When you’re an entrepreneur, you are likely all the leadership the startup needs, as your team is lean to start. However, as your company scales up into a small business, that will no longer be the case. You are only one person, and you cannot be everywhere. That is where your management team enters the picture. The problem you face is figuring out how to build a team that works. Below, an accomplished entrepreneur, Jason Kulpa shares tips you can use to achieve that goal:
1. Sort Out What You Have
Before you start finalizing your management team, you need to figure out what skills you have available between your personnel. Take a look at who you have on staff, and write down what skills you think they have, measurable or not. From there, you can get a better idea of what kind of people you will need to hire or how to train your current staff, so your business is ready for larger operations.
2. Make a List of What You Need
Now that you know what you have, it is time to figure out what you need. Generally, you can just fill in the blanks and either schedule training for your future management team or add those to your hiring requirements. You can also look at what roles your team cannot currently fulfill, such as a chief executive officer or operations manager, and add those positions to your hiring list.
3. Build Relationships with Managers
Your team leaders and managers will serve as your agents in the field. They are the ones responsible for making sure that your orders are followed. You need to trust them, and the only way to create trust is to build a relationship with them. There is no need to become best friends with every leader, but you should have a professional connection with them. That connection will allow the small business’s engine to run as efficiently as possible.
4. Learn to Listen to Your Team
Building a management team is not just about hiring the right people; it is also about how you work with them. Simply dictating orders is not just poor leadership – it also deafens you to the valuable advice you could be getting from people you hired. Listening to your team not only gives you access to their expertise and thoughts, but it can also give you valuable feedback, which can further improve how your company functions. They are on the front lines and will see events and trends you may miss from the top.
5. Give Feedback
If you want a great management team, you will need to guide them to greatness. No team is fantastic out of the box. Putting the team together is just the first step. You need to teach them, and one of the best ways to lead a team is by giving feedback. Schedule monthly meetings for the express purpose of guiding your team to ensure that it is going in the right direction. Even if they are doing everything correctly, have the meeting anyway. Positive feedback is just as important as constructive criticism.
6. Have a Plan
For your management team to be effective, it must have a goal and path to follow. It is up to you to create that goal and direction. Craft a strategy, and show it to your management team to execute. You do not need to get too detailed – that’s what your managers will do. You handle the macro aspect of the business, and they will get to work on the micro.
7. Embrace Adaptability
One of the main mistakes small business owners make when it comes to their team is not giving them enough autonomy. Not letting your team work without your go-ahead or you over their shoulder slows them down and limits their productivity. It might be scary, but you need to let your team do the jobs you hired them to do. Letting them act and react without you makes them more flexible, which allows them to respond more clearly to how the market shifts.
Creating a great management team for your small business isn’t impossible, but it does require you to put in the effort. Great teams do not just happen – they are made, and it’s up to you to make it happen.
About Jason Kulpa
Jason Kulpa is a serial entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of UE.co, San Diego’s Fastest Growing Business multi-year award winner, and a Certified Great Place to Work multi-year winner. Mr. Kulpa is a San Diego’s two-time winner of the Most Admired CEO Award of the San Diego Business Journal and also a semi-finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur award. Under Mr. Kulpa’s leadership, in 2018, his teams volunteered at over 24 events and worked side-by-side to improve the San Diego community. They hosted a gala dinner benefiting individuals with autism, cheered on Special Olympic athletes as they broke their records on the track, and brought school supplies and cold-weather gear to students impacted by homelessness. Jason’s mission is to bring awareness, support, and inclusion for special needs causes.