This week, Lisa Forde, owner of stationery business The Card Gallery shares her top tips for building a great team for your business.
In June of this year, we’ll be celebrating the 10th birthday of The Card Gallery!
It’s only at milestone moments that I really take a moment to consider all that we’ve achieved, 2 thriving websites, hundreds of happy wedding couples who’ve received their wedding stationery from us, a brilliant team of staff and some very trusted suppliers. If you’re starting your own business and are in the planning or early stages then my tips of how to build a winning team will hopefully come in useful…
Do it yourself
If you’re starting a business from scratch rather than purchasing an existing business, it’s likely that you’ll have to work at the grass roots level for a while before you can grow your team. This may mean that you’ll need to wear several different guises, being everything from director to sales person to tea maker. Whilst all of the roles you’ll need to do may not be your strengths, this period of time will give you invaluable experience and knowledge enabling you to train and brief others as your team grows.
Build relationships with your suppliers
Hopefully you’ll have sourced some products and services that you want to continue offering long term. These suppliers are crucial to the longevity of your business so keeping in touch and paying them on time can go a long way to nurturing these relationships. If you have feedback for them, make it constructive and prompt, don’t save it all up to have a rant at them.
Be sure the staff you are recruiting will fit into your team
If you’ve grown your business and are looking to build your team, think carefully about the staff you are recruiting. In a small company, you have the opportunity to build a really strong close-knit group, but if a new recruit won’t fit well into the team, it will spoil the dynamics for everyone.
As your business begins to grow, take a step back to consider if you could outsource certain elements of the business, areas where you are not so confident or experienced for example. Whilst there is a financial cost of doing so, such a move would give you more time to focus on your core business.
Keep a careful eye on businesses who supply your services
If you’ve outsourced elements of your business, don’t forget to keep an eye on how things are going – this is for 2 main reasons, 1) It is probably costing you a lot of money and will cost you a lot more if they’re not carrying out tasks as you require and 2) to be sure the arrangement is working well for the outsourcing company – a relationship that works well for both sides is likely to be a long lasting one.
Consider the businesses who supply to you
In the early days of outsourcing, The Card Gallery used several larger companies and agencies. As time has gone on, we’ve preferred the more personal service offered by small business owners, allowing us to build long lasting relationships which benefit us jointly. Larger companies have many plus points but we found we were often moved from one account manager to another as personnel changed and our business was not as crucial to them as a small business.
And finally….be patient…remember things will take time and success won’t come overnight. The plans and actions of today may not come to fruition until next week or even next month but keep going…you can do it!