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lenty of elements contribute to business success, the most crucial being an effective team. Whether you own a new business or a small business that’s been around for years, ensure your team has what it needs to thrive and do what it takes to establish a successful business.
Whether your company is large or small, adopting breakout teams is likely your best bet for success. Smaller groups make it easier to stay agile, foster a sense of camaraderie, and remind each other of their purpose in the company. Plus, these groups will help you notice what role each team member plays in the company's success.
With that in mind, here are nine ways entrepreneurs can create a business model that leads small teams to success.
Nine Steps to Lead Your Team to Success
1. Hire For The Right Fit
It’s virtually impossible to lead a solid and successful team if you don’t hire the right people. You want to look for skills, but finding the best culture fit can be even better. Find and choose employees who are willing to work with others, who demonstrate the potential for growth, and who hold similar values to your company’s. Also, keep in mind who will work well within your business plan and business strategies.
You want someone who has the expertise necessary to work for you, but it’s far easier to teach hard skills than to try to change someone’s attitude and personality.
2. Establish Clear Core Values and Purpose
Understanding where your own business is going matters because you need to convey that information to your team. It serves as a guide or roadmap for your team, and it helps your employees understand why they’re doing specific tasks.
It’s helpful to create a set of core values from which your business operates to clarify its purpose. You want to ensure that your employees’ roles in the company contribute to the growth of the business, but also to their own personal growth. These elements foster a positive work culture, motivate teams to work together, and increase company functionality.
3. Foster a Positive Work Culture
Creating a positive work culture will go a long way to showing your team you care. There are many ways to do so: offering a comfortable staff room for breaks and providing snacks are steps in the right direction. For remote workers, you can send out company swag or engage in virtual happy hours. Whether you’re a startup or a more established business, positive work culture is a must.
4. Encourage Creativity and Autonomy
Allowing your team to exercise creativity — whether for product ideas or solving a problem — helps them feel seen and nurtured. Since working with a small team means your employees may be wearing many hats, giving them the autonomy to be creative helps get things done and can increase the chances of them taking ownership of their work. It also gives them a sense of purpose, primarily if you use their ideas to make a difference in the company.
5. Embrace Automation
Freeing up your team’s time from manual or repetitive tasks encourages them to work on ones that require more critical thinking or strategizing. If you automate certain activities, your group can be more productive while moving the needle forward.
6. Invest in Education
As a business owner, one way to ensure your team can succeed is to pay for or provide additional training and learning opportunities. It also shows that you care about your employees as individuals, further motivating your team to work hard.
You can offer education by purchasing things like tickets to industry conferences, events, books, courses, or certification programs.
7. Schedule Brainstorming Sessions
Successful entrepreneurs consistently think of new business ideas or ways to innovate at their company. Likewise, giving your team time to brainstorm ideas is a great method to leverage ideas from multiple sources. You could be surprised at what ideas your team can come up with if you give them a chance, from target market plans to new product ideas. Be sure to enter these brainstorming sessions with an open mind.
8. Enforce Time Off
It’s excellent that your employees want to work hard, but working for long periods could easily lead to burnout or feelings of resentment, which is not something you want any of your team members to feel.
Try your best to aim for a generous paid time off policy. No matter how long it is, be sure your employees take advantage of it. You may have to go as far as enforcing a time-off policy to ensure your team is taking their well-deserved breaks.
Encouraging your team to follow a good work/life balance is also crucial. Find ways to motivate them to enjoy their lives outside of work, whether you enforce a hard stop at the end of every workday or create some flexibility so employees can work nontraditional hours if needed.
9. Celebrate Every Milestone
Growing and maintaining a business is hard work — don’t forget to celebrate your successes! Maybe your team increased your email clickthrough rate by 200 percent, or a team member has found more efficient ways to track inventory. Whatever it is, take the time to acknowledge it to show your employees that you care.
Consider taking everyone on a fun outing, writing thank you emails, or acknowledging your employees at the next team meeting. It can be as simple as going to happy hour for drinks or as complex as going all out and enjoying a full day of activities including your team’s partners and family. Celebrating in this way will lead you both to entrepreneur success and to business success.
At the end of the day, a significant aspect of entrepreneurship is ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working together to drive your company to the next level. Be realistic about what your team can do and respect their need to have a life outside of work.
Entrepreneurial success involves striking a balance between keeping your team inspired and pushing them to work harder while at the same time encouraging them to take time off without consequence. A team that’s focused, compassionate, and willing to work together ensures that your business will thrive for the foreseeable future.
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