Editor’s note: Michelle Stockman works with Little Rock-based Arkansas Capital Corp. to promote entrepreneurship development around the state. Stockman earned a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University-Chicago in communications and fine arts, and earned a master’s in entrepreneurship from Western Carolina University. Her thoughts on business success appear each week on The City Wire.
Your business is off to a great start in the New Year, as you hope to see growth in sales, customers and employees. You have completed end-of-year reviews, budget close outs and even finished putting together goals for 2010.
However, there is one area of business that often gets overlooked during this season finishing one year and starting the next. Team members are often taken for granted and seldom looked at for their efficiency unless a problem occurs with one of the team members.
Melanie Rembrandt on the Startup Nation Blog suggests business owners ask themselves “are you getting the results you want from each (team member)?” This is not a search to see who should get laid off or fired. Rather, are your team members producing what you need of them? Can they produce more for the business? If they can, what do they need to increase their productivity?
Look beyond your employees too. How are your freelancers and contractors doing? If you use consultants, are they producing the work that you need from them? Are they helping your bottom line? As a business owner, you review and negotiate in all areas of your business. Why not consider your employees and team in the same light?
Additional questions to ask yourself about your business’ team members include:
• When was the last time “John Smith” really helped your business reach its goals?;
• Does “John Smith” have the appropriate background and expertise now to get your business to the next level of success?;
• Is there another service out there that is more affordable and effective that can do the same thing?;
• How is the environment/culture in your work place?;
• Do all of the team members enjoy what they are doing?; and
• If not, what can you do to motivate them for this New Year?
Asking and answering those questions about your staff, contractors, consultants and freelancers are hard. However, the questions need to be asked at times to ensure the right people are in the right place for the right job that will move your company forward.
Jack Welch and Jeff Collins both talk about having the right team at the right time for the company to explode with growth. Entrepreneurs grow out of solving problems others businesses haven’t.
Why would you be satisfied with a “status quo” team?
Stockman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org