I’m Lauren, I started my first business while trapped in a cubicle and dreaming about a better life for myself and my clients. I spent my days fixing issues I knew I could have prevented... if I'd just gotten to work with the client earlier. So I started - on an ancient laptop with a clipart logo and within 18 months was the owner of a thriving practice.
Have you ever found yourself sitting at your office desk, flicking through “Build My Business” websites and thinking to yourself; “My boss actually might not know what he’s doing. Honestly, I think I do most of the work here. Running my own business is going to be so much more simple. I just need to quit because when I am working full time for myself life will be so much easier than working for this guy.”
Sound remotely familiar?
I’m here to make sure you bundle up that confidence and swagger and properly aim it towards a goal of successful business ownership. I’m also going to tell you the truth – sometimes that’s harder than you think.
Building a small business team is not quite as easy as it sounds.
Your sister in law is a fantastic graphic artist! Awesome. Can she take your constructive criticism? Can she stick to a deadline? Will she charge you appropriately so she doesn’t feel resentful? Is she the best choice for your business growth?
You may need to upskill your HR talents to build a winning team.
First, evaluate the ways to improve your business by considering what you really need in a team. Implement strategies to address those needs within your available resources (for example, does your VA do social media really well or can she balance the books?)
Next, seek team members who can contribute and reinforce your teams’ culture and success. If the way you work is upbeat and communicative, don’t hire a social media person to lacks social skills, even if that person is technically good at what they do.
Have extraordinarily clear boundaries and expectations and ensure your team are on board for your businesses vision.
You hear me mention this a lot through my website, but that’s because systems help keep you on track without overwhelming you with a myriad of decisions to make and items to check.
Your systems should reflect the core principles that you hold dear, while also taking into consideration the inputs from key members of your team.
Start by looking at the current system in place and identifying ways of how it can be improved to suit your exact needs. Find out the best practices used in your industry and evaluate which ones you want to incorporate into your own strategy.
If you don’t create and follow a schedule, disorganisation will quickly consume you.
Try scheduling everything in one planner or app to make life less stressful, since you aren’t always worried about fitting everything in. Scheduling both your work-related and personal commitments in one place means you can assign equal importance to both. But since there isn’t a one-size-fits-all method for scheduling, try a few things and see what works.
There are free web-based apps like Trello or Asana that enable you to create a to-do list each that’s accessible from any device. You can use them to assign tasks to each team member and check in to see their progress and what different team members have on their plates for the week. It’s a great way to stay on schedule.
Your current boss won’t tell you this, but a lot of people end up in management not only because they have exceptional skills for the job. What they carry is an air of capability and capacity to take on leadership positions. You need this in order to make the transition from employee to CEO.
This sometimes means they don’t take advice or they don’t open up the floor for discussion; they make a decision and then work their butts off to ensure it was the best decision.
You don’t have to be a natural-born leader to be a good CEO, but you have to start by upgrading your mindset and believing that you are now the one in charge.
Develop good team management skills by shifting your focus beyond your own desk to much bigger organisational goals, while at the same time, being more aware of each team member’s role and capabilities.
Set a good example by consistently showing support for your team. Give them bonuses, make them feel as if they are an essential cog in your business structure. Studies show it is expensive and difficult to replace a team member, so keep them on task and working for you to ensure absolute success.
I see a bit of this happening between women business owners – we can be a competitive bunch. Respect your own business and its successes, but also respect others’. If you’re putting out negative energy about another woman’s hard work, it’s bound to come back to you.
If money is not on your values system, you will always struggle to have it in your life. Learn to love and understand your money. Have a good grasp on your finances, your accounts, how the money in your business flows.
To believe you deserve money, you need to know you are making it work efficiently for your business.
I know there’s a lot to learn. We all started out here. You have skills and we will make them pay the bills. You’ll need to learn a lot of new things, that’s OK. You don’t need to be an expert on everything, but you do need a solid grasp as new CEO of Company Kick Ass.