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February 12th, 2020
Is your small team buckling under the weight of work for your business? This might be a challenge, but it’s actually great news. In a world when many businesses don’t make it a year or longer, your small team is thriving and growing.
That being said, transitioning your small team into a stable, larger group isn’t always easy. There can be a tension between only and members of the team. It’s important to tread carefully to make sure you know what to expect every step of the way. Here’s how to expand a small team into a larger group once and for all.
First, you need to ask whether or not you really need to expand? A lot of small teams grow too quickly. They find themselves without enough work to go around, and might not be able to afford those extra paychecks. The failure rates for small businesses across several years aren’t very promising, so you’ll want to tread carefully.
Consider the goals of your business and be realistic. There are a lot of solutions that don’t involve hiring full-time or part-time staff. For example, many small teams outsource tasks like marketing, payroll, and so on to take the load off their own team members. This might be a more affordable solution depending on your needs.
Next, it pays to know the ideal team size. According to science, the best size for a team is 4.6. However, this might not be the ideal fit for you. If you already have a team of this size, you might not know where to go for here.
Realize that bigger teams require more complex processes. The larger the team, the less productivity you might experience if you aren’t careful. It’s much easier to stay in control of a small team than a large team. You don’t want to grow too quickly, so stay on top of your ideal team size.
It pays to hire carefully. Making the wrong hiring decision costs your business both time and money. As a small business, you don’t have extra cash or time to waste on the wrong choice. Hiring carefully is about more than just spending a lot of time on each application. In fact, it shouldn’t be about that at all.
When you hire, use every tool at your disposal. Using an Applicant Tracking System is a great way to stay on top of applications and quickly identify the best applicants, especially if you plan to hire several people. Find all things ATS software vendors offer to get started.
A big mistake of small teams looking to expand quickly is to hire people who fit your small team dynamic too much. This creates an environment of homogeneity, or sameness. You want a group of new thinkers. You want your current team to be challenged, and for new ideas to make an appearance.
If everyone belongs to the same identity and way of thinking, you’ll effectively kill creativity. As a small business, you can’t live without creativity. You need to develop a culture of diversity and creativity in the workplace.
If you’ve been working for a while, you’ve probably heard the mantra “hire slow, fire fast.” What does this actually mean in practice and why does it matter? While it might sound harsh, it’s actually the best way to make sure your team is the right fit.
Why waste money and time on a new hire who’s proven they’re not a good match? If they don’t fit the company culture or don’t bring the right skills to the table, you need to find someone else. Even worse is when these bad hires hold everyone back. Similarly, taking the time to slowly find the best hire will help cut down on the need to fire in the first place.
Strengthen Your Team
When you grow your small team, you have the opportunity to strengthen your team. Making sure you have your eye on the right prize. Don’t grow your team for the sake of growth. Make sure now is the right time before you begin your hiring efforts.
From there, be intentional and mindful with hiring. How well will these new members fit in your team? What will they contribute? If you’re critical with the process, you have nothing to fear.
Wendy Dessler is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.