Last week I invited friends to celebrate our business’s milestone. Gathered around a lovely meal, I felt grateful for their support and being part of our journey. Most importantly, I was reminded that having reliable team members is the most important aspect of a business. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to celebrate our milestone.
When I first ventured into entrepreneurship more than a decade ago, I was focused on one thing: making a profit. That meant keeping costs low. I wanted a quick return on my investment and for as many people as possible to know about the brand I was building. I spread the word, received media coverage and the customers came flocking. But I soon came to realise that I had taken on more than I could handle. The business had grown and I needed help with the increasing workload, handling customer requests.
Without the right team, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get far. Along the way, I made it a priority to invest in team members who not only had the skills to do the job, but also shared the passion I had for our business and believed in our mission and goals. Here’s why you need to invest in reliable team members.
Without a reliable team, you’ll be stuck where you are
At the beginning of my business journey, I took on most of the workload, because I couldn’t rely on my team. I spent most of my time training team members. Unfortunately, this is something many start-up entrepreneurs end up going through because they did not prioritise finding the right team members or they would prioritise cost over talent, which ends up impacting profits in the long run.
Not having the right team members meant lost opportunities. I spent the next period searching for team members who were passionate about the vision I had for the business, in addition to having the right skillset to do the job. Once I made finding the right team members a priority, my business performance improved. This takes us to the next important point.
The right team members help you scale your business faster
It’s not just important to have people who can do the job, but those who can help you scale your business. The hiring process took a while, but once I hired reliable team members who also shared the vision I had for the business, we were able to grow and realise our goals faster. My team members had my business’s interest at heart, and they helped me steer it in the right direction. I didn’t have a big team, but they were the right mix and that made all the difference.
Dedicate time to invest in your team members. Look for individuals who are multi-skilled, who have a similar or shared background and interests and those who are driven. Where possible, present them with scenarios to see how they would respond to them, or if they do freelance work, test their work by hiring them for a project.
Building the right team
Whether you are about to venture into entrepreneurship or scaling an existing business, your team members are what makes or breaks it. It doesn’t matter how skilled or smart you are. If you have a business that you plan to grow, you need the right people to help you realise that.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications consultant based in Abu Dhabi. Twitter: @manar_alhinai