Business owners are almost always looking for ways to continue to grow their businesses. Few of us are happy sitting in stasis, and for good reason. Whether you’ve just started with your business and looking to give it the push it needs to really get off the ground or have been in the SEO game for many years, there’s a secret you can use to take your business further. In fact, it’ll help you do more than just reach the next stepping stone on your list of goals—if you continue to apply it well, it will help your business continue to grow indefinitely, no matter what stage you’re in.
As the owner of Hennessey Digital, I’ve come a long way from where I started, running a website meant to help brides find wedding services in Las Vegas to now running a large and successful digital marketing agency. When I talk to other agency owners about growing their businesses, I find that they’re often focused on the wrong thing. They believe that the best way to grow their companies is by growing their clientele.
But that’s not the case. The best way to grow your business is to grow your team.
I may have started Hennessey Digital as a one-man show, but I quickly realized that I couldn’t grow the business into what it needed to become on my own. It took me quite a while to get to the point where I had the depth and breadth in my team I really needed, and it’s something my company is constantly working at building. It takes consistent, ongoing effort, but it pays off in the end.
It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to fall into the trap of becoming the business owner who does everything, from running the high-level details of the business to the nitty-gritty daily work. Especially if you start out as a one-person business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing everything yourself.
There are several problems with this, and most entrepreneurs recognize them. You’re not using your time as efficiently as you could be, but worse than that, the reality is that you cannot do every part of your business well, especially in an industry like SEO, which is full of complexity with many different specializations.
Building a team to grow your business is about more than just taking tasks off your plate so you can focus on the things you’re best at. It’s also about finding people with core competencies who can perform their roles better than you can. It’s vital to choose team members with specialized skillsets that offset your own, especially in the early stages of growing your business when you may still be taking on many different roles yourself. But even in later stages, when you have a team that takes care of most aspects of the business, it’s still important to evaluate the skillsets that team has and lacks in order to find where the team needs to grow, either through hiring new talent or investing in the talent you already have with further education.
Having a strong team is absolutely necessary in order to grow your business. If you continue to take on new clients without growing your team, the client experience will ultimately suffer. Any areas where you’re not performing at a high standard and exceeding clients’ expectations put you at risk of losing clients to a competitor. It also limits your ability to tap into one of the best available resources for gaining new clients: referrals.
The best way to grow your business is to invest in your team and provide truly excellent service and communication that wows clients and allows you to continue to take on more business as you continue to grow your team.
When looking for new team members, you should look for people who are passionate about what they do, whose values align with that of your company, who have a skillset that meets your current needs, and who have a learning mindset to continue to grow with your company.
Finding excellent team members takes resources, time, and strategy. If your company is young, you may end up doing much of the hiring work yourself, but as it grows, you’ll eventually need to entrust this job to leaders on your team.
The most important aspect of building an excellent team is hiring good leaders who can help your team grow with your business. Find people you trust to make decisions for you and who share your vision, then empower your leadership to make strategic decisions that will help your team and your business grow. You can’t be involved with every aspect of the business, and insisting on being the one to make every decision—even major decisions like hiring, firing, and investing in new educational programs for employees—will slow your business down.
Your team is the foundation of your business and your greatest asset. Once you have a strong foundation, you’ll put yourself in the best position to bring on new clients and serve them well. As you do so, your business will naturally grow. So, take a step back and evaluate your big picture growth strategy with the focus on your team.