Building a Successful Business Team

Building a strong team is the base of your company. Without the right people working cohesively, any business structure is bound to fail. This is why we’ve put together our ultimate strategy on building a successful business team. This is for any industry, size of company, and age of company. So we implore you to take a read, and take notes! Any of these sections can offer helpful insights to what you’re already doing.

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Building a successful business team starts with your strategy. So what is the approach to building a strategy for the team and what should your team ultimately look like? The best place to start the building process is with your future state org chart.

We do this exercise often with clients. We get them to look at their current org chart. Where everybody is sitting, who is reporting to who, and what their responsibilities are. Then we get them to build their “blue sky”, best case scenario future state org chart. It’s what they want their business to look like in a year’s time from now. You know who you need to have in place, what they’re going to be doing.

The next step is to look at the responsibilities for all of those people.

What does your current team look like?

Look at your existing team and get them to map out all of their current responsibilities. What we generally do is start with an excel spreadsheet and each tab would be allocated to a specific employee. You get them to list out all of the responsibilities they’re doing right now, and all the tasks they’re doing on a regular basis.

From there, get them to use the Brian Tracy ABCDE method. Basically, beside each of those responsibilities, assign them either an ABCD or E. So A would be the most high priority, B second, C is something that you might be able to table for a little while. D is anything you need to delegate. E is what you need to eliminate. Stop doing everything is an E right away and then you can take a look at those Ds. Start to think about who would need to take over those tasks.

Start, Stop, Keep

The best way to approach this is to get your team members to do their lists, and have management do one from their point of view. Then they compare. It’s remarkable how often people ideas on the priority of tasks are completely different. So this makes it a good exercise in and of itself. Then you can sit together and compare your notes. Talk to them about what their responsibilities are. Find out what they love doing, what they would like to do more of and what they really don’t like doing.

It’s a really great exercise to get both people on the same page. You get to make sure that your existing team is happy with the work that they are doing.

Build Out the Responsibilities of the New Positions

Next, you can go back and build out the responsibilities for the new roles you want to hire. To start, you are going to pass all of your Ds off right away. Secondly, get rid of all the Es and reshuffle the responsibilities. This will help you decide the current staffs job responsibilities and then your future staffs job descriptions.

When creating those future employee job descriptions, don’t restrict yourself. You might have some roles that don’t look like a full time jobs yet and that’s okay! Just create that role and see how things go. You might be able to hire someone to take over two roles to start off with. As the company progresses, and the responsibilities increase, consider splitting into two roles.

Review Your Mission, Vision, Core Values, and Goals

It’s really good at this point to take a look at these. Review your team structure and responsibilities. Make sure that everyone is focusing their time on is in line with what you are trying to do with your company. From there you can there tweak you future state org chart and you can tweak everyone’s responsibilities. Then see if there’s anything else that needs to be adjusted based on where you are trying to take the company.

Set The Vision for Your Company Culture

Who you hire does not set the culture for your company.

You as the business owner set your culture and the vision for your culture.

A small part of it is hiring people that fit in with the culture you want for your company. Things to look at to set culture are; perks, expectations, standard for excellence, working hours, location, dress code, professional development, mentorship and career progression.

You need to be intentional about where you sit with all these. They are probably all in your head already, but you need to document it. You need to make the passing of company culture to the new employees a part of your on-boarding process. This way, the team that you are hiring on is very clear about what you are all about.

On-boarding is crucial!

When I was hired on at LuluLemon we had a whole week of on-boarding before we did anything at our new desk. I’d said at least 50% of the time was focused on the educating the culture of the organization. This is an extreme case but it goes to show that some companies spend that time. It’s important to sit with your employees to make sure that they are in line with the vision and they are excited about it.

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Compensation is challenging when building a successful business team, and you have to be careful. Ultimately, what you need to do is make sure that you are offering something that feels good. Ensure that it’s right for your team and the people that you are bringing onto your team so that they stay with you. This means compensating them for the work that they are doing, and encouraging them to grow with you.

Sometimes coming up with a compensation plan can feel like a mountain to overcome. But it’s really not that difficult. You are just trying to come up with a plan that really pays for the hard work that people are doing. As well as make sure that it motivates the right behaviour and performance and rewards those who are working hard and achieving the goals that are set for them.

Base Pay is Not Enough

Base pay is just not enough to motivate people to come onto your team and stay with you for long. So you need to have something more.

Benefits are expected, a good benefits package should be covering 80–100% of extended health and the dental piece should be quite competitive as well. It is complete acceptable for the employee to paying for a portion of the benefits plan. But the dollar amount you put in as the organization provides greater value than if you were to just give the employee the cash that you spend on the benefits plan.

Non-Cash Incentives

There are also lots of other things that you can do from a non-cash perspective if cash is tight. These can also help with culture building. Some example of those would be; beer Fridays, ping pong table for the team, team off-sites, professional development, goals training, and providing the team with lots of opportunities to enhance their skills.

Competitions within a team can also be motivating for your team. As long as you are using the competition to motivate the right things. If you are wanting to motivate teamwork among employees, then putting in place a competition where each employee has a goal to meet is not a going to create the atmosphere you want. Instead of working as team, employees are going to compete against each other so that they meet their goal individually. It would be better to set a quantified goal so the team has to work together to achieve it.

Cash or Cash Equivalents

For additional cash or cash equivalents there are some options including; commissions, bonus plans, profit share plans, stock options, tokens, products or product discounts and even signing bonuses for key roles if you are having a hard time hiring for that role. Profit share plans are great because they aren’t a guarantee. You only have pay them out when the company is doing well. This motivates the employees to work hard to make the company successful. It is also a good option if you don’t have the cash free to increase everyone’s base pay.

You do have to be careful if you are going to use equity such as stock options to incentivize employees. It can be a tricky thing to offer to your employees. If, for whatever reason, your stock value drops your employees have then lost money. Which can upset your employees, decrease motivation and could kill your culture.

Incentivize the Right Thing

With any of these options you have to be careful on what people are being bonused on. If you aren’t doing it properly, then you could have a huge discrepancy among departments, teams, or segments of the business. They’ll be pushed to achieve results in different areas that conflict with each other. You never want to have a team focusing on one area of the business and their manager focusing on a different area. This doesn’t motivate them to work together as a team. You really want to make sure that you are motivating all your teams towards the same goal. But you also want to make sure that you aren’t rewarding weird behaviour by bonusing on the wrong thing.

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Workflow Mastering

The next component to focus on when building a successful business team is workflow mastering. As soon as you start hiring people you have to be sure that you have all your workflows in place, documented and solidified as much as possible. Of course they aren’t going to be perfect. So be sure to call out within your workflow documents which parts are a work in progress. This way, when a new team member joins they are able to pick up your document and understand exactly what the workflow is.

The best way to know if your workflows are solid is to imagine that you are building your business as if you were going to franchise it. You want to have everything in place so that if someone else were to take over operations all they would have to do is “turn they key” and they would be able to get your systems, software and operations running as effective as you do.

Hire to fill those gaps!

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The Recruitment Process

We here at Entreflow have 10 steps that we believe to be important parts of the recruitment process for building a successful business team. we incorporate these as part of our hr services. They are necessary to make your hire a successful one.

Step 1: Create a Solid Job Ad & Job Description

Step 2: Get an ATS in Place

Step 3: A/B Testing

Step 4: Phone Screening

Ask the tough questions

Step 5: In-Person Interview

Step 6: Psychometric Testing

Not sold on psychometrics?

Step 7: Reference Checks

Step 8: Secondary In-Person Interview

Step 9: Offer Time!

Step 10: Hire Slow, Fire Quick, & Stay Connected

Keep some ties intact!

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The Train Track Approach


Our approach to on-boarding


Take the hits, it allows the company to grow!

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Culture Building

Once you have your hires complete you are really only just starting on the journey with the new employee. What’s really important at this stage of building a successful business team is to develop your culture. Make sure that those amazing people you have brought onto your team are working together to do amazing things. There are a couple of ways that we recommend that you do so:

Have Regular Check-Ins

You need to make sure that you have one on one’s or team check-ins in place. The one on one’s are great for our management. It makes sure that everyone is moving along seamlessly in their projects. Management can also check in on how the employee is feeling and lend a helping hand where needed.

Scrums (hut-hut!)

Another check-in that we have found to be helpful for our team is that we have a daily scrum. Each morning bright and early, we jump on Google Meet. Everyone gets 30 seconds to run through their day and what they have going on. We have also found this to be a great opportunity for the team to ask for help from the other team members. They are also able to quickly schedule a call with the other team members when they are stuck on something.

The scrums overall take up 10–15 minutes of each team members day. However, it saves time in two ways. Firstly, team members can get their questions answered quickly. They can also book a time to call another team member without having to chase them around all day. Secondly, our management team, can see who might be too overwhelmed or who might need some more work thrown their way. It’s 50 minutes out of the week which ends up creating a stronger team. Plus it saves at least double that in chasing time!

Team Meetings

We have implemented with our team is that we have a team meeting every Friday. With our whole team being remote workers it is nice to have the team get together once a week. We talk through problems. We reward the team for work well done. We’re able to really get a sense of what is going on for each person.

A couple things that our team loves to do during our team meeting is a quick win, challenge, high five. This is time for each member to say their challenge for the week, their win for the week and high five a team member who helped them out or who they thought went above and beyond that week. Or just someone they feel should be given a high five early on a Friday morning!

Let the team share their knowledge

Another thing that we enjoy as a team is each week, someone is elected to do a 15 minute talk about a topic. This is to inform the team on something that has interested them that week. This time can also be used to tell the team about a new app or program that you think might be useful.

The meeting itself is only a 1 hour sit down and discuss meeting. Then we follow that up with a 2 hour break out session. This is where the team has the chance to sit down with other team members. This can be working face to face on the tough projects that they are stuck on. Or talking through some ideas for innovation for our own company to really make us top notch.

This is how we at Entreflow build our company culture. This obviously isn’t the only way to do it, but it’s definitely working for us!

Tie Your Team to Growth

Allow your team to have input in on the new app or programs that the organization should be using. Have them teach and inform the other team members on interesting topics. This way you are really letting your team dip their toe in the water of the organization.

Team meetings can allow the team to really see how everyone is doing and where other members are struggling. When you are announcing each week what projects you have won or that are coming down the line the team really has a fairly good sense as to what the growth of the company is looking like. They know what they are going to be expected to do coming up. It prepares the team better for when that proposal does get signed to really kick things off without a hitch!

Seeing growth in an organization will also help motivate the employees to continue doing great things. This is because they know that the better they do, the more people are going to want to work with you. If your team is left in the dark they may not realize if things start to go south. Then, they are in a false reality state.

Check in on Your Culture

Culture really is an ongoing piece for your team. It’s always going to need to be worked on, enforced and retold to the team on a regular basis. It is easy when things get busy to stray away from those weekly items that create your culture. But you really need to make sure that you are doing what you can to keep your culture strong! Having a team that’s all on the same page with the culture is going to ensure long-term success for everyone. As long as you have your mission, vision, values and goals aligned properly.

Helina Patience, CPA, CMA
Author: Helina Patience, Founder, CPA, CMA, BA (Hons), BEd

Helina is a CPA, CMA with over fifteen years of experience in finance & HR within multinational companies, across many industries. Also the CEO of entreflow consulting group where I help small to medium-sized businesses get organized, grow, and crush their goals. I hold vast global experience after living and working in Australia, India, the UK and Ireland. Connect on LinkedIn.

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