If you’ve reached this blog post of the series, it means you have already achieved a lot! You know which groups of people are interested in your services, how you are going to target them, and how to transform them into customers. However, you need a team to bring this vision into reality. The people behind a company can lead it towards success or failure. Here are the things I have learned over the years, in order to build a team around your company.
Do you really need employees? : You’re company is still very young; you want most of your budget to go into developing products/services and marketing them. If you can get the job done yourself, there is no need to bring anyone. For occasional assistance, just hire people on a per-project basis, or even hire part-time employees or university graduates. If the nature of the work could be done remotely, you can hire people from websites like oDesk or Elance at an hourly fee. You don’t want to end up paying an employee for a 40 hours/week salary, while they’re being productive less than half of those hours. If you don’t need a full-time employee, don’t bring one. If you feel things are too lonely for you on your own, share an office with other people, work from a coffee shop, a public library…
Once you have decided that you need to hire people, make sure they possess the following characteristics:
- Passionate: If you feel someone is applying for your job, just because they need the money, or just because they haven’t found something better, then do yourself a favor and turn them down. You need people who believe in your company, and are passionate and committed enough in order to make your business succeed, especially in the early stages.
- Fast Learners: When you’re just starting out, you have a lot of things to do. You don’t want to spend half of your time teaching someone to do tasks you could have done faster. Your typical employee should be able to take your directions, do his own research, get back to you with questions and proceed to implementation. Otherwise, things become less productive and you will find yourself progressing at a very low pace.
- Out of the Box Thinkers: People you hire should be able to find original solutions for new problems they face. Your employees should try to solve their own problems before getting back to you. They should at least propose suggestions you can discuss with them. You need people who can think and get creative, not a pair of hands. Many people can execute, but rare are the ones who can improvise solutions.
Once you’ve find the right people and they have joined your team, you will need to provide them with a sustainable work environment, as follows:
- Professional Growth: Exceptional employees are life long learners. An employer needs to continuously ensured that his employees are always working on more challenging projects every time and are gaining valuable knowledge from their current job. No employee wants to look back after a few years and figure out they have learned very little. It’s really frustrating!
- Proper Financial Compensation: Any employee who feels they are being underpaid will lose his passion and eventually pursue a better opportunity. Make sure your employees are properly compensated, and offer them performance-based incentives, such as bonuses, free gifts…
- Appreciation: To me, this is the most important of all. Treat your employees, respectfully, be grateful for their work, and make sure they know about it. We are human, and being appreciated feels really good. Give them a day off for no reason, plan activities with them out of work from time to time. Make sure that your company feels like a family, and I’m sure your team will become more productive! At the end, a relaxed team is key to success!