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The “Team” in a small business is “the business”…

The word team has become synonymous with sports. The coach emphasizes the team effort and that it takes everyone playing together to win. In the business world the word “team” has grown to mean a variety of different things, but it is most always a group within the enterprise that gather together to achieve or create something new.

My favorite definition of the word “team” is “a group of people who need each other to accomplish a result”.

In the world of small business the word “team” takes on a different meaning. The team is everyone that is involved in the initial growth and development of a company. A team can be as small as two people, perhaps an owner and a spouse; it can also be the owner and several employees.

A team has to learn to trust each other, to listen to each other and to always tell the truth as each team member sees it. How will decisions be made, and by whom? Teams must learn the art of forgiveness because mistakes will be made, and they must not be turned into future politics within the firm.

The entire team must know where they are going; what the goals and the strategies are to get there. When developing a Value Based Strategic Focus Plan as many team members as possible should be involved in the actual planning process. For those not intimately involved in creating the plan, the final plan must be explained in such a way that everyone is willing to come “aboard” and work for the greater good.

Many small businesses stifle their growth by keeping the staff, small as it may be, from knowing where the firm is going and how it plans to get there. Not all staff members may be able to participate in the overall plan implementation; but each person has a piece of the puzzle that they are working on and which, ultimately, will fit into the big picture and help accomplish the firms goals.

Team building skills such as communications, courteous behavior, building strong relations, etc. “usually represent a challenging discipline – intellectually, emotionally, socially and spiritually” for all the participants.

I believe that a team can better develop goals, skills and good working relationships if it has an outside facilitator during the formation stage and ongoing coaching support as the business grows.

If a small business develops the “team mentality”, it will maintain harmony and will always expand the team with future members that will share the same values.

Someone once said “no man is an island”. That statement is especially true in a small business.

Nick J. Petra CFP                   subscribe to this daily blog and monthly newsletter on our company site.

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