Ready for Growth: Tips for Managing a Larger Team
You’ve spent countless hours building your business, and the effort is beginning to pay off. Your company is expanding, adding more employees every quarter. Such growth comes with opportunities—and challenges. Transitioning from a founder who manages a tight-knit team to a leader in charge of a large group of people requires the right mix of tools and strategies.
Here are some fundamental principles that will help you create a productive, inspired team.
It’s all about relationships.
When your company was just you—and maybe a few co-founders—it was OK to go hours without talking, just busy getting things done. But as more people are brought on board, silence is no longer an option.
As a leader, it’s important to build connections with the people who work for you. There are so many reasons for this: taking a personal interest boosts morale, fosters a company culture, and prevents turnover. Perhaps most importantly, making the time to talk to people and understand what is and isn’t working allows you to fix problems quickly and shift strategies as needed.
Invest in your team.
When you’re running a small business, every penny counts. But part of smart budgeting is recognizing when spending money is a smart strategic decision. This includes making sure your employees have the tools and services they need to work efficiently and competitively.
Start with the basics, such as computers, fast Wi-Fi, collaboration tools, and take it from there. As your business grows, services that allow employees to do their work more efficiently can pay off fast. One example is Mobile Forms from Sprint Business, which digitizes data collection and management, eliminating the need for paper records and simplifying numerous tasks your employees now need to handle.
Delegation is your friend.
As a founder, you were the go-to person for everything; your success depended on your ability to handle whatever was thrown at you. But as a leader of a growing company, it’s no longer possible for you to do it all on your own. The sooner you get comfortable handing off tasks, the faster your company can move forward and thrive.
Start by asking yourself about the jobs you alone can accomplish. Be honest with yourself; many of the items on your initial list likely won’t stand up to scrutiny.
After you’ve narrowed it down, draw up a plan for handing off the other tasks to employees; if you don’t have a team member who can perform a particular role, consider hiring someone with those skills. While the tendency to micromanage can be overwhelming—after all, you’ve gotten this far doing it on your own—resist it. Growth comes from empowering your people to manage projects, make decisions, and solve problems for themselves.
When mistakes happen, and they inevitably will, give constructive feedback. Your employees will never learn if you do everything for them.
Play offense, not defense.
Your edge depends on staying ahead of your competitors. This means being proactive in all areas of business, starting with security. Every new employee represents a potentially vulnerable link in the chain.
Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping hackers don’t abscond with valuable information, protect yourself. There are a variety of security tools specifically designed for growing businesses, such as Sprint Secure Wi-Fi, which protects users from Wi-Fi-based data hacks. Installed on an employee’s smartphone or tablet, the app automatically turns on when it detects an unsecure Wi-Fi connection, and offers protection for password-protected Wi-Fi as well.
As the adage goes, hope for the best but plan for the worst—particularly when it comes to cyber security.
Promote from within.
There will be times when you need to bring in someone from outside the organization to fill a vacant role. But whenever possible, it’s important to identify and elevate talented employees.
Not only is this good for morale, but it rewards individuals who are familiar with the company, understand your vision, and have actively worked to grow and promote the business.
Making the leap from founder to leader is a transition; it’s often a gradual process that requires planning, effort, and honest self-reflection. As your company grows, make sure your abilities to hire the right people and manage them effectively grow as well. If you deploy the right strategies and invest in the right tools, you’ll save yourself and your employees a lot of growing pains.
For more information, visit sprint.com/whysprint or call 844-344-6556.