Entrepreneurship and business is often thought of as a solo sport. But ‘no person is an island’ and ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ aren't just some old clichéd sayings. In them are the secrets to running a long term sustainable business.
Before you go jumping and teaming up with just any person, here are some tips to help you form a great team for your business.
1. Looks for opposite skill sets
There are four main parts to any successful business: leadership, operations, financials, and sales/marketing. Most people are strong in one, maybe two, of those areas but rarely is it that you find someone who is a master of all. When building a team you want to find people that have the same mindset as you that no matter what, the business will succeed, but have a different skill set than you.
Picture you and your team digging in a gold mine. You wouldn't go in with four shovels. Chances are your team would be armed with a shovel, light, pick axe and a bucket at least. And if each person mastered their tool, your mission to mine gold would be powered by a well oiled machine.
Different skills when used in unison make getting to the gold easier.
2. Don't necessarily search for a friend
You are looking to build a great company. You're not looking for someone to go shopping at the mall with. You're looking to build and own the mall.
One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make when forming a business team is that they run to family and friends to find allies. This can be great if that family or friend has an opposite skill set as you.
However, you'll probably find better partners in strangers. Business is difficult and when things get rough you may compromise your friendship or make family functions awkward because of disagreements in business. Save yourself the headaches.
Collaborating with someone that is an asset to your company is way more valuable than hanging out with your friend everyday at the office, or working with people that you like. The important thing is having people around you that can get the job done and bring your company success.
3. No ego
There will be tension. Not because your team will hate each other. There will be tension because different skill sets bring different ways of doing things. Truth is no one way will be 100 per cent right or the only way to get a task done.
The key is to not allow your ego to get in the way of accomplishing something great. The more a team can compromise the better that team will work together and produce amazing products and services.
This makes me think of one of my favourite cartoons as a kid, Captain Planet. The only way to get this amazing super hero to appear was for the team to combine their powers (which were earth, fire, wind, and heart).
4. Don’t jump in
When it comes to finding the perfect business partners, patience and observation can go a long way. Watch how they work with other people. Observe them using the skills you lack. Take note what their work ethic is like. See if they go the extra mile in their current job or position.
Before you approach them to team up with you make sure they are someone you want to work with and that will be a valuable asset to your company.
Watching from afar is a great way to see who they really are, because you will get to see the true person. People tend to put on their best behaviour when they know there's something to gain, but when they don't know they are being observed they will act natural.
Being able to collaborate and build a team is one sure way to have a business that will last the test of time. Being able to compromise with your team will ensure you build an environment where people will always be ready to go the extra mile for the success of your business.
This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details.