Building a small business team

One of the questions we often get asked at Mojo is “What does it take to build a great team in a small business?”

With experience owning successful businesses and supporting 1000’s of SME’s over the past 20 years, we’ve found it really comes down to 3 key points for you to consider as a business owner

1. Get really clear on what you want to create for yourself and the business

It’s about your vision, your WHY.

Why did you start the business? Why do you feel you’ll be fulfilled if the business succeeds and why are you putting yourself out there with this particular business?

It may sound cliché but as the business owner you are creating your own mini community, not just for your customers but your team as well! You need to create and demand clear expectations on how your business will operate internally and from there, deliver to the public.

Make the time. Invest an hour to sit down with a coffee and a notepad and ask yourself these

questions. You might be surprised at what you find. It sounds like pretty simple stuff but it is highly uncommon for most business owners to articulate it let alone have it documented.

2. ONLY get people on board who align with your vision

It’s not enough for you to have a clear vision. Your team must believe in your business goals and vision also. They need to understand it and be committed to delivering on it. Think of them as the guardians of your business’s goals and direction.

One thing all successful teams have in common is that they are working towards a goal that is bigger than themselves or their self-interest. If your team are not clear about WHY they are doing what they do, they will end up doing what they WANT to do and this is rarely in the best interest of the business.

You NEED team members that want to contribute to the growth and direction of the business. This is not a ‘nice to have’, this a priority. If they are not doing this, they are taking away from the efforts of those who are.

Don’t underestimate how quickly one negative team member can disrupt and kill a culture no matter how many great team members you have.

3. ONLY employ people that bring a skillset and passion that elevates the team

Sounds simple, but surprisingly it is one thing business owners regularly get wrong!

It needs to be abundantly clear how each person is increasing the teams ability to deliver and grow. If it is not clear then you need to ask yourself why they are on the team.

Running a business can be tough, especially in Australia, and you need to make sure you are giving yourself every opportunity to succeed. The recruitment process isn’t easy and can be a very costly exercise - due to this, businesses are often more content to keep staff they know aren’t quite right rather than find the ones who are.

Your team are the biggest ASSET in your business, so only allow people to be part of it who deserve to be there.

How do you do this?

The old saying of Hire Slow, Fire Fast is important for small business. You don’t have the capacity to carry toxic staff like a large business does. They can destroy a culture and business 10 times quicker than it took you to build. Owners quite often hold on to people long after their use by date out of fear of not having the extra hands on board. You may believe you are looking after your business needs, but in our experience holding on to these staff is actually doing exactly the opposite -  sometimes you have to deal with short term pain to keep the business on the right track.

Second, don’t be afraid to hold out until you find the right person. Too often we get scared of not having enough people and so we just take what we think is the best of the bunch. Don’t waste your recruiting process by settling for the wrong people. This results in high staff turnover, a team that is not aligned with your vision and becomes a revolving recruitment door which leads to far greater ongoing cost. All this can be fatal to your growth.

The final thing most businesses get wrong is that they are looking for the wrong qualities in their next team member. If you keep simply replacing someone that has left, without really getting clear on your vision, you quite often just go with someone you like, or that will do the role ‘the way it’s always been done.’

These are exactly the reasons why we started Mojo Recruit. Interested to see how we can help



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