Not that long ago I read, “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How To Build The Future” by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters. Within it, I found many insightful points and perspectives on entrepreneurship and technology. As a business owner myself, and someone who is looking to grow their team as one of the best in the industry, one quote rang especially true.
This quote was by Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, in which he said, “If you’re at Tesla, you’re choosing to be at the equivalent of Special Forces. There’s the regular army, and that’s fine, but if you are working at Tesla, you’re choosing to step up your game.”
Every business wants to provide the best of the best within their industry, but it is hard to do so on your own. For many new entrepreneurs, their journey begins with wearing all the hats needed to establish and run a successful company.
Eventually, as your business grows, it is important to understand and focus on certain aspects of your business which will help push for further expansion, instead of micromanaging and wearing all the hats it takes to run a smooth business. This is where your team comes in.
Identify where your strengths are within your company and decide where your time isn’t profitable so you can begin to create roles for individuals who will manage and run that section of your business. This will help you ensure that all areas of your business are adequately covered.
Hire Teachers Not Just “Robots”
A mentor of mine once told me the best people to have on your team are those who not only enjoy learning but love to teach others as well. Essentially, you want to create a community of teachers within your company who will be willing to work together, share different perspectives, and swap ideas to maximize your business potential.
Everyone within your team should be an expert in their field and have the ability to run and grow their department without being micromanaged. These individuals should be able to work cohesively to teach one another and help each other understand new and different techniques that can help improve a product, service, or company overall.
Make Sure They Fit into Your Company Culture
Office culture is very important. A team that gets along with one another, who respects and empowers each other while still completing all deadlines without making mistakes is essential. A cohesive group of people working smoothly together can make all the difference in running a successful business.
If your business culture has an already established positive flow to it, make sure that any future employee you bring on not only fits into the flow but continues to add an enriching professional dynamic to it as well. You could have the opportunity to hire the most highly qualified employee to your company but if they do not fit into the culture, it might be best to pass them up. Don’t mess with a good thing! A happy team will produce high-quality service.
Structure, Structure, Structure!
Recruiting your “special forces” team does not end once the agreement is signed; the next step is the most important one: onboarding. Before bringing an employee into your company, there first must be well-oiled structures in place for every position and for every process that are properly documented.
Structures are put into place to create consistencies throughout the business and to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. For business owners who are looking to open more than one location, these processes help free up your time and allow you flexibility to move around from location to location. Success is not just in the money you generate, but also in having the gift of time — time to enjoy the other facets of your life and not being strapped down to your work desk.
For example, you are the owner of a CPA firm and are looking to hire a new accountant. Once you sign on your new accountant, there should be an easy-to-follow employee handbook (i.e., structure), that can instruct them how to answer the phone, how to pitch and quote a client, how to onboard the client into your firm, how to charge a client, and so forth. It should be the same process for all accountants in your firm so every client receives the same service and information no matter who they contact. Consistency is a key to success.
Inspire and Provide Continual Education
Be a leader and not just a “boss.” Lead your team to success. Create an environment where people feel comfortable and empowered to be themselves, where individuals feel their voices will be heard and ideas will be appreciated. Be open-minded and always remember to give credit where it’s due.
Another great show of leadership is to provide educational tools for your team. This can be online tutorials, books, conferences, or even hiring an external team to come in for personal training. Your Special Forces team may be experts in their fields, but learning is a lifelong experience. By encouraging in-office growth, you will inspire them to come up with new ideas which is essential for any company that is looking for continual growth and to keep up with the ever-changing marketing dynamics.
Business success begins internally. It begins with you and your team. Put together a team that will be loyal to the mission of the company, and you will have a strong foundation for long-term success.
About the Author
Marli Espinales is co-founder and internet marketing manager of Clicc Media Inc. and a creative at heart who has grown of passion for online marketing and business consulting.