One of the perils of small businesses is running as a “one man business.” That means the business is managed, run and operated by one person. I personally do not like this model of managing and running a business.
Robert Kiyosaki’s rich dad said, “Business and investing is a team sport. The average investor or small-business person losses financially because they do not have a team. Instead of a team, they act as individuals who are very trapped by very smart teams.”
One of the common problems of small businesses is that they remain small and fail to grow. And one of the causes of this problem is the failure on the part of the owner to build a business team to run the business instead of hurdling in all the operations of the business.
Another common problem of small businesses is that instead of building a business team, they build a business union. They look for helpers or other technicians to run the operations instead of building a business team.
Peter Drucker said, “Long before management by one person no longer works, that one person has to start learning how to work with colleagues, has to learn to trust people, yet also how to hold them accountable. The founder has to learn how to become a leader of team rather than a “star” with helpers.”
So you want to start building a team instead of a union to run your business. And it all starts with understanding what a business team is and what makes it different from a business union. Then, you focus on building a business team to run the operations!
So what is a business team?
A business team is simply a group of people with different skills, abilities and expertise having shared values working together towards a common goal. A business team therefore is made of an accounts person, product person, administrative person and all others.
Different skill-set running the operations!
What is a business union?
A business union is a group of people with the same or similar skills, abilities and expertise having shared values working towards a common goal. So the main difference between a team and union is the different skill-set and expertise in operation in the business!
The problem with many small business owners is that they build unions instead of building a team to run the business. They bring “helpers” instead of bringing in a team of people with different skills , talents, abilities and expertise to run the operations.
So how do you build a business team to run your small business?
- Analyze and Find the Specific Critical Success Areas of your Business
The first step to build a business team to run your small business is to analyze and find the specific critical success areas of your business. Ask yourself, “What are the key specific areas of the business that survival and success of the business depends on?”
Write down those key areas.
In our magazine business for example there were five key critical success factors of the business: quality content, quality printing, massive circulation, cash flow and people management. So if we deal with this critical success factors, the rest will take care of itself.
- Analyze Your Strength And Weaknesses In relation to the Critical Success Areas
Once you find the key success areas of your business, you need to understand that if you don’t handle these critical success factors well, the business will fail. The critical success factors must be well and properly managed to make the small business grow.
So you have ask yourself which of the areas of the CFC (critical success factors) that you are good at and can do very well. Also clarify the areas that you cannot do well and needs help at. Once you identify that, you need to understand that you have to begin to get someone do that…building a team!
- Assume Position at the Critical Success Areas You Are Good At And the Delegate the Rest
Once you know where you are not good at, you must understand that you need help at your areas of weakness. Some medium sized business owners bridge the gap by recruiting a new team, some outsource the talent, some take on new team by contracting and some others find a business partner.
Whichever way, you must make sure that you do what you can do best and delegate what you cannot do well to other people to do well. This is where you need to learn and apply the art of delegation and staffing in your business!
- Set Clear Objectives and Goals for Each Key Person in Each Critical Success Area
Once you have assembled a team instead of a union, you need to set objectives for each key area. You have to manage by objectives not personalities. You must be able to hold people in key areas accountable for growth and performance.
The way to measure and evaluate performance is to set objectives and goals for each key person handling each critical success area. Once this is done, focus on developing an operations system which can be formed through trial and error for new occupants to be trained to get the job done.
- Evaluate and Measure Progress of the Team
Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” So you have to measure, evaluate and refine the team to ensure that it runs profitably.
You have to get the team to work, see how they work together and then find ways and means to make it effective; producing the desired result the enterprise needs. To evaluate and measure progress you have to go back to set objectives for each job and the goals each person is required to achieve in his or her accountability.
Building a business team is not an easy thing to do. But if you focus on building a business team to run your small business, overtime your small business will run effectively. The team can further be developed and groom into a management team to run the business when it grows into a medium sized level.