If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, there’s a good chance you’ve heard me talk about the 5 Ps of Business. These pillars—Promise, Product, Process, People, & Profit—are all essential to success.
But without one of them, your entire foundation crumbles.
People can make or break your operation from both sides. The people you work with, your team, determine how great your business can be. And the people who buy from you, your customers or clients, are who keeps your brand going.
Often, business owners focus all their energy on nurturing their relationships with their consumers. But just as, if not more important, is the energy you put into your own colleagues or employees.
With just a few key strategies, you can change your team from something that adds stress to your plate, into something that takes stress off your shoulders. Let’s dive into how.
The Great Resignation
Alright, let’s bring out the elephant in the room.
Unless you’ve taken up residence under a rock, there’s a good chance you’ve heard that people are quitting their jobs at very high rates these days.
But instead of seeing these resignations as an issue, why not see them as an opportunity?
If you have everything in alignment with your business and you’re proud of the way you manage, then this is a golden opportunity to snag the best people to come work for you. Now, more than ever, you can attract the perfect fits for your team’s culture.
When you do this, it makes a big difference: not only to the way your team interacts amongst themselves, but also to the experience your team is able to give customers. When you’ve got a great team, every aspect of your business is more enjoyable.
Here’s how to make that happen.
Managing a team can be a headache, or it can be incredibly exciting. Some days, it’s a little bit of both.
But the good news is, managing is a skill that you can grow and build on. It’s not a case of being born a great leader or not—there are concrete steps you can take to improve the way your daily operations run. Ready to turn your business into a well-oiled machine?
Make decisions at the lowest possible level
I get it—as an entrepreneur, your business is your baby. You want all decisions to go through you so you can maintain a tight control over every small detail.
But “If you want something done right, do it yourself” isn’t the best mindset to have as a manager.
In fact, if there’s no filter to solve problems before they trickle up to you, you’re bound to get overwhelmed, frustrated, and way too busy sweating the small stuff.
BE the predominant decision maker of your team. But remember that all decisions should be made at the lowest possible level of your organization.
Stay informed and give your input or signoff when needed, but trust the people you hired to be competent and capable.
As your team gets bigger, your employees will become leaders in their own right and start splitting up tasks to the people THEY manage. When done right, it’s a beautiful cycle.
Let your team do their thing
You didn’t hire the specific people you hired just to have more hands on deck.
You hired people who specialized in certain skills, who could bring something new and useful to the table.
So one of the best things you can do as a business owner is to let your team members shine in their areas of expertise!
If the head of your IT department comes to you pitching a solution they think will streamline things for your business, don’t reject their plan and demand that it’s your way or the highway.
Hear them out, collaborate on a solution if needed, and acknowledge that they know more than you about the topic. This is how you avoid conflict and reap the benefits of your team’s special skills.
Don’t be afraid to delegate
The more your business grows, the more you need to let your team take care of bigger responsibilities.
They should have decision making capabilities and be held accountable for the tasks they’re in charge of.
None of these transitions need to be instant. It’s a step-by-step process that involves slowly learning to trust your team while they slowly learn to make the right decisions.
First, look at your list of daily activities and ask yourself, does this need to be done by me? Is this a CEO task? If the answer is no, give it to someone else.
Second, ask yourself what you love to do and what you hate to do. Give the tasks you hate to someone you excels in them!
That way, you can get the most out of your day and free up time to focus on what really matters.
If At First You Don’t Succeed…
You know the rest: try, try again!
This philosophy is exactly how you should teaching your team to take on more responsibilities.
You lead by example, give them the reigns, allow them to fail, and help them do better the next time.
Walk them through the decision process and ask them questions to gauge what they would do in certain situations. Then, work with them to come to a mutual understanding of what is best for the business.
Allow your team to present you their ideas or projects before the final implementation happens! This is a fantastic way to stay in the loop and still have the last say.
Eventually, you’ll get to the point where your team can just give you a recap on what’s been done. That’s when you know you’ve created a great system.
Don’t Forget the Training Wheels
Your team might be able to do amazing things, but one thing they can’t do is read your mind.
During the onboarding process, it is crucial that new hires be shown the ropes. Everyone should have a consistent, cohesive idea of what your expectations are.
Communication = clarity. If you don’t give your employees any momentum, they’re bound to get stuck.
Sometimes business owners get frustrated—they hired an expert in their industry but that person was not an immediate, amazing success on the job.
More often than not, the problem is that this team member just doesn’t know how things function at your business. They aren’t sure how to make you happy.
So rather than seeing this issue as a poor hiring decision—consider if it might be a poor training process. When you invest the time to properly train a new employee, their skills can pay off to the fullest for your goals.
Stay Organized with Project Management Platforms
The larger your team gets, the more chaotic communication can be.
Using a project management platform or workflow tool is the solution.
Stay organized and on time by having all information and files in one place. Then, you can monitor the status of your ongoing projects without having to constantly email your team to check up.
This strategy is not about micromanaging—it’s about being about to self-serve when you want updates on your operations.
The Bottom Line
Find freedom in the people you surround yourself with at work. It is one of the most fulfilling experiences you’ll have as an entrepreneur. Just like the other skills you practice to be better at your job, proper management is one you can’t neglect.
This blog was loosely based on an episode of the Simplifying Entrepreneurship Podcast featuring Jamie Van Cuyk.