Hi, Tom Gaddis here. I own a digital marketing agency here on Maui, and I’ve been sharing some answers to a common question I get from new business owners: What would I do if I had to start over again and build my business from scratch? As I look back, I took way too long to start building a team.
Trying to do everything on your own will guarantee failure as you build your business. You might be able to generate a six-figure business by yourself, but it’s going to be extremely tough. If you want to cross the threshold into a million-dollar business, however, you need a team. I’m going to break down some of the mindshift changes and the steps it took to build the Offline Sharks team with my business partner, Nick Ponte.
By the way, if you want to hear this in podcast form, simply follow this link.
Let’s Get Together
Because Nick and I both ran marketing agencies on Maui, a mutual friend introduced us over coffee. Instead of seeing each other as competition, we started collaborating using our different skillsets. We later combined forces to get clients for our agencies.
Before long, we decided to start putting out information based on what we saw within our agencies and projects we worked on to help small business owners turn their ideas into money-making plans. That’s how Offline Sharks started. We base the information on our continuing efforts to grow digital agencies, get clients, and build a lifestyle-type business without the restrictions of location… or having a controlling boss.
Nick and I recognized that we each had a certain set of skills to leverage for growth. So how did we build a successful team?
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3 Steps to Building Your All-Star Team
Building a team is an investment. Here are three practical ways to start, without even spending a whole lot of money:
- Outsource, Outsource, Outsource!
Many people look to start a business with limited means, and they have fears about the cost of paying to bring someone on. But you don’t have to hire people right out of the gate. Build a rolodex (even a digital one) of people you can get to do things for you. Yes, it feels risky to begin paying other people for certain tasks when you barely generate enough revenue to stay afloat. However, it reminds me of this wonderful adage I heard when I started out: The reason you can’t afford to delegate? It’s because you don’t delegate.
In other words, every investment you make into outsourcing tasks pays off, and usually pays off quickly. Free yourself up to take care of the critical things that only you can.
Have someone on speed dial who you can call when you need a website built. Keep contact info on hand of someone who you can bring in to handle customer support.
This will shortcut your ability to build a team because you can focus on finding business and then bringing people on to help you. You don’t have to pay someone up front to put them on a list of contacts you can call to fulfill services once you have a paying customer.
- Give Up Controlling Every Detail of Your Business
Leverage other people’s skill sets to do what you aren’t good at doing. If someone out there knows how to build websites better than you, hire them to create websites for you. That person can accomplish this service in half the time it would take you, and your time becomes free for you to focus on growing your business.
Remember, the reason you and I wanted to ditch the 9-5? We felt like someone else was controlling our lives and destiny, and definitely making money off of our hard work. Don’t become the very thing you sought to escape by forging your own business future. If someone can do something half as well as you, then turn the task over to them.
These days, Nick and I have dedicated staff members for each detail of our business: customer support, scheduling, content, social media, administration, etc. And we don’t regret giving any of those up.
- Build an Organizational Chart
As you determine who can help you with each aspect of your business, ask yourself these four questions:
- What am I good at that I can teach others to do really well?
- What should be getting done in my business that’s not getting done?
- What do I hate doing?
- What should I be doing in my business that I don’t know how to do?
Then, you can clearly map out the roles and responsibilities of your team and manage expectations for everyone. If you’re visual like us, it helps to lay everything out on one board. Building a team means you set up an infrastructure, freeing you, the business owner, from having to deal with the day-to-day grind and allowing you to start pursuing other interests and revenue generating activities.
You may not see it at first, but the return on investment in your team will help your business grow strong in the long run.
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