavor can become much simpler.

So don’t wait any longer and start forming a top-notch team for your small business today! Best of luck!

What do you think makes a successful work environment? Comment below.

Since 2009, we have helped create 350+ next-generation apps for startups, Fortune 500s, growing businesses, and non-profits from around the globe. Think Partner, Not Agency.


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