The right people can make any business thrive – but finding the right team is especially important to a small business looking to grow.
Here are seven of the best employees to boost a small business. Filling your office with these star performers will ensure that you have a go-to for virtually any situation, from the last-minute trade show to the irate client.
Finding someone who believes in what you do – the product, the business model, the management style – is critical for an emerging business. “The most important quality we look for is dedication,” says Sara Kopamees, owner and editor-in-chief of interactive publishing company Industry Media.
“Whether the candidate is junior or has many years of work experience, it’s important that they have the capacity to show commitment to their role and the team. Every person’s role is critical, especially in a smaller business.”
In a small business, pretty much every employee will likely have some kind of contact with the customer on a regular basis.
With that in mind, it’s important to have at least one (ideally, many more) trusted ambassador to set the tone for your brand. First impressions matter, and so an employee who exudes professionalism, energy, and confidence is someone you can trust to be the face of the company at any time, from industry events to recruitment fairs.
Just because you’re running a business doesn’t mean you necessarily have that natural ability to keep a schedule running smoothly and the budget on track. If you don’t have these skills, you definitely need someone on your team that does.
And it’s not just about project management: an organizer will remember birthdays and vendor contacts, take meeting notes without being prompted, and, in short, do all the little things that no one else thinks to do.
Some people are born to impart knowledge. Having a seasoned team member that will help your younger hires to grow and thrive will ensure that your workforce only gets better with time.
And, it’s increasingly easy to find experienced professionals looking to join startups and small businesses: as we mentioned earlier this year, more and more individuals are retiring, only to find that they have years of productivity left in them – so they turn to smaller companies to impart their knowledge.
The smaller the business, the more the lines are blurred, in terms of responsibilities and duties.
We’ve already discussed with Lisa Taylor how this can actually attract top talent away from larger companies with more rigid structure, because it gives them the chance to continually learn and grow. But it also means that you need employees that are able to pair their specialized abilities and expertise with flexibility, initiative, and a desire to learn.
In a close-knit team, you need employees that work well with others. You need employees that will support and encourage each other. You need employees that can communicate and collaborate with ease. Competition and rivalry will bring your company’s momentum to a screeching halt.
But a team player also does more than make projects run smoothly. They also organize social events. They’re the first to welcome a new hire. They plan parties and lunches. In short: they bring the office together.
Expertise and experience are important, of course, but a passionate perfectionist who is always going above and beyond is truly a treasure.
Not only do they produce quality work again and again, they also encourage and inspire others to do better (as we’ve said before, star performers foster star performers).