Starting a solo business is tough enough. But then, leaping to go from solopreneur to entrepreneur is quite challenging.
Hiring people is a serious thing. It doesn’t only imply money, but time and management skills. Not to say you’ll need to become a leader! Furthermore, growing a business takes more than simply hiring people.
But I didn’t write this article to freak you out. On the contrary, I am looking forward to sharing my experience and insights to help you.
After working more than ten years as a management consultant, I learned a few things about businesses mistakes and best practices. Some small companies I knew made stellar decisions, while others buried themselves.
So, if you’re looking for some tips to build your team, find below the best advice, I gathered during my career to go from solopreneur to entrepreneur!
Create a shared vision
It may sound grandiloquent, but creating a shared vision is more practical than you may think. In short, it’s about talking with your team about your business aspirations and making each member a part of it.
Some people may be against involving team members so deeply in business strategy, particularly in the earliest stages of the business. But, if you’re serious about transforming your solo business into a company, it’s better to start with solid foundations.
Creating a shared vision with your team helps set clear expectations for everyone. Additionally, it helps to find inspiration, prioritize, and make decisions.
Now, remember that creating a shared vision requires more than telling or informing your team what your point of view is. It takes involving each team member and engaging in a thoughtful conversation. Ask them how they contribute to that vision and how they see the company’s future.
You’ll be surprised!
Set standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines
Small businesses tend to fail because they depend on personal knowledge. Growth requires knowledge timely available for every team member.
The most traditional way to share vital information is to set standard operating procedures (SOPs). It may sound boring at first, but providing guidelines from scratch saves time and money.
Bad stuff happens when your team doesn’t have enough information about their daily duties. Mistakes skyrocket, customer experience suffers, and you end up having a disorganized and frustrated bunch of people, not a team.
Before hiring freelancers or any employee, it’s vital to define standard procedures according to the size and scope of your business. You won’t need complicated manuals or long documents. Sometimes, a simple infographic or a video explaining the essential steps and rules is enough.
Here is a short warning. Your SOPs don’t need to be cast on stone. Remember to be open to criticism and improvement.
Organize your hiring process
Many businesses stall because they underestimate the complexity of the hiring process. For this reason, it’s all too common to find poorly written job postings.
Before spending valuable hours writing a job post and interviewing candidates, it’s better to start with the basics. Don’t start recruiting before learning the critical skills your business needs to grow.
For instance, if you’re a great salesperson but lack organization skills, look for a Virtual Assistant (VA) that can help to streamline your daily work. Or, if you’re an excellent strategist that doesn’t enjoy small talk, hire someone for a customer-facing role.
Additionally, it’s crucial to think about the hiring process. Before going all in, I suggest trying a freelance marketplace and checking some talent that might be a good fit for your company.
Depending on your budget, you can start small by hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA). Then, after your first experience, define the hiring steps for your company. In this way, it’ll be easier to repeat it in the future.
A good tip is to find a decent contract template. If you’re extra-careful, asking for legal advice might be a good option.
Balance teamwork and individual performance
You’ll find tons of gurus telling you how important it is to promote teamwork for success. Sure, it does matter, but it’s crucial to acknowledge individual qualities when you’re starting.
Every team member has a meaningful impact on your company’s results at such an early stage. In my experience, individual skills and working styles contribute to the global results as long as you don’t get in the way. The only downside here is that you need to keep personal interests at bay: individuality shouldn’t become an obstacle to teamwork.
In this regard, promoting healthy compromises from team members is vital whenever necessary.
Promote transparency and open communication
Few managerial mistakes are as old and damaging as promoting complacency and punishing honesty. As the old saying goes, don’t shoot the messenger!
Growing a business requires communication, and when you’re solo, all the feedback comes from your clients. However, as your business grows, you’ll start getting it from your team. And that’s pure gold!
To get full advantage of your team’s feedback, establish clear guidelines for identifying and communicating all kinds of problems and issues. And then, commit to listening and take action accordingly.
Enable collaborative work
Sending emails back and forth with revised documents and spreadsheets is outdated. Controlling versions and dealing with all those details is risky and time-consuming.
It’s better to use online tools like Google Workspace or Office 365 to collaborate. It requires shutting off your inner control freak, but in my experience, it’s worth it.
Scheduling and task management tools like Trello, Asana, or ClickUp are great, too, mainly when your business is open to more agile management practices.
Ready to grow?
After reading these tips, I hope you feel ready to take steps to grow your business soon enough. Which of the recommendations above do you find the most useful?
Share with your friends and fellow entrepreneurs, so they can all grow their businesses and prosper!
About the Author
Yker Valerio (he/him) is a freelance content creator. After more than 10 years of working as a management consultant, he started the blog Bon Vivant Caffè to share his passion for specialty coffee.
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