“In the same way that your business cannot exist without customers, your business will strain without a great team.”
What is the most indispensable element to creating a business that works? People. While you are spending all your time making sure you are producing a quality product, lining up customers to buy it, tweaking your website, and organizing your schedule, your staff is the variable most easily overlooked. Of course you are going to choose the best staff you can find to make your goals a reality—but now that you employ them, are you giving them what they need to operate at their full potential?
It is your responsibility, as a business owner, to make sure your team is qualified, knowledgeable, and well-trained. The sphere in which your staff operates may be within a typical office setting or otherwise, such as remotely from home; either way, they need to have a deep and functional knowledge of all the material related to their realm of work. Do you have literature describing your company’s vision, a mission statement, or a 5-year plan? Be sure that everyone working for you knows it inside and out. Does your business sell a variety of products? Your staff had better know everything about each product you sell.
Each Member of Your Team is an Extension of You
Do not forget that everyone you employ represents you, and they serve as a point of contact for your customers and the larger public. Whether they are in charge of sales, advertising, or technical support does not matter; the same goes for all—each team member must have an intimate knowledge of what your business does. Furthermore, your entire staff should be able to fully describe, when asked, the details of your product or service and answer any questions a client may have. This may seem like a tall order (and the process may take a while), but this is one of the things that sets a business apart from others.
Communicate with Your Team
Have you ever worked at a job where the owner or general manager seemed to never be present, and you barely received any direction at all? Even though someone can still function under those circumstances (if they are highly self-motivated) how can you expect your team to operate according to your standards, if you do not converse with them? There should always be an open channel of communication between you and your team.
Hold Regular Meetings
Some say that the problem with business people is that they have too many meetings; they are constantly meeting with each other instead of getting things done. There is probably a lot of truth to that. The opposite extreme, however, is just as bad because it is difficult to keep everyone on the same page when you do not get everyone together once in a while. The direction of your business, policies, products, etc. will change over the course of time as you grow, and everyone working for you must be privy to these changes.
Let Them Run With It
One of the greatest sins a business owner or manager can commit against his or her staff is micro-management. If you have selected quality people to work for you and trained them well, then you can trust them to do what you hired them to do. That does not mean that you should not implement some oversight—after all, you naturally want to make sure your business is operating as it should. Excessive oversight is problematic for you and your team, though, because they will become less confident or even disgruntled, and you needlessly stress yourself over the work that you have hired your team to worry about. Trust your team.
Take Care of Your Team, and They will Take Care of Business
The more perks, benefits, and reinforcement you can provide for your staff, the better. In the first place, this will attract quality people to work for you, but it is also a matter of maintaining a high level of morale. Ask yourself what you would appreciate from an employer, and provide those things for your team.
Recognize that the people working with you are essential, and when you approach them with the proper treatment and direction, your staff will function at a level that you did not even know they were capable of reaching. In the same way that your business cannot exist without customers, your business will strain without a great team. When each member of your team is happy, confident, and well-prepared, your business can really thrive.
Considering hiring a remote team? This post will help you decide:
Remote Employees: Are They Right for My Business?
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Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.