Build an effective team, like rowing

Building value into your business: Building an effective team

Your people determine your ceiling; no matter how good your processes get, you need people to run them efficiently — and to help you optimize them.

Whatever stage of your company’s story you’re at, the same principles apply to building an effective team. The value of good people is truly felt when you can shore up your weaknesses and create a group that is rich in experience and perspective.

An effective team is diverse and experienced

Very few entrepreneurs are so well rounded that they’re competent in phases of running and optimizing a business. Even for those that are, common business sense shows us that there is more value in sticking to what we’re best at. Your time is finite, and should go where it can produce the most value for your brand.

With the right people in the right roles, you have no weaknesses, no holes and no lack of experience. The right people, naturally, are ones that have abilities and experience in areas that you don’t. Such diversity is exactly what will lead to your collective efforts being fueled and directed by a wealth of ideas, rather than by a monotone.

Such a team is adaptable and innovative. They can solve any problem thrown at them and perpetually improve your business. Additionally, when it comes time to sell your stake in the business, a diverse team holds appeal for potential buyers.

Investors want to know that, when you exit the business, things will hum along as usual without you. To get there, your company needs to be one that is not propped up by any single person. The less reliant the business is on any individual — including the owner — the more secure of an investment it is.

Think about how this impacts you on your end: if a single person could leave and cripple the business, nothing is very secure. But if every person is just one more integral part of an effective and diverse team, that team can certainly rebound from the loss of any one person. Not only does this make your business look secure to outsiders, but it gives you, as the owner, more personal freedom. And while getting here is not entirely based on the team you assemble (your processes are a big part of it), building a diverse team is essential.

Getting outside help for more diversity and experience

The power of diversity and experience extend to the team you need to assemble around you when it comes time to sell, as well. Just as now is always the best time to start planning your exit strategy, now is the best time to start building relationships with the experts that can help you get the best sale price for your company.

There are certain aspects that you simply are better off getting help with. For example, you pay somebody to handle your accounts. Your accountant needs to be part of the team involved in the sale, and they need to be acquainted with your lawyer. You won’t necessarily need a lawyer for the entire selling process, but when it comes to ironing out the details of the purchase agreement, having the right legal expert minimizes your risk and dramatically accelerates the process.

Sharing your goals and plans with these experts will lead to clarity in your approach as you go through the value building process. They can counsel you about what’s ahead and how to prepare for it. Other experts you can bring on to address your own lack of experience include appraisers (to help you valuate your business), consultants (to advise you on how to improve those valuation numbers), and a broker to facilitate the sale of your business.

The point, always, is to shore up your weaknesses. You don’t need the experience yourself to take advantage of it.

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