March 24, 2021

Is there a hurry to have a team when your business is not so big?

Sanjeev Govila
CEO, Hum Fauji Initiatives

Aim at the sun, and you may not reach it, but your arrow will fly far higher than if aimed at an object on a level with yourself.

Joel Hawes, as quoted in ‘You’re Born an Original – Don’t Die a Copy’ by John Mason, Revell

When you have agreed and decided to take all the pains associated with being an entrepreneur and endure all the uncertainties, doubts, pains, and extremely hard work associated with it, you cannot (or should not!) but Dream Big. Even if you are all you have in your business today, behave and prepare as if you’ll shortly be a 100-seat company with 5000+ clients. The moment you have this mindset, you’re already on the way to being a winner!

What has that got to do with making a team, you may ask?

The mindset! When you start having the mindset of a person who thinks big, you will conserve your time and energies to think about only those things which add strategic value to your business. You should plan your 2.0 version of the company, your next office, next city, bettering your marketing and tech-efficiency, getting into more services and products, etc. rather than the portfolio statement accuracy of two clients.

You may ask – If you’re only thinking of strategy and long-term planning, who will handle the clients, the operational work, the day-to-day glitches. Who’ll visit the clients? That’s where the Team comes in.

The fact that you’ve decided to be an entrepreneur, then it is your Dharma to prepare for the future, avoid the potholes, become more profitable, and make the company bigger. The earlier you stop sweating the small stuff, the more satisfied are you making your journey as an entrepreneur.

And, sitting contentedly on one’s own backside is not part of the entrepreneur’s mandate!

So, go forth and plant the seeds of your big team today!

Skeptical still? Let us then formally understand the advantages and disadvantages of not having a team, or a team with team members not into your core business of handling clients.

Advantages of not having a team

No fear of losing clients: Getting clients is the most difficult and crucial part of the business, especially when you’re just starting out. I am aware of financial advisors who did not reach a figure of even 10 clients for several months in the beginning. So that brings us to the very first advantage of not having a team – no one can take your clients away!

This is quite important a consideration till your practice reaches a stage where you are constantly getting new referral clients. Once you reach this stage, even if you lose a few clients to a team member turning into a competitor, it will not be an unbearable loss.

Focused client servicing: This is directly related to the first point above. Your initial clients will be your biggest asset to get referral clients. The clients too have come to you only because of you and want the advice ‘directly from the horse’s mouth’. So, it is of utmost importance that you do not leave any stone unturned in providing your best services to them. If you have a team, probably such clients will become uncomfortable and may even leave you.

Best results: It is quite likely that, as a professional, you will be providing not just the best service, but also the best results when you are completely focused on the core work of advice and handling clients. You are the person who knows your business the best. Any team member, no matter how sincere, intelligent and hardworking, will not be able to match your dedication to your work, which is of utmost importance when you are a small business.

However, there are also a couple of disadvantages if you continue solo or with team members, not into your core business of handling clients. Let us understand those as well.

Disadvantages of not having a team

Slow growth: How much can you handle as one person? How long do you wish to keep doing the same task of advice and products? Your clients may remain satisfied but what about your personal and company’s professional growth? This poser, of course, is not relevant to you if you actually have pitched your business to remain ‘everything’ to some clients even if small. But that is not the case with most entrepreneurs.

However, beware of another trap at this stage. As you expand, the kind of service you were providing to your clients would almost surely get diluted. Be prepared to deal with some backlash on that front, while putting in constant efforts to prevent that from happening.

No personal time: This becomes the major concern after some time. As your business grows, it is critical that you take a break from time to time to rejuvenate (reinvent!) yourself. The kind of services that we provide the demand that we are in a good mental and physical state – add psychological state also to it. If exhaustion takes over, one tends to take bad decisions. Hence, actively look for signs that indicate that you need someone else to assist you with the work.

If the disadvantages part above is more painful to you than the gains coming out of the advantages, then your business is ripe for the next version.

But beware! As is true for all other things in life, this expansion will bring new mutations of pains for you. The growth you yearn for will be at a cost. That cost will be human resources management, occasional misunderstandings (or even mouthfuls…) with the clients and your team members, and even loss of some business once in a while. While we would like to get rid of all these problems in an ideal world, know that these issues are very normal and exist in every organization planning a leap. So, don’t blame and be too harsh on yourself.

Remember, success only comes to those who dare and burn their bridges behind them so that they cannot go back!


One response to “Is there a hurry to have a team when your business is not so big?”

  1. Avatar Noble J says:

    EXCELLENT ARTICLE

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