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Building a small business team is like building a sports team

23 July 2014 No Comment

canstockphoto2311275During the NBA and NFL drafts, teams analyze their entire roster, look at rough spots from the previous year and attempt to build a team that can bring home the world championship trophy.

The perfect team can bring a stellar record, but that doesn’t always mean stacking your team with superstars. While that can be effective, having role players can make a world’s worth of difference. (If you watched this year’s NBA Finals, you likely saw how San Antonio Spurs toppled the Miami Heat using role players instead of superstars.)

The same can be said about small businesses. Too many people fighting for certain roles can hurt a small business. Not enough superstars can keep it stagnant.

Finding that perfect combination is key, but it’s also an art. Here are some tips to help build the ultimate team.


Motivation over experience

Hire someone who is motivated to work and excel. It’s that simple. Experience says a lot, but a lack of passion can crush a small business.

Ideally, an educated and experienced employee that’s motivated to take his or her talents to the next level is the perfect employee.

Throw questions at that potential employee on how they deal with sudden change, where they see themselves in five years — questions that can help measure how motivated they are.

If they aren’t motivated, move on.


Look for the diamond in the rough

Again, experience is great, but someone that’s moldable is even better.

Those sports diamonds in the rough are the ones that had the average college career and barely made it to the pros. But when they got there, they had minimal bad habits — perhaps less bad habits than the superstars. A coach can work with that kind of athlete and turn them into a great team leader.

The same can be done with a small business.

That means, however, understanding the strength of each individual.


The importance of culture

Small business owners need to “plant the seeds” of their business, according to Xero’s guide on building a great small business team.

“Get them excited about being part of the team and the environment.”

Many of these factors fall back on this idea of finding the motivated employee. Someone that wants to work and be part of the team is the best employee and these types of employees are what helps build a company’s culture.


The final part falls on the business owner

As a small business owner, to get the right employee, the owner needs to sell the right employee. That means being confidant, but friendly. Use “we” instead of “I” when explaining what’s expected.

Most importantly, business owners need to be themselves. Define roles clearly and shoot for the stars.

The right team can create a championship environment.

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