This morning I was reading an article on American Express Open Forum entitled, “5 Reasons Why You Need a Social Media Dream Team,” which got me thinking about my own company’s own “dream team,” the people I want on it, and how I’m going about building it.
Why You Need a Dream Team
Before you can build it, you have to believe that you need a dream team. As a small business owner, it’s easy to become complacent in our roles and just accept that we wear all the hats, but that’s probably a mistake if:
- We hope to build thriving and sustainable businesses that don’t require our physical presence to keep them afloat,
- We hope to eventually sell our businesses, retire, or at least have one or both options available to us, and
- We want lives and some semblance of balance outside our businesses.
The bottom line is that we are not islands, and we don’t have to build our businesses by ourselves. With the right plan, a little patience, and some persistence, it’s possible to build a dream team, and possibly achieve more than you ever imagined for your business.
Who’s On Your Dream Team?
You’ve established that you need a dream team, but now who do you need on it? Each business will be slightly different in its needs, and every business owner will have his or her own preferences about who to include, but here are a few suggestions for who might make up your company’s dream team.
Your Marketing and Advertising Team
No matter what your business, one of your primary goals should be meeting new people in your target market and finding prospects who might become customers or clients, but as with many other responsibilities of a small business owner, it’s easy to get behind with marketing and lead generation, which makes this the perfect area to look for dream team members. Some of the possible roles and responsibilities to cover might include:
- Networking (in-person and online),
- Direct marketing (sales letters, email marketing, sales calls, etc.),
- Web marketing (managing your website, PPC advertising, search engine optimization, etc.),
- Event management (managing speaking engagements and events),
- Publicity and promotion (managing guest posts, media opportunities, etc.),
- Social media (managing Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), and
- Advertising (radio, television, magazine, Facebook, sponsorships, etc.).
Also, don’t forget that with lead generation comes leads, metrics, and a database to manage, so it might be helpful to have someone overseeing the admin side of your marketing and advertising efforts.
Your Operational Team
You’re in the business of selling some type of product or service, and while you might be the primary person delivering those goods or services, you should always be thinking of ways to leverage your efforts. This might include team members who oversee:
- Product and service development and/or delivery,
- Customer service and current customer accounts,
- Your editorial calendar and content generation efforts,
- Your financial picture, budget, and taxes,
- Your schedule and personal/in-house organization, and
- Human resources, training and education.
How to Build Your Dream Team
Once you know who you want on your dream team, the next and probably longest step is actually building it, and this is where you’ll need a big dose of patience, creativity and persistence. One approach I’ve been implementing more recently is the use of interns. Rather than trying to locate highly-targeted virtual assistants (which, for me, wasn’t proving to be a successful method), I’ve been able to find ambitious, creative college students who are studying to go into the different lines of work that fall under my business.
Not only does this approach help me find motivated, talented and specialized support for my business, it also helps me find prospective permanent hires who are being both trained and screened as we go.
Building a dream team for your small business is possible, if you know the goals you’re trying to achieve and then find creative ways to fill the gaps and find support. While I can say that building a team hasn’t been the easiest part of running my business, it’s certainly opened my mind to new possibilities for growth and improvement.
Looking for some tips on how to recruit your dream team? Check out this recent post from Huddle’s Andy McLoughlin on using the web to find a team of peers.
Who would be on your dream team, and what methods are you using for building it?