For most start-ups, the reality is that entrepreneurs simply cannot hire as many staff members as they would like. While there are advantages to operate “lean and mean,” such as reduced costs and the flexibility to “pivot,” managing a small team can bring its own challenges, including disorganisation and burnout.
I’ve found some of the biggest challenges arise when it comes to hiring, staying organised, remaining energised and prioritising.
Here are four strategies for managing teams of fewer than 10 people:
Your staff needs to be able to do multiple tasks and not require direction all the time, so it is important that the staff members should be flexible and independent. Rather than hiring via fixed channels, should look for graduates of programs such as the Start-up Institute, which offers training in entrepreneurial studies. Candidates with such type of training might be better prepared for the real environment of the start-ups and also they won’t be just expected to do their job only. And look for people who can demonstrate their buy-in to the business.
Focus on organisation:
When you are juggling hundreds of tasks among a team of only a few people, it becomes important that all the ideas and tasks are documented. Otherwise, it is easy to overlook important pieces of your business.
One golden rule is to never cancel meetings. Once you start cancelling or delaying your one-on-one staff meetings, your team can get quickly off track. To avoid such situation you can take help of google.docs allowing you to keep all the documents save and up-to-date.
When people are working in start-ups (early-stage), the reality is that there is always much more work to do. It can never be done with the nonstop pace, it is difficult to step away.
Productivity will be of much higher level during the week, if everyone is focused and rested. For example, go home at night, plan your trip or vacations and insist your team does so too.
The fact is that your small team will not be able to perform and achieve every single task which a big team can accomplish. You shouldn’t get caught up in the need to act like a big business. Find out the most important tasks which will make the major impact on the result which you need to achieve. If you have clear goals, you will be able to accomplish them by doing less work than you would normally think is possible.
Even though small teams face their own challenges, there are many advantages and perks as well. Small and close teams, especially which are at early-stage, develop a strong sense of companionship as they work toward their common goal of building a new business. With some strategic management tactics, small teams can conquer the world.
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