There’s a lot you need to know and do in order to succeed in business, more than any one person can really manage on their own. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go out and hire an employee right away. What you need is a team.
Evaluate Your Team
Your team doesn’t have to be employees. It can be anyone who has shared their knowledge and experiences with you. You probably already have a team of supporters who are helping you on your path, whether you realize it or not.
Take a minute and think about everyone who has helped you get where you are in your business. That can be family, friends, coworkers, mentors, business consultants, or even your local librarian.
In my case, I have my older sister who acts both as my encouragement and the voice of reason, keeping me grounded in my business aspirations. I also have Deb, our Business Consultant at the WBC, who I can go to with questions about setting up my business and creating a plan. My coworker Deborah is also a fellow business owner so I am able to ask about and learn from her experiences as an entrepreneur.
The next step is determining your strengths and weaknesses so you know who else to add to your team.
Determine Strengths and Weaknesses
There are a lot of different skills necessary to run a business and you’re probably not going to be good at all of them, especially not at first. So, it’s important to recognize where you’re weakest in order to build a team that has the strengths that you lack.
In the “Developing Your Supporting Cast” section of Build Your Dream Company, I took an assessment where I ranked myself on several business skills, while also deciding how important those skills were to my business.
Never having sold any of my art or done any commission work, I ranked poorly on Product Pricing. However, I also ranked that as very important to my business. So, I know I need to connect with other artists who are doing something similar to what I want to do and learn from them about how they decide on their pricing.
At the same time, I ranked poorly on Recruiting and Hiring but I don’t really have any need to hire an employee right now so I ranked it as less important. That’s a skill I can wait on and not worry about at this point.
Once you’ve finished your assessment, it’s time to seek out people who have the strengths you want to add to your business tool belt.
Seek Out Team Members
It can be hard to ask for help.
It can be even harder to approach a stranger and ask them to share their secrets to entrepreneurial success so you can learn from them. But it doesn’t have to be.
Start with your current team, let them know the skills you need for your business, and ask if they know someone who has the skills you don’t have. See if they’ll set up an introduction or if you can use them as a reference when you reach out the people they recommend. This gives you at least one connection with the person you want to talk to.
When you meet with the new person, make sure you are prepared for the meeting, don’t waste their time, and ask if there is anything you can do for them. Even if they aren’t able to help, maybe they know someone else who could.
Another way to find people who could be part of your team is to get out and be involved. The best way to find the right people to add to your team is to go where those people are. I have the opportunity to meet amazing women business owners every day, thanks to my job at the Women’s Business Center! If you attend a training with other business owners who want to improve their skills, you’ll have the opportunity to network and create the connections so you can help each other grow.
Looking for some tips to help you with your networking? Deb and I have been recording quick Tip Tuesday videos on networking! Check them out here.