There’s a certain pioneer spirit that can go along with starting a new small business. An ambitious owner may feel a sense of bravery in attempting such an endeavor. It’s not easy to strike out on your own, become your own boss and follow your passions.
But it’s often just as crucial to build a winning team around you. Attracting and assembling the right combination of talent and personalities may help a business get off the ground quickly and on the path to success. Here are a few tips on assembling the right kind of support staff.
Be Clear About Objectives.
It’s important to have a firm plan in finding desirable employees, and where they will fit into your business and payroll. In a recent mashable.com article, Ben Parr included a list of questions to ask yourself when building a team.
- “What talent do I need to get the job done?”
- “What type of personalities am I looking for?”
- “What type of people will compensate for my weaknesses?”
- “What can I afford?”
- “How many people do I want?”
“Be flexible when you are looking for new members of your team,” he says, “but remember, hiring someone you don’t actually need is a waste of resources.”
A new small business owner may feel the need to come off as an expert, already well aware of how to be a success. What he or she considers confidence may translate as arrogance. In a recent story for entrepreneur.com, Marty Fukuda commented on this issue. “Arrogance is unattractive no matter what your achievements,” Fukuda says. “If you present yourself as though you’re already the best, how could anyone, including your supporters, ever help you? A humble professional, however, never lacks support, new opportunities and promising chances.”
A natural inclination in assembling a staff is to aim for an all-star team of talent. Talent will certainly help a business succeed, but it’s just as crucial that these all-stars can work together. The owner will need to encourage discussion and new ideas, even if they may differ from what is considered the norm. Gigi Starr examines this in a story for Demand Media. “Respect the intentions and goals of all team members,” Starr writes. “The team may have something to complete by a given time, but the best way forward is to be open to contributions from all members. The best teams use knowledge from every member in order to get the job done. A manager who simply focuses on one, or a few, employees at the expense of others will find problems in the future.”
Just as job candidates have to sell themselves in a job interview, so should the owner, in order to attract desirable employees. Parr writes, “… You need to sell your company in person and in the virtual world, and not just to those you’re trying to hire, but to those who are already part of the team. The key is constant, honest communication. Don’t promise a potential hire something you can’t deliver (e.g. promises of 300 percent growth, a guaranteed raise, a hot tub, etc.). Do be open to new suggestions, but be clear about what you can and cannot do based on your budget.”
Learn to Delegate.
New small business owners may feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders, and that they must handle all important tasks to ensure things are done the right way. That may not be possible in the long term, and could slow the overall success of the company. Delegating will likely come into play, and the owner will need to determine what duties can be spread to others. “When forming a team of effective people, some of those folks will be natural leaders, and some won’t,” Starr writes. “Use and mentor the leaders, while working to effectively lead and inspire the others.”