Collaboration works inside your business too. Even if you’re a sole proprietor, you probably work with others often. You may outsource some tasks, you may use software, and you may even have permanent members of your team that work on your business with you. Thankfully, today there are many ways to collaborate with your team.
* Ensure Everyone Is on the Same Page – The first thing you need to establish is whether everyone is on the same page as you. It’s your business, so only work with people who see things the way you do. It can be difficult to work with someone who doesn’t. It doesn’t mean they’re wrong; it just means that you have different priorities.
* Explain Your Expectations from Day One – When you bring anyone new onto your team, the best thing to do is talk to them about all your expectations from day one. This means that whether they’re outsourcers, employees or vendors, they need to know what’s expected of them. That’s the only way they can know if they’re on the right track or if they even want to work with you.
* Ensure That Everyone Understands Your Larger Goal – In every business, you have a “big deal” goal that you want to strive toward. Don’t just share where you are now with your team. Share where you want to go. Share the “ultimate goal”, even if it’s to eventually sell to the highest bidder. They’ll know what to shoot for if you share the right information.
* Use the Right Tools – There are so many good collaboration tools today such as Slack.com, Basecamp.com, Teamwork.com and others. Try out a few tools to find out what is going to work best for your needs. In some cases, you’ll need cloud-based collaboration tools and in others, you may need tools that are in house.
* Know Your Team’s Strengths – As you get to know your team members, keep track of not only their strengths but also the things they want to be strong in. If you know what they want to do like to do, and are good at doing, you can ensure that you always assign based on strengths and passion.
* Be as Transparent as Possible – You don’t want to make a habit of hiding information from your team. The clearer you are about everything you do and want to do, the more creative your team can be. For example, if they know that someday you want to host a large event with a 20-panel speaker team, they can start identifying who those speakers might be and building relationships with them.
* Hold Regular Team Meetings – You don’t want to go too nuts with the meetings. Meetings can be very unproductive. Instead, hold regular meetings that you’ve planned in a such a way as to keep everyone on track so you’ll reach your goals. Have a meeting agenda, let each person report their part, then get to the meat of the meeting.
* Assign the Right People for the Tasks – When you have things to get done, work on assigning the right people to the task. If you have people in your organization that don’t like doing some things, don’t have them do them. Instead, have them do the things they like. When people are doing things that they enjoy doing, they’ll do a better job. Also, hire people who are experts and pay them fairly, and you’ll get things done right the first time.
Collaborating with your team, rather than just sending orders down the pike, is the best way to ensure that your team works well – even without you to guide them. If everyone knows what’s expected and they understand the overall goals, and they have the tools to work together properly, so much can be accomplished to help you properly grow your business.