It’s great when you’ve established and run your own business. You’ve grown it day by day, deal by deal. You know it inside out and you know that no-one can do any of it better or with more care than you. However, there comes a point when you’re keen to grow. You may already have employed quite a lot of people. But, if you find yourself doing nothing but managing them, it’s time to find a new strategy. It’s time to create a management team.
It’s quite understandable if this fills you with dread. Handing over responsibility to an incompetent management team would be a very quick road to ruin. However, unless you do establish an effective management team, you’ll never grow your business.
What you need are some straightforward steps to follow.
Consider the main areas of your business. Who would be best to make it flourish? Running the different elements of your business will require quite different skills. Your sales manager will need an entirely different make-up and outlook from your finance manager or your operations manager.
Once you’ve established how you want to structure your business, start placing people in the roles. There are some important benefits to appointing internally. Your current employees are a known quantity; they know the business (and you should be able to trust them!)
Set effective objectives and ensure your new team members have a clear understanding of the overall business objectives. They then need to understand how their team objectives feed into corporate ones.
You may feel so used to doing everything yourself that you’ll find it difficult to let go. However, unless you find a way to manage effective delegation, your business will never grow.
Delegation does not mean that you’re relinquishing responsibility. You need to learn to keep a short rope on new people and lengthen it as their capability and your trust grows.
There’s something about formal meetings that makes everyone prepare and ensures that they are (and are seen to be) well briefed. Also, the more a team meets, the more it starts to gel and understands different perspectives.
As critical as formal meetings are, there’s something less tangible, which has a huge impact on the team as a whole: bonding. No one is an island. If you want your new management team to work well together, work hard to create opportunities for people to get to know each other, both inside and outside of the office.
Finally, remember that the business is yours. Think about what you really need, not what you simply want. Demand weekly feedback that will provide you with all the re-assurance you need.
Creating a strong management team can be a daunting task, but it’s a vital one if you want your business to grow. What’s more, as recognised by technology entrepreneur, Vivek Wadhwa, assembling a “strong and stable management team” is not just important, it’s “a key to achieving success”. Time to get assembling.
Heather Foley is a consultant at etsplc.com
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