Teamwork is essential for your small business. It’s what makes your dreams work. Teamwork creates the structure that can grow with your continued success by providing a collaborative mentality. You can find new, creative solutions to pieces of your business that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.
Orange County Inland Empire Small Business Development Center business consultant, Natalie Murphy, says that when you have a team, you can focus on different areas and put out an excellent product in each of those areas.
The importance of teamwork cannot be overstated. Fostering a synergistic environment with your network will ultimately improve the success of your business and enhance the feedback you receive from your customers and your team. Keep reading for an in-depth look at the advantages of teamwork, and tips and tools you can implement right away.
Advantages of Teamwork
Without outside information and ideas, leaders and business owners could be missing huge opportunities for their business. It’s important to share ideas among your team to encourage creative solutions and build your business. Assorted ideas can also help a good leader find team members that have capabilities outside of their own. Fostering collaboration will cultivate success.
Greater as a Whole
Nobody can do everything on their own. Take it from OCIE SBDC consultant, Lisa Napolitano: “the more you can create a network for yourself around your business, the better you can do sales and marketing.” When you open yourself up to teamwork within your own business or our network, you gain resources and insights that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Surrounding yourself with a team you can trust will nurture a sense of community and accountability for your small business. You presumably can’t be an expert in all areas of your business, but you can divide your work among your team to make up for your weaker areas. Play to the strengths of your team, and your workforce will be stronger and more effective.
Our team of consultants uses that same accountability within our network. North Orange County consultant, Natalie Murphy, emphasized that as a client “you can expect a team that can support you [and] helps you with different things–that can hold you accountable. We don’t do the work for you, we do it with you… [Our network] gives you the tools to be successful.”
When people work together, they don’t just become invested in the success of the business, they also become invested in the success of their fellow team members. As each member learns how to support one another and adapt to the individual working styles, your small business will thrive as it grows. When the team relationship flourishes, they feel more connected to your business and its goals. This builds loyalty, along with team morale and motivation.
Your small business can thrive with teamwork, but only if each member of that team shares the same mission and vision you do. Individual egos within a team will always exist, but a shared mindset put forth by your overall mission helps set a focal point. Being goal-oriented increases your team’s commitment to the business while setting a higher standard. With a shared mindset, the success of the business will always come before the ego of the individual team member. Take some time to sit down with your team and discuss your overall objectives.
Building a Positive Environment
As a small business owner, you always have the success of your business in mind. But that includes the success of your team. Listening to your team and understanding the vital role they play will help them to feel appreciated. With that appreciation comes freedom and innovation for their ideas and decision-making to grow your business in ways you may never have thought possible. Your team will have fun and want to continue working hard to reach your shared goals.
Breaking Down Barriers
Communication is the key to fostering success in all kinds of relationships. For your business, communication among your team can make or break your growth. Ensuring open lines of communication within your team and leadership will promote loyalty, increase productivity, and provide assurances that each team member has all the same information. For communication tools you and your team can utilize, check out the list at the end of this post.
Tips to Promote Teamwork
Teamwork has its huge advantages, but developing a good network for your small business can be difficult. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Your team will have a lot of ideas. It’s important to listen to each one of them–even if they don’t interest you. Showing you’re listening will help prove your respect for their input and your value for their insight.
Respecting your team will create an environment of trust. It will lift team spirit and give your team members the room to be vulnerable and learn from their mistakes.
Your team can’t operate without a flexible mindset. Be open to new ideas and ways of operating that you may not have previously considered. It could lead to new and better things.
Evaluate Your Team’s Effectiveness
Every few months, take some time to evaluate how your team is operating. Consider these three criteria: output, collaborative ability, and the individual development of members. If you find areas in need of improvement, take steps to adjust. For tips on how to identify them, check out this article from Harvard Business Review.
Set Challenging and Explicit Goals
You know your general goals for the success of your business, but setting more specific goals will lead your team in the right direction. Try using the SMART method. Each goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. For a more detailed guide and tools for writing SMART objectives, check out Smartsheet.
Cater to Your Team Members’ Skillsets
Cater your operation tasks to each member to increase your effectiveness. In our network, if your usual consultant isn’t familiar with newly developed issues your business runs into, they can connect you with someone in our network who is. Coachella Valley SBDC consultant, Lisa Napolitano, puts it best, “when you work with somebody at SBDC, you’re not married to that person; or stuck with that person; or restricted to that person for the life of the relationship. You’re plugging into a network of resources, and all the consultants are excellent at tapping into different resources in the network as needed.”
Your team comes up with so many great ideas, but if you don’t act on them, your business won’t reap the rewards. Your team will continue to provide you with creative and innovative ideas if they see their previous ideas being put into practice within the business. Consider allowing your team to vote and decide on which ideas are implemented, to impart a higher sense of collaboration.
Strive for Excellence
This is your small business. Hold your standards high. Average isn’t successful. Average is replaceable. Cement your business’ place in the market by fostering continuous growth for yourself, your team, and your business.
Tools for Collaboration
Monday offers team management software that keeps all your tasks in one place. You can see who is doing what and stay on track with important deadlines. The visually-centered interface is easy to use so your business can stay organized while concentrating on your mission.
Slack connects your team from any location. Its software allows you to have private and group messages, and meetings to keep everyone on the same page throughout your workday without the formality of writing and sending multiple emails.
Zoom has become essential this past year to be face-to-face with your team. When instant messaging isn’t cutting it, use this video conferencing tool to brainstorm with your team.
Google Workspace brings together all your favorite Google tools. Each member of your team can contribute simultaneously to any given project and allow your team to work together virtually in real-time.
Dropbox keeps all your important documents in one place. Every member of your team can add, edit and access your business’ important documents. Their folder and permissions systems keep your files confidential and organized.
Canva is one of the best options for design for your small business. You can create flyers, social media images, presentations, coupons, ads, videos, or anything else you can think of for free! Every member of your team can edit and collaborate with just a link.
For more management tools that you can use for your small business, check out these great articles: