It’s a very important part of an entrepreneur’s journey to transition from being a one man (or woman) stop shop to becoming the leader and CEO of a team you have built to help support the growth of your business.
In this article, I’m going to share six lessons learned from CEO Emily Hirsh who has built a successful 7 figure digital marketing agency, Emily Hirsh Inc. on how she was able to grow and set her team and business up for success.
Lesson #1 Don’t Mold People into Positions
The first lesson to growing a successful team is to not hire family or friends (or just anyone willing to put their hand up in a Facebook group for work) when you start to experience overwhelm and an influx of work.
This is a mistake that Emily made when she first began to hire people in her business.
A mistake she says cost her a lot of time and energy training the wrong people and ultimately finding out it wasn’t going to work.
There are a lot of people willing to work but the key is to hire based on job descriptions that are very specific to the needs of your business.
Be very intentional on what roles you want fulfilling within your business so it can run in a sustainable manner.
When she started to use this process, it made a big difference in the level of service her agency was able to provide and she was able to see the value of her time as CEO.
Lesson #2 Share Your Vision
As the owner of the business, you hold a vision for where you want it to be in the next 12, 18, 36 months and so forth from now.
As you start to hire more, it’s important to share your vision with the team so it creates a culture of excitement with the people around you, who are playing their part in this bigger vision of where the business is going.
Instead of keeping it to yourself and just feeding the team daily tasks, by sharing the vision with them, you create a sense of belonging and involvement for the employees.
It creates an extra level of support for the CEO because people are willing to work extra hours, stay with the company longer and go out of their way for clients because they see where they fit in the organization and their role becomes clearer and more meaningful to them.
Great leadership requires putting your people first. Finding out what their goals are and what they want to achieve from working for you.
When you invest time and effort into building a great team environment and culture, you will have a greater return in your business and even greater relationships with your employees.
Lesson #3 Share Specific Goals with Your Team
In her company Emily Hirsh Inc. Emily shares her yearly, 90-day goals and 30-day goals with the team.
They are very specific to where the company is going and the yearly goals are broken down into the 90-day goals which are broken down again into 30-day goals.
This makes it easier for the employees to know what they are working on every day because they can see ahead and what they need to do to get there.
Creating clarity helps drive the team forward. Without it, it makes it difficult for them to contribute effectively and know what they need to work on within their specific roles.
It keeps everyone on task and working towards the same yearly, quarterly and monthly goals by knowing what their part is they need to achieve, which has helped her team hit 100% of their goals working this way.
Lesson #4 Daily Team Huddles
Because Emily runs her team virtually, she spends 10-15 minutes each morning in an online group chat which is a strategic discussion to check if everyone is on track with the monthly, quarterly and yearly goals.
They are not tactical. It’s about measuring the progress of each team member and any questions they have around their tasks.
This is an idea she implemented from attending a mastermind event and was apprehensive at first, thinking it was a waste of time to have daily meetings with her team.
What she found though, was the exact opposite. Emily says it saves her up to 2 hours a day by not having to go back and forth in emails and voice chats because everything gets answered each day in the daily team huddles.
She also uses this time to provide recognition and celebrate each other’s progress.
Lesson #5 Avoid Team Burn Out
By having the daily team huddles as mentioned above, Emily is constantly checking in with her team to ensure they are not experiencing symptoms of burn out.
She recommends not to overwhelm them with your own work pressures as the CEO, to the point where they cannot perform at their best.
The job as the leader is to make sure the team is able to perform. How does she do this? By setting up systems, SOP’s, clear job descriptions, proper training and weekly reporting from each team member.
If someone is struggling with their time management, she asks them to create a time study of what they spend their time doing throughout the day so she can work with them to help map out a better way to manage their time and productivity.
Everyone has different personalities and some people may not want to tell you that something is too much for them to handle.
It becomes the leader’s job to check in with them regularly and give them plenty of opportunities to express any concerns they might have, so you can support them through it.
Lesson #6 Remove Yourself From The Day to Day
In the beginning, you have no choice but to be stuck in the day to day tasks of running your business. Emily says that this is vital to know the exact ins and outs of how your business needs to run.
Without knowing the day to day stuff, you can’t train people into the positions needed to transition from working in your business to working on growing and scaling your business.
Emily advises two key factors to pull this off successfully. The first one is to not do this too early in the business. And secondly, don’t leave it too late.
She is now at a stage where she has hired a person as the Head of Operations to manage all the departments of the business.
She recommends to constantly analyze your own time as CEO. Are you delegating enough? Are you doing too many day to day tactical tasks?
Find out what your time is worth and anything that is less than that, delegate it to the right person for the job.
Michelle Ciantar is a PR Communication Consultant who works with companies and businesses on effective communication strategies in digital marketing, brand reputation management, social media marketing, crisis communication and professional communication practice. Follow me on Instagram @michelleciantarofficial & Twitter - Michelle Ciantar @shellmc3