Build a Team of “A” Players to Achieve Your Marketing Objectives
Dear Business Owners and Entrepreneurs,
I know you’re used to – but you really can’t do it all alone – and that’s ok. After 20+ years working with small businesses, we know for a fact that a small business will not grow efficiently and effectively with a single person at the wheel. It takes a team of experts to scale your efforts. Here are a few tips to build a team of “A” players to achieve your marketing objectives.
Always Thinking the Worst
As most business owners, we seem to think of worst case scenarios – to try get a head start on them before it happens. Yes, building a team brings its own stress.
How can you know who to trust? Where will you find the time to train? What if you’re not sure what you can afford?
These and other questions are what prevent entrepreneurs just like you from turning a good business idea into a 6- or even 7-figure empire.
Here’s what to do about it…
Know Your Personal Work Style & Preferences
Not everyone works in a similar style. Some people love to touch base by phone, while others prefer email. Some people require lots of direction and step-by-step guidance; others work better when they can figure it out on their own.
No way is right or wrong, but if you’re a phone person and you hire an email lover, there’s going to be conflict.
Look for team members who are a fit with your preferred work style, and you’ll be much happier with the end result. At the very least, communicate your preferences. This way the ultimate goal is to focus on reaching your marketing objectives, not making it a personal issue.
Know Your Strengths and Complement Your Weaknesses
If you have design, writing and creative skills, but struggle with finance, then it makes sense to do your own marketing and hire a bookkeeper. But not every business owner has the time, skill, strategy or energy to plan your marketing, create, write and execute effectively to bring in new business.
Put your pride aside and recognize that there are others who may be more qualified than you to perform certain tasks. Establish good communication, make a plan together, and then ensure your team stays on task and reports to you accordingly. Be in the know… but don’t micromanage. Again, focus on goals and tasks to be completed. Let them handle the rest!
Commit to the Effort
Hiring a team takes time. Not only do you have to spend time looking for the right person, interviewing several candidates, and onboarding your final choice, but you also have to train your new team member. This is definitely required when you hire someone as an employee. The responsibility is 100% on you and your business. Establish whether they need to be W-2 employees or can you work with W-9 contractors or outsource to an agency.
Remember, no matter how skilled she might be, she’s never worked in your business, so there will be a learning curve. Encourage her to ask questions, and take the time to answer carefully. Expect mistakes—at least in the beginning—and build enough time in your schedule to allow for fixing them.
The effort and time you put in up front is well worth it when you have a team you can count on.
Whether in-house or outsourced – regardless of which you choose – they are still a part of your team as long as they are all focused on your business goals, marketing objectives and agenda.
Don’t Be Afraid to Cut Ties
Not everyone you hire will be a good fit. As a business owner, it’s up to you to do the right thing for your business growth (and your own stress levels) and sometimes that means moving on from a relationship that’s not working.
Remember, it’s business, not personal. Sometimes even the best-looking applicant turns out to be all wrong, and that’s okay. Take what you’ve learned from the experience, and use that knowledge for the next hire.
Also recognize when the issue might be you. Are you micromanaging? Expecting more than you should? Compensating them for all the work?
Do not be the type of business that says, “You should be honored to work for me.” There are plenty of options. Remember, if you could do it already… you would. Humble yourself and stay focused on your goals!
Finally, start small.
While you might dream of working two hours per day and taking entire summers off, it’s unrealistic to think you can go from 12-hour days to stress free entrepreneurship in a few short weeks.
Start by hiring one person or an outsourced provider to take on the tasks you most dislike, then slowly grow your team and their responsibilities. Find a marketing consultant or advisor who can also do the work.
Remember that UPS commercial? The guys came in recommending improvement. The client says, “Great let’s move forward!” And they responded with… “Well, we don’t actually do it.” Don’t waste your time with those type of consultants. As you’ll have to start the process all over again with another provider. And if you choose the VA (virtual assistant) route, remember… you have to give extremely clear instructions – down to the detail of the process. Do you have time for that?!
Eventually, you’ll be left with only the work you truly want to do (and that you enjoy) and your business will run even more smoothly.