My wife likes to remind me, “you don’t fly to the moon alone.” And it’s true. You cannot mentally and physically do everything your business needs, even though sometimes you may like to think you can do it all by yourself… Looking back, I’ve discovered four ways to make sure that when you go out on a limb, someone’s got your back. There’s a famous African proverb that sums it up; “if you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.”
Entrepreneurs, like astronauts, need a ground team. If you try to build a company all by yourself, you will end up without crucial support when you need it. By the time you find this out, it may be too late to restructure. You need to recognise this early on, and gather people around you who can help achieve your business goals better and quicker than you can alone. It’s important to learn how to delegate and let go of the management issues to managers.
Look at your business and ask yourself what its most important components are. Pretend you know nothing (even if you do) and identify jobs to fill. You need key employees managing each of those areas, carrying out your vision and plans, and executing the work.
Learn to delegate and to rely on others instead of being involved in every aspect of the business. Then, in order to keep yourself current, meet with your managers on a regular basis.
Besides your internal team, you need to build a team outside the company. Some people call this networking. Another way to see these people is as an extension of your business. They are just as important as your internal team, and in some critical moments, even more important. For example, lawyers, architects, marketing and PR specialists, accountants, and construction companies. It’s worth hiring the best, and even keeping them on a retainer. As an entrepreneur, you need to network. You never know when all these people will come in handy.
Find the right people to support you in each discipline – both in your internal team and through a network of companies and professionals.
Your team should be people you like. And they should have skills you don’t have. You will know quickly if they blend in with others or if they are difficult. If they don’t fit in, let them go, and find new people. Keep doing that until you put together the right team. You will spend a lot of your time with these people. You want your team not to watch the clock but to work hard and follow you. You will probably spend more time with them than your family. So finding the right team is crucial to your success.
Reward your team and build camaraderie through work and play. Retaining and maintaining good relationships with your team is crucial for success.
If you celebrate together with your team – hold birthday parties in your offices, go on weekends away – as well as having fun, you will build loyalty. Put on annual awards parties and give out trophies for the best salesperson and best employee, with prizes for some goofy things as well. Do everything you can together and, over time, your staff will become one big family.
This makes business sense, keeping staff turnover to a minimum and increasing efficiency, but also – you never know when your team will really bail you out.
I’m a seasoned start-up entrepreneur and property financier who built built businesses worth over $200 million. Since 1992, I helped start a bank credit department, founded a mortgage company, and built the largest single-branded real estate company across five countries in Central Europe. I also developed a portfolio of shopping centers and hypermarkets in Eastern Europe, constructing over two million square feet of retail space.
Today I am involved in the entrepreneur community, trying to share what I’ve learned and I serve as a mentor for startups.
I have authored a new business startup report called “How To Start A Business”. This shows you how to find, enter and profit immediately from a high demand market with virtually no competition… what I call a Blue-Sky Market!
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