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Josh and Jill have been working hard for a few years now getting their business of the ground.
They both join us for the 50th episode of Smart Brand Marketing.
I’ve already interviewed them both in the documentary I filmed a few years ago. It’s called “Your Own Way Out.” During that time we were all in Bangkok and were both living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. After that they moved to Canada to get their business to the next level. Then I heard they wanted to get out of there and I reached out to find out how things were going.
Enjoy this episode.
- A formula for producing podcast episodes that get popular
- Insights of working together as a couple
- Building a connection with members
- Travel vs home base
- Their marketing & sales funnel
- How they monetize their site
- Strategies for growing a Facebook group
- Assumptions vs reality
A Serious Case for Team-Based Management: Why You Should Consider Letting Other People Run the Business with You
You should understand that running a business is not exactly the most rigid process out there. It actually provides for a lot of leeway for those who venture into their respective markets while also laying down the ground rules on how to succeed.
One of the biggest debates in business management has always been whether or not you look for a team to run your business with you or do everything on your own. Now, there’s nothing exactly wrong with running your business on your own but there are some advantages to finding other people who can run certain aspects of it for you.
Is Running a Business On Your Own Disadvantageous?
The short answer is yes. While there’s no doubt that you will eventually learn how to do everything by yourself, running a business on your own can only take you so far before everything becomes a chore for you. Being the sole manager might have its perks but, for the sake of discussion, let’s look at the reasons why that management system is not the best business model out there now.
- 1. TimeSimply put, time is a commodity that you are always in short supply when running a business. Even if you have all the time to attend to all your priorities for the business at the start, you will soon find out that those priorities start to pile up until you can’t have time to do them all.That grind is not as obvious when your business is small but, once you start expanding your business, you’ll see that things start to get unmanageable to the point that you’ll take more effort just to make ends meet on a regular basis for the business. Just a single person can halve that strain for you. A team? Even better.
- 2….And Master of NoneThey say that people that run their business on their own tend to become jacks of all trades as they have to learn a lot just to keep everything running. Management is a broad topic, after all, which includes subjects like advertising, production management, accountancy, risk management, taxation, business laws, and market research, just to name a few. If you run your business on your own, you can expect to have a crash course at any of these subjects sooner or later.Of course, that (as the idiom would say) will take you so far as eventually you’d spread yourself too thinly. There might be people who managed to pull off running their business on their own even as it grew but they are more of the exception than the rule.
You can’t expect to learn everything because the truth is that no one can. But one of the key skills you will master in every trade is the ability to make connections with experts in other fields. For instance, a person who knows a lot about marketing can complement the skills of a production manager while an accountant can tag team with a financial manager to handle the money side of things. And so on and so forth.
- 3. You’re Not InfallibleOne of the biggest advantages of doing things on your own is that nobody is there to tell you that you’re doing things the wrong way. You might think that your decisions are great for the business but no one will be there to either confirm or deny that for you. In the end, you’d be implementing your strategies half-certainly or, worse, just making things up along the way.The beauty of teamwork is that it’s compatible with the concept of checks and balances. Everyone can make sure that everyone is following the plan and give their input on matters they know best. If done right, the chances of you making mistakes for the business are marginally lower.
- 4. Learning From OthersEventually, the expertise of a person eventually rub off on you. For instance, spending a lot of time with someone who’s an expert with web design will allow you to learn the basics of it by working with them. You might not have gone through the same training as that person underwent but your constant interactions with them allow you to get the gist of their work; even in a layman’s point of view.That person does not even have to be an “expert” just for you to learn something from them. Perhaps they have been keeping up with the recent trends of the industry or have gone through a short course and are itching to pass their newfound knowledge to someone else. Either way, what you can gain from a team is something that is not available if you do things on your own: insight.
- 5. Running a Business Alone is RiskyWhen you run your business on your own, you cannot expect it to be more successful than team-managed ones. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of small businesses out there that have failed because their owners tried to do everything alone. They’ll eventually realize that doing everything is impossible but, at that point, it’s too late to course correct.Also, there is the fact that running things on your own tends to be a expensive decision. Sure, you might save more on salaries but the costs will go far beyond financial terms. You’d lose valuable time learning things, you’d expend your energies faster trying to manage multiple aspects at one and, of course, you’d shoulder all the stress that comes with running with the business. It doesn’t take an expert to tell you that that is not healthy for you in the long term.
A team, on the other hand, can help you save on valuable resources. With a wider pool of knowledge, you won’t have to waste time going through courses. When you have more than one person adding their expertise, you can focus your energies on other pressing issues for the business. With a team to brainstorm strategies with you, you’d lose less sleep trying to figure out how to make your business successful. And so on and so forth.
Hiring The Right People for the Team
Now that you’ve been sufficiently convinced why going solo is not the best course of action for your business, you need to also understand that you don’t need just a team to succeed. You actually need a great team comprised of the right kind of people.
The best team will be different for each business depending on what it does and in what market it operates but the qualities of the best people for the job always remain the same.
Willingness to Learn
Some business owners think that a person who comes in early, stays in late, and regularly corresponds with you is a good employee. More often than not, all of these are just ways to impress you and not actually help the business meet its goals.
You will need people who understand the fundamentals of making the business successful and then put their thoughts into practice. Even if they are tasked with the most mundane of activities, they will do it accurately and in the most efficient way possible.
Fitting in with the Culture
It’s often said that in business culture is far more valuable than strategy and that can be true. You can have the most effective strategies laid out and have the best tools at your disposal but if your people have trouble fitting in with the culture, then your business is not going to progress much.
You need to find employees that have no problems fitting with your business’s culture, whatever it is. The goal here is to make them align with a philosophy that can help your business grow while, of course, also ensuring that they get along with the rest of the team.
Learning from their Past Work
Here’s a little trick that you might not have known off. All those impressive credentials that people put in their resumes? They are nothing but filler for that document. Sure, a person might have come from an Ivy League college or finished with a lot of awards in school but what you would be looking for is in their work experience.
Sure, you can wonder why that person went from job to job within a period of time but the more important matter here is if they learned something from their past jobs that they can bring into your business. For example, time spent as a software tester might look inferior next to a degree in computer engineer but the former can tell you that that person has had actual experience spotting faulty programming more than the latter.
Making a Connection with the Team
Since we’re talking about forming a team here, it’s best that we understand that the team and the leader (i.e. you) do not have to operate on a mutually adversarial relationship. You still own and manage the business, there’s no doubt about that. It’s only that there are people now that can help you improve your business.
This is why you should develop a strong connection with your business’s team and here’s how:
- 1. Be VisibleLook, just because there’s a team that can handle things for you doesn’t mean that you can fully disappear into the background as the business’s leader. Your team should have no problems finding you when they need to and you yourself need to devote a lot of time into the business. Keeping an open and constant line of communication with your team does help in ensuring company morale stays up.
- 2. Meet With Your Team as Often as You CanEven if you are that busy, you should always give time to directly interact with your team. The best business owners out there actually schedule their meetings with the rest of the group to address some issues or ask for their insight on certain matters. If possible, you should do this an hour before you open for business and also an hour before you close it for the day.
- 3. LBWA = Leadership By Walking AroundThis is perhaps one of the simpler yet effective methods of maintaining a strong line of communication with your group. Here’s how it works: you just step out of the office for a walk around the business, stopping by desks to see what they are doing or what is going on inside the business and out. A bit of small talk also helps if only to assure your team that there’s some humanity in you.This is also the opportune time for you to listen and observe your team in work. How do they interact with each other? Which ones need to improve on their work? What problems do they usually have to face? A quick stroll around the business can yield to you a lot of information that you can use to improve your business.
- 4. Celebrate Small VictoriesYou’d be surprised at how recognition of achievements can boost morale in your team. Whenever somebody goes above and beyond the call or has helped the company achieve one of its major goals, they should be congratulated for it. It would also work better if you yourself will personally thank them for their hard work (a little reward like a bonus does help, too).
Whatever the case, it’s your duty as a leader to help your team remember the milestones they have reached and urge them to reach for higher goals.
There is nothing actually wrong with doing things for the business on your own. However, weighing the pros and cons, you can see that allowing others to help you run the business poses far more benefits than opting for the solo route.
What you have to keep in mind is that it will take effort to come up with your own excellent team for the business. Do it right, and you should have a group of people that can do more than just tell you how to run your business right.
Have you tried looking for support in running your business? What other qualities are you looking for in your team? The comments section below is open for all sorts of discussions.
- Screw The 9 to 5
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