Recruiting: Get the chemistry right
Businesses that tend to rely principally or exclusively on the efforts and vision of one tireless entrepreneur are usually doomed to failure. However good your ideas and however acute your business acumen, you can't build a profitable business without a team of good people around you.
You do not have to be good at everything to be a successful entrepreneur, so know your weaknesses and build a team that complements your skills and experience. Surround yourself with smart, strong, enterprising people. Listen to what they have to say and leverage their experience.
Look for diversity
But choose your team carefully! Although they all need to share your culture - to believe in your vision and be committed to maximising profitability - they do not have to think the same as you in all respects. In fact the last thing you want is a team of doppelgangers!
The dynamics of a successful profit team depend to a large extent on diversity of view and approach. Enterprise and innovation are the products of the interaction of different ideas, not of a comfortable consensus. There is no progress without a degree of friction.
Find your opposite
When recruiting and promoting it is easy to play safe and select people who conform to your way of thinking, but cloning yourself is not the road to profitability. Indeed, there is a lot to be said for selecting at least one key player who is your exact opposite.
For example, if you are a dynamic risk-taker you might benefit from having a cautious thinker onboard. Or if you are a hands-on owner whose principal focus is on the nuts and bolts of the business, you might consider taking on a backroom person with expertise in finance.
It is one thing to build up a dynamic team; it is something else to keep them. Again the key is diversity. Although your team players might all be committed to helping you realise your business goals, this does not mean they all have the same personal goals as you.
Acknowledge their diversity in the way you reward their contribution to profitability. Avoid one-size-fits all incentive schemes but tailor incentives to suit their individual goals. Above all, make sure each key players feels he or she is able to fulfill their personal career expectations by staying with you.