Tips on How to Build a Great Team
In 2006, I created InnerCircuit, a software-as-a-service company which quickly grew into a national payment and communications hub for residential property managers and renters. In 2012, I co-founded DesksNear.Me, a marketplace that connects mobile workers with available desk space all over the world; the “Airbnb” for desks. This lead to the launch of our ‘platform as a service’ called Near Me at the end of 2013 for brands and entrepreneurs to create their own peer-to-peer marketplace. After creating my first company, I found it important to reflect on what I’ve learned as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs tend to be eager and proactive people and those who succeed are those who take the moments of reflection seriously, so as to not repeat bad habits and lead their company in the wrong direction. Looking back I see a few things that are key to building a successful team.
Focus on Culture
I wasn’t thinking about this when I was hiring new team members at my previous company. I rushed hiring and I didn’t think about the little things that matter. There is so much value in taking your time interviewing and searching for the right expert who not only knows their industry but fits well within your company. Leading is your ability to guide, not just hire, and the overall well being of your team is dependent on the teammates you choose.
13 percent of Americans are involved in a startup. In the San Francisco Bay Area, every other person is a CEO or Co-Founder and the gossip of the latest startup can be overheard at many dinner parties. Even if the competition is high, there’s one thing I’ve learned and that is to work as if your competitor is right on your heels. This means, even if you don’t technically HAVE a competitor, you work as if someone else will get ahead of you any second. Remember, life doesn’t function as a normal 9 to 5 workday when you’re running a startup.
Sometimes hardworking entrepreneurs need to be reminded to make things fun. I learned my own happiness is only as good as the happiness of my team. It’s important to find moments to breathe and enjoy the process. Whether it’s a team outing or making sure to get your own personal fitness routine in order, stress can very quickly negatively influence your interaction with your team and indirectly the progress of your company.
The above tips can also be applied even before starting your company. I spent time “courting” my now co-founder of Near Me and that process was very important to the success of our company. We learned how we work independently and together, strengths and expectations. Take your time to focus on your company’s culture, work hard and have fun. In the end, you will be far more satisfied, your team will be happy and if you’re lucky, your company will reflect those same values.
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