Successful Team Building for your Micro or Small Business
Solopreneurs and small business owners are challenged with getting everything and anything done. Their productivity hinges on their strengths. We can’t be good at everything! Having a team approach to productivity makes for success.
- It’s a big daunting how to start building your team. What’s most critical is defining what your team member(s) will do. It’s a range of possibilities. Start with what’s not being done or what you hate to do. Flush out a system with your new team member to create a process that works.
- There are levels of delegation that make this transition easier. Start with specific, direct actions and raise the bar to collaborating on decisions.
Here are some sample models that have worked for my clients. I have listed the challenges faced and how a team member made the challenge happen.
Calling back clients
Client leads were piling up for a small business owner. She did not have time to return calls, discuss opportunities, or make appointments. She was in search of a team player who could help her. Where she found help was in a recently graduated long time friend. Together they set up a process for intake. They practiced this system for a week and added in an online calendaring system. It was a combination of the human touch and technology that made for a successful team.
Reconciling and creating expense reports
All those little receipts that are needed for reconciling and creating expense reports can be overwhelming and disorganized. Getting help with routine administrative and financial tasks can help your business thrive. After tasking this job with several different team members, a small business entrepreneur found a single outsource option. By taking a photo, she was able to send receipts to the outsource person. After that, the business owner met weekly for a check in about the expense report. Reports were turned in timely and the business owner was thrilled.
Another small business owner created a successful strategy for billing clients with technology and a team member. Using FreshBooks, the owner tasked only billing to her team member. With automation, the client could pay online which also eliminated extra steps with banking. A small addition of technology can pave the way.
Setting up a structure for teams
It’s not intuitive for small business owners to set up a structure for team work or communication. When he started with a new company, the small business owner turned to his trusted entrepreneur guide to help him. This guide established a weekly meeting for the team, created working hours for each team member, and set up a collaborative document for them to share work. Having a trust guide to delegate to, the small business owner could focus on his most important big picture work.
A highly organized business person turned her calendar over to her virtual assistant. They collaborated through a series of google docs, email, and online calendar. The calendar was also shared with another team member. Having a process in place created a team calendar that worked well for getting all the details completed.
Finding a productive environment
A small business person struggled with how to be productive in her office. It seemed a little too noisy at the same time. She invited her assistant to work with her on a routine basis, weekly, while she worked on a project. They worked as a body double, paralleling their work on separate projects. Having a second person in the room helped her be accountable to her own work.
Each of these examples of successful team building worked from resourceful, creative and committed collaborations. Creating an effective process by everyone bringing their best efforts, strengths and skills make successful teams possible.
These are some great strategies. Ultimately you want to spend your time on the part of the business where you add the most value. So smart to consider how others could “plug and play” in various roles to maximize the effectiveness of the organization. If there is a part of running a business that I strongly dislike or am no good at performing, I’m open to delegating that to someone more capable!
I have to say I have been pretty impressed by the power of the body doubling. Having someone working in a focused nearby really can help keep you on track. I have one client in particular who will do very little on her own, but as soon as I walk in the door and start sorting, she gets to work. She is quite productive with me having to say very little. I can see the wisdom of harnessing this tool in a small business setting for sure!
There’s no question in the value of building a team. One person can’t do everything. As a solopreneur, it’s taken me time to understand this. While I can do a lot of things, I can’t do it all. And I don’t want to do it all.
As you said, figuring out what to delegate and then matching those tasks to the right person is essential.
Thank you @Linda! We have certainly found the value in our team building skills!
The power of body doubling is incredible! I love when my clients share how much it has helped their productivity!