There is no I in Team. Effective leaders are known for their ability to surround themselves with enthusiastic talented people who can help them build, execute, and scale. It can be the difference between even getting off the ground and long-term success.

One of the biggest challenges that every founder faces is assembling a team that’s going to help them achieve their objectives and to help them rocket their brand to becoming a fan favorite. Think about all the things that are involved in running a business. It’s not just a matter of putting the product in a package and shipping it out the door. You’ve got to have people that track the shipments, people that make sure the product goes to where it needs to be, people that make sure that your product is properly merchandised on retailer shelves, and much, much more.

But before that happens you’ve got to put together a sales team. You need an effective strategy and sales plan. How are you going to go to market? What stores do you want to start with? Where should you begin? What does the category look like? How can you carve out your unique niche? These are just a few of the many questions that you need to think about as a founder, and answering those questions is the focus of today’s episode.

I’ve had the unique privilege of working with and talking to literally thousands of entrepreneurial brands. This is one of their biggest challenges. Do you hire someone right off the bat when you really don’t have the money? But then if you don’t hire the right person, how are you going to get your product where it needs to be? What does the right person look like, and how do you make that decision? Waiting too long can stunt your growth, and doing it too early could cause you to hire the wrong person or someone with the wrong skill set. These are all difficult questions that keep founders up at night. 

And by the way, established brands have the same problems. They’re just not as dramatic because you’ve got people that can typically fill in while you’re looking for a new hire. But in a small business this could be dramatic, and this is something that you need to be thinking about well before you even launch your product. Now I’m not saying you need to have a clear roadmap with everything well defined, who’s going to start what day, et cetera, but you do need to have an idea of what you need to be thinking about. What roles do you need to fill? 

Think of this also, as the founder you’ve got a lot of different things to be thinking about, a lot of different hats to wear. And if you’re busy working on one task, that’s taking you away from something else. So you need to be constantly asking yourself, “Is this project taking me away from something that’s more important? Could I hire someone to do that task so that I can focus on the more important things in running a business?” For example, getting your product on more store shelves and into the hands of more shoppers.

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