No woman is an island. Building a good team at work is the key to growing any business. As a small business owner, learning to build a good team at work has been paramount. When I started Effie’s Paper, I read a book called The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. It’s a book I recommend to anyone dipping their toe into the world of entrepreneurship. Gerber’s premise is that when you start your business it will be you, you, and you doing all of the work. As you do the work, he advises that you document the various processes you create so that as you build your team, there’s a structure for them to step into.
To Build A Good Team Create Systems And Processes From The Start
I took Gerber’s advice to heart and created a Workplace Manual, a living document, that cataloged the various systems and procedures I wanted my future employees to follow. Today, we have a process for just about everything:
- How To Package Orders
- How To Engage on Instagram
- How To Respond To Customer Inquiries
As Gerber said, having this information in one place means that anyone coming into the business has a roadmap and a place to start as they get their arms around their new position. Bringing the right people into your organization is key. However, building a good team at work means also means providing folks with the tools they need to succeed.
When I first read Gerber’s book, it was hard to imagine that I’d have a team, but here we are today almost eleven years later. The Workplace Manual I created many years ago, has had many additions and deletions, but everyone who starts in our Brooklyn studio receives a copy of it.
I’m A Girl’s Girl
I’ve been very lucky, I’ve been surrounded by smart, helpful, and resourceful women. I’m definitely a girl’s girl. Throughout my life, there have been women who’ve supported me and helped me along the way. We were women supporting women, long before the phrase became a hashtag. As a result, it’s been important to me to create a work environment for women to flourish in. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to build a good team at work. The formula that works best for Effie’s Paper has been referrals from friends, customers, and former EP employees and interns. Presently, all of the new faces you see at Effie’s Paper are the result of referrals.
However, in the past, I used online platforms like BarefootStudent.com and Indeed successfully. Recently, The New York Times did an article on how influencers build good teams and featured Effie’s Paper and some of our current and former interns.
What Does It Mean To Be The Boss?
My goal on a daily basis is to provide those on my team with what they need to get their respective jobs done. As I hand off more and focus on working on the business rather than in the business, directions and deadlines need to be clear. I’ll be the first to tell you that some weeks and months I’m better at this than others. That said, I’m learning to let go and accept that while things may not get done exactly as I would have done them, they’re getting done and they’re getting done well. (And let’s be honest, sometimes they’re getting done better than what I would’ve done) When you build a good team at work and provide them with the tools they need for success letting go of the minutia is A LOT easier.
Delegation with a dose of availability is the tactic I employ. Using tools like Slack, email, and text messaging make it easy to communicate without being overbearing. Ultimately, my goal is to help these young women flourish in the way they’re working to help Effie’s Paper flourish. Effie’s Paper is often a launching pad for young women looking to learn about digital marketing, operations, SEO, and photography – it’s also a community with its own ecosystem. I’m delighted to say that I’m still in touch with just about everyone who’s worked at Effie’s Paper. At the end of the day, that’s an important component of being the boss.
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