Growing a team in a growing business
When you start your own business, it is your own idea and pretty much becomes your baby; the decisions, choices and growth are all within your own making. Most entrepreneurs will spend the first few months of business fully focused on their vision and what needs doing, but once you start growing a team you need to lead and be there for them.
You may have been putting off hiring for a while and kept doing way too much yourself. But there comes a stage where you will hit the crunch point and you can’t continue to grow as there just aren't any more hours left in the day. This is where you have to move to the next level and build a team.
It’s one thing starting your own business, it’s another when you realise you now have a team looking to you to secure their futures and help them become the best they can be.
Okay so now you have the team but you find you are struggling to let go of control and not be involved in all the decision making.
This is totally normal.
The idea of having help and finally coming off some of the tools sounds fantastic, yet in reality it is really hard to have people you may not know very well now influencing and maybe making decisions within your business.
I spoke to one business owner recently who shared with me that one minute she was looking at how to buy another business to merge with her existing company, and the next she was choosing what products for the cleaners to use. Does this resonate?
Setting your team up for success
To set your team up for success there are some steps to follow, you may find you have done some of these from when you first started your business. It’s time to review them again to ensure they work for you and can translate to your team.
Step one: Where are you heading?
Be clear on your vision. What is your 3, 5 and 10 year vision?
Your team will follow you if they know where you are taking them.
When you know your vision for your business, which may have evolved now you have a team in place, the important part is to ensure you communicate this regularly to the team.
Step two: know what is important to you and the behaviours you want to see in your business
To bring a team together and ensure you are hiring the right people who will be a match to your culture, spend the time identifying the behaviours you want to see lived everyday. The key here is to make sure YOU are living these behaviours, otherwise it falls down.
When people know what you value and what is expected of them they are set up to deliver. By having this in place, feedback isn’t personal, it is based on the foundations of your values and behavioural standards. This will keep your team's performance high.
Step three: Set your goals
Give yourself the space and time to set your business goals.
Now you have your vision and values, the next step is to set your goals and the strategies to achieve them.
Human beings are goal driven. You are not only setting goals for your business, now you are setting goals for your team.
The best structure I have seen is to start with knowing your companies ‘Wildly Important Goal’ for the year. This gives the team focus for where they are heading. You then ensure each team member has a ‘WIG’ for them to achieve, which ladders up to achieve the company’s ‘WIG’
When you have your ‘WIG’, collaborate with your team to put strategies in place to achieve them. This will increase ownership and responsibility in realising the results for the business.
Step three: Ensure your business has structure in place
Too many start ups go with the flow and do not spend enough time establishing the structure and operations of the business.
The benchmark is that anything in your business that needs to be done more than once needs a system. This system becomes your benchmark of excellence in how you operate which enables your team to know what they need to do to achieve success.
Look at where process and technology can drive consistency, increase efficiency and create easy communication for the team.
Step four: Communication
When you started your business you just needed to make sure you knew what was going on and the decisions you were making.
Remember now you need to communicate and ensure the team is on the same page.
Regular catch ups and status meetings will help your team be connected, feel they belong and know the pathway you are choosing to follow for success.
Be clear on how you are going to drive communication to track progress against the company goals. What is going to be your communication strategy to check in with your team, especially now a lot of working teams are remote. Put these strategies in place and stick to them, communication is key to a thriving team.
There are the steps I recommend you have in place to set yourself and your team up for success.
It’s not about getting it all right and perfect, it is about putting the effort in to ensure the team can perform at their best, enjoy being in your culture and are motivated to get out of bed in the morning and help you achieve your business goals.
Remember you now have the opportunity to be the leader your team deserves to have.