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Taking Your Solo Venture to the Next Level: Creating a Business Team

When building your business it’s enough to manage your own time and tasks productively and profitably, but there comes a point when you need to take stock of progress and identify how you’re spending your time. Is your focus where you want it to be or are you caught up in just managing areas which are the most demanding of your attention? If this is the case, the best way to manage your business is to hire qualified help for those key areas you’re not particularly interested in, knowledgeable enough about, or even qualified to do skilfully and efficiently. It’s a process that we had to go through at Team Tactics way back in 1996 when we became a fully-fledged business and it’s certainly something that every serious business will need to do at some point if they are to keep expanding.

For some entrepreneurs, expansion into employees has a top-down approach, where help is needed at a management level, in areas such as sales, marketing and accounting or, alternatively, a bottom up support system, such as reception, admin and PA staff. Your choice will largely depend on your own skill set, but as your business starts to perform competitively in the marketplace, so your own performance can be enhanced by bringing other professionals on board with you. These staff, largely fall into the following categories and could be needed in the following order, with the timeline depending literally on how fast your business is growing:

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Staff to support your business:

  • In-house accounting or finance clerks can ensure cash flow keeps flowing and that investment into your business is well-managed beyond the start-up and into a growth phase.
  • Administration staff will literally free you from doing everything yourself, allowing you to focus on the bigger aims of your business.
  • ICT support, depending on how reliant your business is on ICT. If it’s your sole platform for sales and revenue, then reliable, in-house support is a vital human resource.

Staff to grow your business:

  • Sales Manager: If your product or service is competing for its spot in the marketplace, a sales manager can help secure your niche as well as generate revenue. If you’re serious about your business being a marketplace contender then a sales manager might be a vital employee within 3 – 6 months of starting a new business.

Staff to promote your business:

  • Marketing Manager: Ideally your marketing and sales managers will be the dynamic duo for sparking interest and generating revenue for your company. Employing a marketing manager within those first 3 months might be essential, in stirring customer interest, promoting your company and gaining leads for your sales team.
  • Social Media Manager: Your marketing manager might also do this, or you may choose to employ a dedicated social media manager, depending on your online profile and the platforms you’re using most to gain customers.

And Managing the Managers?

When you’re hiring staff, it’s useful to be mindful of two issues:

  • Do you want your team to manage for you, under your own control and direction?
  • Or manage things with you, with a degree of autonomy?

Encouraging autonomy by coaching your staff and communicating your aims effectively offers greater benefits than the controlling approach, as your team start to invest themselves in the work they’re doing for you.

Finally, however you choose to manage them, your employees are literally going to be alongside you in your venture, so consider what kind of manager you want to be and the ethos you want to promote. Remember that a supportive culture of healthy communication, trust, positive engagement and exchanges of ideas, as well as team building activities, along with a personal approach as needed, offer the best routes for seeing morale and productivity grow right alongside your business.

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