8 steps to create an effective team
Updated: Jul 3
Why an effective team is so important to a business owner
The business world that we operate in has radically changed in the last few months and may never return to previous norms. Nonetheless there are and will continue to be opportunities for those business leaders that are prepared to think out of the box.
We have previously looked at the importance of establishing a plan but even the best plan will be consigned to the scrap heap if you do not have an effective team that can deliver the plan for you, thereby allowing you to spend the time necessary to think about the future direction of your business. In this article, we look at 8 simple steps you can take to achieve the results you are looking for.
Entrepreneurs often find themselves in a position where the business they so enjoyed creating becomes a “job” and they have been enslaved to what they have constructed. In the process they have “become” the business, which means that the business cannot run without their presence.
Even in businesses who have good employees, owners often do not feel confident that they can leave their operations for any time and when they do, they find themselves needing to be in constant touch by mobile or email with what’s going on back at the office.
While the owner may be convinced that there is no other way, the reality is that their team probably does not. More importantly the business has probably already reached a plateau of profitability because there is simply no extra time to do many of the things the owner would like to do to make more money or build their business further.
Let’s for a moment examine this issue of time because this is what a business leader needs to create more of in order to implement any changes. In a business context, time and money are basically the same thing. However, time is a resource that is limited to the number of hours in a day but by making better use of your team it is possible to get a better return out of every hour that is expended.
8 simple steps to create an effective team
Unfortunately, many business owners simply cannot get used to the idea of delegating and many have become accustomed to doing all the most important jobs personally, and the thought of trusting “what really needs to get done” to another seems unthinkable. Yet to grow significantly the idea that "delegating is impossible” has to be overcome simply because of the limits in time that is available to you.
2. Objectively analyse your business in depth
Before delegating any tasks take time to stop, stand back and get a fresh perspective on what your business is actually doing. Finding out what your business is actually doing will not only reveal a lot of things that may have gone unnoticed but may also enable you to make some very quick changes that will greatly improve the way your business functions.
3. Motivate your team members
Employees are more likely to stay motivated if they know what’s going on. So many business owners are secretive about their objective and only inform people when there is a perceived need to know. Turn that concept round and begin to put in place a regime where everybody is told what is going on unless there is a very good reason not to. Also, understand what the employees are looking for in their careers and ensure your plan helps them to progress.
4. Detail what each person does
As part of the analysis of your business, detail what each person in your team does. This is more than simply getting a copy of everyone’s job description. As a business develops many of the tasks of any particular employee’s job most likely has evolved along the way, and many people may be straying (rightly or wrongly) into other aspects of what they are working on. What a person is actually doing as opposed to what they are supposed to be doing may surprise you in a good way, or a not so good way! Either way knowing what is going on is important!
5. Look to improve
Completing the analysis will enable you to make critical and informed judgements about
what is working and what isn’t. For example it should identify:
Those tasks which are most time consuming, and why
Tasks that are most productive
Tasks which, if eliminated, may not make a difference to anyone
Tasks which cause the most stress
Tasks which are the most rewarding
Once identified, use the input of your team to change the situation for the better. People doing a task will usually have a better insight on how to fix a problem than the owner.
6. Making it easy to do business with you
Making it easy to do business with you applies to all levels of a business but in particular the team must understand what are the most likely needs and problems of the customers so they know what to do and how to answer all the likely questions.
Team members should also be encouraged to maintain the “right attitude” and to understand that their objective is to present a positive, eager attitude. First impressions tend to be the most lasting impression. That’s why even the person who answers the phone or the person of first contact is so important.
Doing the basic, simple things can be deceptively easy to forget so always make sure that your team understands that:
It’s impossible to provide too much service;
Team members should always be open, informative and approachable
Team members should be obsessive about following-up with customers
Team members constantly strive to ensure that the process of ordering and buying is super easy
7. Recruitment and Training
Getting the right employees means hiring the best people from the start however, hiring good people is always tricky. Lots of people are adept at making themselves look good on paper, but you never know who you are getting until that person shows up and starts work. A systemised recruitment process that does not have to be reinvented every time someone new is recruited is essential in keeping the business on track.
Furthermore employees need to know what they are supposed to be doing and how to do it. They need training and guidance. Successful business people realise early that the best way to build a profitable business is by having the right people then training and treating them well, making sure they are happy in their work, and paying them a reasonable amount. It is an absolute fact that employees who are well looked after are more productive.
8. The exit strategy
Every business owner should have an exit strategy. Why? Because in the process of making it ready to potentially sell streamlines the business; making it more efficient, systemised and with proper processes policies and procedures in place. One definition of business is an entity that runs itself. Think about it. If the owner has to be in their business all the time for it to run, they probably don’t really have a business supported by a productive team – what they have is an organisation made up of a number of individuals.
If you would like help to build a more effective team so that you can remove yourself from the day to day running of your business and get on with leading and building your business, send us an email or call on 020 7965 7216.