30 Entrepreneurs Share Advice on Building a Team

Building a team involves more than just the right hiring and effective management. As a business leader, you have to build strong working relationships with each member of your team as opposed to instilling fear. Consider their feedback to show you value their input and work on communication within and between you and the team. It’s not easy but it’s workable.

Here’s how entrepreneurs and business owners build effective teams.

#1- The team is the backbone of your company

Photo Credit: Annette Azan

Your team is truly the backbone of your company and your most important asset. During my career in fashion and retail, I have found that it is so important to build a team that challenges you in your entrepreneurial journey. When I began hiring a team for Nuudii System, I quickly realized it’s not just about experience and education. You need to hire people that are passionate and driven, and willing to put their all into the company or idea you are building. Building the right team is crucial to the success of every company, so be thoughtful, choose carefully, and trust your instincts.

Thanks to Annette Azan, Nuudii System!

#2- Employee advancement is an important step

Photo Credit: Hannah Dworkin

Employee advancement is an important step towards a successful business. It's a notable element of the recruitment of new candidates because CEOs must focus on the best candidates and make them feel empowered to accomplish their best work in support of a higher purpose. As a result, a CEO must establish a clear vision and demonstrate to staff how their contributions may help it. They should also put in place processes and systems to nurture employee talent.  After hiring, inform them of their positions and have faith in the ability to hire good employees based on their expertise and aptitude.

Thanks to Hannah Dworkin, USScrapYard!

#3- Building a team is about more than work

Photo Credit: Adam Van Tassell

I think far too many people forget that a work team should have a lot more in common than simply being employed by the same company. But the trick is to FIND those commonalities and celebrate them. No one wants to walk into a workplace that is dull, tired, cold, and lifeless without any personality. You can create group outings for the whole team too. There are many ways to make people feel that they share a bond that is beyond their jobs. You can create email chains that are not strictly about work but include movie recommendations, favorite restaurants, and more.

Thanks to Adam Van Tassell, Birch Forest Lodge!

#4- Consider hiring freelancers for some menial tasks

Photo Credit: Anjela Mangrum

As the head of a recruiting firm, I think it's safe to say that deciding your need for more employees overnight and advertising multiple job openings at once can wreak havoc on your business. As a first step, consider hiring freelancers for some menial tasks that you understand but don't have the time for. Once you find people you would like to work with, offer them full-time positions. When you finally have some beginner experience managing employees, move on to hiring people for things you don't fully understand yourself. This will make your transition from solopreneur to boss as smooth as possible.

Thanks to Anjela Mangrum, Mangrum Career Solutions!

#5- Look for talent who shares the same values

Photo Credit: Catherine vanVonno

Business owners must recognize potential areas of improvement and needed areas of expertise so that they can build the right team to achieve business goals. When you clearly understand what your company needs, you can start sourcing people with the right skill sets and experiences. Look for talent who shares the same values as your company and who would be a good cultural fit. Once you have identified potential candidates, take the time to read about their background to understand their weaknesses and competencies.

Thanks to Catherine vanVonno, 20Four7VA!

#6- Offer each other support and encouragement

Photo Credit: Will Cannon

Remember to provide words of encouragement to your coworkers during hectic moments at work. Be precise about what each individual excels at and give assistance if somebody is having difficulty. You may also motivate your coworkers to do the same for one another. When one individual, in particular, requires assistance, ask your team to volunteer to assist them. You may establish a more balanced team by hiring both introverts and extroverts. A balance of analytical and creative minds is also desirable.

Thanks to Will Cannon, Signaturely!

#7- Hire people with similar goals

Building the right team starts with hiring those with similar goals, values, and work culture as you. It’s almost impossible to build and scale a business of one, you need a team that acts as a reflection of your values and goals to help share the work. The more cohesive your team is at launch, the easier it will be to grow and maintain your company as it takes off. Stay centered on your goals and values, and use that to motivate your team towards your common aspiration.

Thanks to Shawn Munoz, Pure Relief!

#8- Focus on your team's culture

Photo Credit: Matt Zavadil

When we hire, we focus first & foremost on culture. Yes, we create clear role descriptions, look for the most qualified people to add to the team, and make decisions based on skills and experience. We always ask ourselves which candidate will easily fit into our team's culture.  We can't teach how to have the personality that fits our team & its individual personalities. Taking time to discuss candidates & how well we think they'll fit into our established team culture has helped us maintain a united team as it grows.

Thanks to Matt Zavadil, MattZavadil!

#9- Practicing emotional intelligence helps make great teams

Photo Credit: Liam Johnson

As a leader, it's important to acknowledge that everyone is different. What may motivate one employee won't work on the other. While others like collaboration, others may prefer doing things on their own. It's imperative to understand your team members' differences and see each other's uniqueness as assets, not obstacles. Reward hard work. Employees should be valued for the contributions they give to your company. Showing them that you appreciate their hard work makes them feel a greater sense of purpose, and they feel like they're part of the company's success.

Thanks to Liam Johnson, TheHitchStore!

#10- Embrace the difference that each of them has

Photo Credit: Theola Tinney

After all these years, my number one advice on building a team is to respect each and everyone in the team as an individual. As a leader, we have to embrace the difference that each of them has. This is because the most important thing in a team is obviously teamwork. By understanding their differences, the team leader can lead the team effectively and give the correct task to the correct people. By doing this, the team and the team members can grow together parallel to the organization’s goal.

Thanks to Theola Tinney, Vinpit!

#11- Establish a culture of respect

Photo Credit: Ryan O’Donnell

Establish a culture of respect to build great teams. Your employees are people, too, and they have their own circumstances. Regardless of your position, everyone should be respected. Treat your team as individuals and not bodies that perform tasks. Be respectful, empathetic, and value them. Employees who feel that the company values their efforts are more productive and loyal. It's also essential to recognize and celebrate the employees' success. As a team leader, you should know how to give credit when credit is due. Acknowledge your employees' achievements & empower them.

Thanks to Ryan O’Donnell, Replyify!

#12- Be clear of your expectations

Photo Credit: Bill Bradley

To build great teams, it is imperative to establish expectations from the very beginning. When you communicate what you expect from your employees about business goals and workplace culture, employees have the clarity and know what they need to do at a given moment. Being clear of your expectations from the start will also help your new hires see if they are the right fit for your company. This allows you to find great talent that is culture-fit.

Thanks to Bill Bradley,!

#13- Communication is the key

Photo Credit: Mia Cloud

The ability to communicate amongst each other, get to know each team member on a personal level, and simply brainstorm is an important factor when considering employee experience. When you’re remote, this element is different and companies need to make an effort to introduce it in a different, virtual way. Proper tools and making the effort to introduce, mix, and have employees collaborate can help you improve the remote experience within your company.

Thanks to Mia Cloud, Cloud Law Firm!

#14- Provide opportunities for personal & professional development

Photo Credit: Dr. Michael May

Provide opportunities for personal and professional development to your team. Excellent leaders advocate for their members to get ahead in their careers. Attending conferences as a group and scheduling on-site training programs can help your members improve their skills while also building their bonds. You can also pair them with a teammate or a senior member. Investing in employees' professional development is a win-win situation both for the person and the organization. While it satisfies employees, it also improves team collaboration which is good for team productivity.

Thanks to Dr. Michael May, Wimpole Clinic!

#15- Do you what you do best and let your team do the rest

Photo Credit: Emily Sander

We all have things we are naturally better at than others. Play to your strengths & spend most of your time there. Hire a person who complements your skill set & helps cover your gaps. For example, if you are outgoing & love networking & meeting new people but can’t stand doing the financial statements every month, find someone who loves themselves a spreadsheet & pivot table. Hire people who help the team become more well-rounded overall. Find someone who is action-oriented and has a bias towards done.

Thanks to Emily Sander, Next Level Coaching, LLC!

#16- Take it slow and focus on the qualities

Photo Credit: John Phillips

Building a great team is all about taking it slow and focusing on quality. When you're hiring new team members, be sure to take the time to find the right person for the job. Look for someone who has the skills & experience necessary to do the job well, & who will be a good fit with the rest of your team. Once you've found the right person, take your time in training them. Make sure they have a good understanding of both the job & the company culture before you assign them any important tasks.

Thanks to John Phillips,!

#17- Establish actionable goals for your team

Photo Credit: Ray Leon

Establish actionable goals for your team to accomplish. Create a purpose-driven team that maneuvers with precision. Set daily, monthly, and yearly goals to instill urgency and help inspire efficiency. Determine KPIs for the team to prioritize & strategize accordingly. Setting clear goals is crucial to ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands the vision. Game-plan how to position your team for greater success to help them work with purpose and build a cohesive unit of motivated individuals.

Thanks to Ray Leon, Pet Insurance Review!

#18- Interact with your team members

Photo Credit: Chelsea Cohen

Treat your team members as humans first. Oftentimes, leaders think of team building as a professional exercise. Honestly, that’s a bad approach because it keeps everything formal, something that most employees hate. Ideally, you should use compassion to interact with your team members and encourage them to share ideas. This works because it shows that you care for them, making them feel valued. As a result, they’ll be more involved in everything, thereby enhancing productivity. More importantly, it encourages employees to interact with each other and create a closely-knit team.

Thanks to Chelsea Cohen, SoStocked!

#19- Show understanding towards the personalized situations

Photo Credit: Matias Rodsevich

My experience with building a team has led me to the conclusion that one of the most important features to keep in mind is understanding and compromise. Since the fundamentals of a team imply that you will work with different people with different preferences, work ethics, and needs, it is natural that the best way to successfully build your team is by being able to show understanding toward the specific personalized situations of each team member, and connect those to the overall team upbringing.

Thanks to Matias Rodsevich, PRLab!

#20- Make sure that everyone feels seen and valued

Photo Credit: Simon Elkjær

Teams need to develop a healthy and open culture where everyone can communicate and make their voices heard. Making sure that everyone feels seen and valued will make it easier for you to get rid of communication gaps that are hindering your team’s growth and keeping them from being united. It’s also important for you that the members of your team are given opportunities to grow & unlock their full potential. Employees want leaders that can help them move in the right direction and be better at their craft.

Thanks to Simon Elkjær, avXperten!

#21- Find freelancers or part-time people

Photo Credit: Marin Smiljanic

In the very beginnings of a startup that’s not always possible as the founders mostly do everything. But even then, it’s a great idea to find freelancers or part-time people to cover things that aren’t the founders’ forte. Be that design, content marketing, part-time sales, or producing HTML and CSS. I deployed this tactic many times during my time as startup CEO, often using Upwork or Fiverr, or recommendations from my personal network. And once your company gets funding or bootstraps to a high enough level, you can start hiring full-timers that complement you perfectly.

Thanks to Marin Smiljanic, Omnisearch!

#22- Align goals and keep each individual focused

Photo Credit: Hamza Iqbal

The best teams have individual goals aligned with that of the team. It is very natural for a team to have individuals with diverse ambitions and skillsets. For the team to function at the best possible level it is of paramount importance to align goals and keep each individual focused on the outcomes. With a focus on team goals and outcomes rather than individual goals and ambitions, the team can work on its strengths and improve each other to make sure the collective goals are achieved.

Thanks to Hamza Iqbal, Healthwise!

#23- Offer each individual an opportunity to speak

Photo Credit: Marc Bishop

One strategy to develop a team is to offer each individual an opportunity to speak. During staff meetings, allow everyone to share their thoughts. You may give each person a turn to talk by going around the table. Similarly, you might make an effort to wait for others to complete their thoughts before offering your own. By encouraging everybody to listen while someone speaks, each employee might feel as though their views are respected. This helps foster an environment in which individuals are eager to participate.

Thanks to Marc Bishop, idigimagnet!

#24- Create a team that can cover each other's blind spots

Photo Credit: Adrien Dissous

The most effective teams are ones that are diverse in a way that can cover each other's blind spots. A wider variety of backgrounds and roles means there's a greater chance of their combined knowledge to fill in any blind spots or biases. Although a group of completely like-minded individuals will work smoothly, their shared biases will lead to less productive output overall as there are things that won't be addressed in a timely manner.

Thanks to Adrien Dissous, Babo Botanicals!

#25- Build a strong team with complementary skillsets

Photo Credit: Bernardo Pereira

It's important to build a strong team with complementary skill sets. Each team member should be an expert in their field & able to contribute to the success of the project. It's also important to build a good rapport within the team this can be done by communicating effectively, being open to feedback, & respecting each other's opinions. It's crucial to have a clear vision for the project and maintain efficient decision-making processes so that everyone is on the same page & knows what needs to be done.

Thanks to Bernardo Pereira, GearDefine!

#26- Building an effective team requires trust and honesty

Photo Credit: Adrian Pereira

Building an effective team requires trust & honesty among all the members. Encourage feedback from all members of the team & let them know that their input is appreciated at every stage. If this trust isn't established, members will fear that they will face retribution for voicing their opinions and will greatly decrease the quality of output as a result. Establishing that no one will be punished for voicing disagreements within a reasonable limit or offering constructive criticism goes a long way in ensuring effective output from the team.

Thanks to Adrian Pereira, The Eco Pea Company!

#27- Building a team is a necessity

Photo Credit: Emma Gordon

Building a team is a necessity every business should carry out because not only does it bring a lot of advantages but it also helps your business expand.  I had to get myself a mentor in the business world and learn to think of how I can make the company grow. Having a business is one thing, acknowledging that you cannot do it all is another. That way everybody has something to add. We built a relationship with one another & every day people came up with ideas that could better our cause. They want to feel important and needed and when you make them feel that way, they make your workload easier.

Thanks to Emma Gordon, USSalvageYards!

#28- Customizing the position to the candidate

Photo Credit: Laura Rike

Be less rigid on the exact requirements of the job itself when you are hiring. Customizing the position to the candidate, & setting up situations where both the employee & company grow together has done wonders for retention, which has saved us so much time & effort in training new people yearly. Finding a person with the right attitude & desire to learn is a good fit for the organization & training them with skills necessary to serve best, & eventually, promote from within by developing their abilities further.

Thanks to Laura Rike,!

#29- Highlight their strengths in times of difficulty

Photo Credit: Shannon Bunn

Continuously mentioning your team’s strengths is something that I do in my position as I find it helps to boost people’s confidence! Each member you bring into your team was chosen for a reason, as they all have unique skills that can bring something different to the table. By highlighting their strengths in times of difficulty, or even in times of excitement, you are more likely to encourage them to use these skills. You want a varied team, so try to focus on the skills of each individual member and link them to a bigger picture.

Thanks to Shannon Bunn, Waggy Pups!

#30- Create an environment where everyone feels safe

Photo Credit: Vida de Oliver

The first step to building trust and communication within a team is to establish common goals. Once everyone is on the same page and working towards the same objectives, it becomes much easier to trust & communicate with one another. Secondly, it’s important to create an environment where everyone feels safe to openly share ideas & concerns. This can be done by promoting a culture of open communication and respectful disagreement. Lastly, don’t shy away from difficult conversations. These are often the most important conversations to have to build trust & move forward as a team.

Thanks to Vida de Oliver, Vidart and Life!

What advice do you have on building a team? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

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