Boss. Subordinates. Maybe, a secretary. Those ‘internal customers’ with unreal demands. And, yes, the boss’ boss who will always ask for reports at the nth hour. That’s the kind of teams we are familiar with, aren’t we?
When you start your own business, this definition is thrown to the winds. There are no such traditional teams. You are constantly on the look for talented people to associate with you. Most of those whom you like are the ones you cannot afford. Then, you consider part-time associations with them. Of course, that is not as good as having them on your team as permanent employees. There are so many niggling questions around how you should build your team that keep you awake at night.
Some answers lie in identifying what kind of people you need.
1. The core people
Build your inner circle with care. It is common for friends to get together to start a business. Which can be a good thing and a bad thing. Make sure you have no qualms about maintaining professional discipline without affecting your friendship.
2. Scour the place for the best people
Secondly, surround yourself with the best people you can afford. Find people who are efficient at the things that you don’t do well or don’t like to do. That is not to say that you shouldn’t have a working knowledge of all matters in your business. However, you don’t have to be an expert in all things. Be ready to make trade-offs and bend rules for good talent.
3. Hire an HR person
Most small business owners I talk to say one of the biggest time consuming issues they deal with in their business personnel. If you aren’t very good at managing other people, then interview and hire someone who is really good at working and motivating others towards success. Make sure they are familiar with all the government regulations for hiring and firing people. You want to make sure the company is run efficiently and effectively. So, if you aren’t good at doing administrative work such as payroll (even if you are), hire it out. The time you save will more than make up the cost.
4. Trust your Gut
If you aren’t hiring someone to fill a positions that is a profession that would require a degree for proficiency (architecture, law, medicine, etc.) don’t be afraid to hire anyone who has not graduated with a relevant degree. There is much to be said for someone who has common sense and works hard over someone with no ambition with a fancy degree. Look for a keen mind, sharp logic and a person who is eager to go the extra mile.
5. Prepare your sensibilities for a loosely-structured team
There may be people working remotely, working on different schedules and in a matrix reporting structure. Do not impose structures that you have grown to be comfortable with in previous, traditional jobs.
It’s time to rewrite the rules!