Team Building for Entrepreneurs

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Team Building for Entrepreneurs

By: Joanne Victoria

As a business owner and entrepreneur, you need an external and internal team of people to help your business thrive. As a business resource consultant, I also help others build the teams they need for continued success.

Whatever the reason for creating the alliance might be - a joint marketing venture with other vendors, or creating an in-office task force - the steps toward successful team building remain the same. Commitment, contribution, communication and cooperation are the cornerstones.

Once the team reaches consensus about the game plan, all team members must put aside their differences and commit themselves to the consensual strategy and goal. Remember, being on a team implies giving up your ideas for something greater than yourself. This commitment to the group also requires individuals to follow through with their own assigned tasks.

Next comes contribution - and it's the diverse offerings of every member that make a team exciting. While an effective team requires leadership, an effective leader allows every member to blossom. Ultimately, every team member should trust and feel accountable to the team as a whole - not just the leader, who may or may not be the business owner.

Developing that kind of trust requires respectful listening. No throwing cold water on anything different or new! A team approach can yield results that individual members might never have envisioned, and this abundance of creativity can be a real windfall.

Next is team communications. At the beginning of every team meeting, everyone should be heard briefly, without interruption. This is an opportunity to settle in, loosen up and connect with each other before the real work starts. Creating time for team members to share a bit about who they are outside the office makes for an enjoyable, light-hearted and productive environment.

Cooperation entails pooling all the resources and ideas of each team member, and requires patience. It's a given that group decisions will take longer than individual decisions, but if you are truly committed to team building, it's worth the wait.

--

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About The Author

Joanne Victoria - Coach, Speaker, Author


Helping independent professionals, small business owners and entrepreneurs be more successful and still be true to who they really are.

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Comments

Malcolm 23.07.2010. 05:11

What are the steps to building your team as a CEO? As a entrepreneur just getting investment money and an idea, how do you start to build a team of engineers and marketers? Where and how do you network and reach other potential clients and investors? I am in community college and plan on going to a university but how can I get started on this process of building my development and business team?

Malcolm

Admin 23.07.2010. 05:11

It might be helpful for you to start building relationships in your field. Meet with people and groups who are interested in what you want to do. A good resource for building a business is score.org. They have counselors who help people with different facets of building a business and who have real-world business experience. They also have templates for creating a business plan which might help you clarify who you want to talk to about your business.

Admin

=) 19.02.2010. 10:08

Which of the following is a true statement about team building? A) Most successful entrepreneurs have highly qualified teams that handle everything having to do with the development of the venture.
B) Compared to the owner, personnel are often more qualified to handle day-to-day implementation challenges.
C) The entrepreneur has the clearest vision in the firm.
D) The entrepreneur needs a competent team to implement an idea.

=)

Admin 19.02.2010. 10:08

The last number D

Admin

James W 16.02.2009. 19:13

My wife wants to start up her own "Team building" business - are there any grants out there to help? We live in upstate NY and was wondering if there was any federal assistance with starting up a new business like this? Either with business advice or grants etc.

Any help would be great.

Thanks

James W

Admin 16.02.2009. 19:13

It is hard to find grants to start a business. Unlike the myths that some perpetuate, federal government and even private foundations hardly give grant money for starting a for-profit business.

One possible exception is for companies developing or exporting agricultural goods, including food and forest product. Another exception could be the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sbir/index.html , which fund the research and development of technological innovation that meets specific government needs.

Your best bet actually will be from the states if they offer grant programs for women (or any other special interest groups -- minorities, women, disabled, veterans, etc). Or check with non profit organizations, particularly women organizations if they offer grants. Examples include

Iowa Women's Foundation http://www.iawf.org/
New Mexico Women's Foundation http://www.nmwf.org/guidelines.html

Even SBA does NOT give out grants. From the SBA website http://www.sba.gov/mostrequesteditems/CON_FAQ2.html

"The U.S. Small Business Administration does not offer grants to start or expand small businesses, although it does offer a wide variety of loan programs. (See http://www.sba.gov/financing for more information) While SBA does offer some grant programs, these are generally designed to expand and enhance organizations that provide small business management, technical, or financial assistance. These grants generally support non-profit organizations, intermediary lending institutions, and state and local governments."

Nonetheless, you can go to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) http://www.cfda.gov and Grants.gov http://www.grants.gov - these are two sites created by the federal government to provide transparency and information on grants. Browse through the listings and see if you can find any grant that would support a for-profit venture.

Here is a listing of federal grants for small businesses. See if there is any available for individuals for starting a business -- THERE'S NONE.
http://12.46.245.173/pls/portal30/CATALOG.BROWSE_BENEF_RPT.show

Most of the federal grants are given to specific target groups with specific requirements (e.g. minority business owners involved in transportation related contracts emanating from DOT - Grant#20.905 Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Short Term Lending Program

Grants are also often given to non profit groups or organizations involved in training or other similar activities (grant 59.043 Women's Business Ownership Assistance that are given to those who will create women's business center that will train women entrepreneurs

Admin

Brandon C 27.06.2010. 21:55

How does one get an invention factory produced? If I invent something, how do I find a factory who is able to produce my item in mass quantities? Of course, I couldn't build my own factory at first. If there are specific factories who do this, can anyone name some of them along with their websites? This, to me, has remained the biggest mystery in getting an invention to market.

Brandon C

Admin 27.06.2010. 21:55

You don't say whether you have filed a patent application. If you haven't done that, it should be your first priority.l With your patent filed, you can now begin thinking about a strategy to best realize value from your invention. Getting your invention made in a factory is just one approach. You have a number of options and there is no exact recipe for success. Each invention situation is different and there are many factors to consider. Some of the key factors that will play a role in determining the best plan for your medical invention are:

1.Nature of your invention (improvement, stand-alone product or technology platform)
2.Strength of your patent relative to existing patents
3.Scope of freedom to practice
4.Data needed to validate your concept
5.Applicable markets for your invention
6.Technical feasibility and development challenges
7.Regulatory requirements for sale
8.Competitive landscape

You can consider a spectrum of opportunities from licensing or selling your invention at the outset to starting a company. This is obviously a complex process and it involves expertise in many areas in which most physicians have not had a lot of exposure or education. Talking with industry experts and executives is probably the best way to craft a good strategy. I recommend getting several perspectives as it is more an art than a science. An industry CEO, seasoned marketing executive, successful entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and an experienced R&D engineer are a few examples of valuable but likely different perspectives on your best plan. These discussions may also provide a path to a licensing or sale discussion or the building of a startup team. Just remember, use a nondisclosure agreement until your patent application has published.

Admin

ashleyluvlady 17.11.2008. 13:43

What does a management team consist of for a self owned business? I want to open up my own business(es). I want to be an entrepreneur!
What kind of people do I need to help me? If you are answering this question, need a job, and know what you are doing.....I need your help. I need to create a business team! Email me directly if you're interested.
ashleynclove@yahoo

ashleyluvlady

Admin 17.11.2008. 13:43

It depends on the intended scope of the business, the attitude of the entrepreneur and the type of business.

For example, if you have an entrepreneur who intends to build a sizable manufacturing enterprise the business would require a minimum of a CEO, a VP of Marketing, a VP of Manufacturing and a CFO. Additional members of the team might include a VP of R&D, a VP of Sales, a VP of Purchasing and so on.

On the other hand if you are talking about the typical manufacturing operation (20 or fewer employees) the management team consists of the Boss and maybe the Bosses spouse.

Jerry-the-bookkeeper

Admin

xoxoStarlightxoxo 08.02.2011. 15:05

What can I expect to happen in a team building workshop? It's especially targeted for entrepreneurs.

xoxoStarlightxoxo

millylouise 21.07.2007. 23:00

How do you write a business plan for a startup? I wrote a business plan but I'm somewhat unsure whether it confirms to the accepted standards to go in front of a VC or a SBA-approved bank. Could you please show me how to write a business plan through a website, or give me some pointers from personal experience? Thank you in advance.

millylouise

Admin 21.07.2007. 23:00

According to the book ?The ABC's of Writing Winning Business Plans: How to Prepare a Business Plan That Others Will Want to Read -- and Invest In? http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0446694150/powerhomebizguid by Garrett Sutton, below are some tips to make a winning business plan that can get funding:

- Money follows management. Investors look first at the people involved in the company. If you are just starting out and don?t have relevant experience, investors expect to see that you have an experienced team of advisors and employees helping you in the business.

- Make sure you ?sell? the one reason your business will become profitable.

- State clearly the strategies you will employ to get the word out about your business. Your business plan must show how you will leverage the Internet, public relations, viral marketing, and other strategies to attract customers.

- Present realistic estimates of the time, energy and costs of building a successful business. Do not underestimate or overestimate revenues. While investors know your numbers are simply guesses, they want to see that your numbers are within the ?range of reality.? Be careful of your financial statements: this is one area where you can easily lose credibility if presented poorly.

- Benchmark similar companies to show that you?ve done your homework and researched the market.

- Your Executive Summary is your calling card. If it is not a winner, investors may not even read your entire plan. Emphasize your own as well as your team?s track record in the Executive Summary.

- Before sending your business plan to lenders and investors, send it out first to a few in order to get feedback. You?d want to correct your plan if someone tells you that you?re way off mark, rather than have a potential investor tell it to you and lose the chance to get the funding you need.

Here are some resources that can help you write your business plan:

- SBA Business Plan Basics http://www.sba.gov/starting_business/planning/basic.html
- PowerHomeBiz.com Creating a Business Plan section http://www.powerhomebiz.com/startup/businessplan.htm
- Entrepreneur.com Writing a Business Plan section http://www.entrepreneur.com/bizplan/0,7253,,00.html

You may also want to review some sample business plans to see how it actually looks like:

- Bplans.com http://www.bplans.com/sp/businessplans.cfm
- MOOT Corp Business Plan competition winners
http://www.businessplans.org/businessplans.html
- VFinance - View hundreds of real business plans in pdf format. http://www.vfinance.com/home.asp?bps=1&ToolPage=bps_main.asp
- Business Owners Toolkit Sample business plans and information on how to create a plan. http://www.toolkit.cch.com/tools/buspln_m.asp
- PlanWare Planning software and information. http://www.planware.org/
- Virtual Business Plan Walk through the design of a business plan. http://www.bizplanit.com/vplan.html
-SBA Business Planning Guide http://www.sba.gov/starting_business/planning/basic.html
- Small Business Advancement Center http://www.sbaer.uca.edu/business_plan/businessPlan.pdf
- Sample Business Plan General planning guide created by the Canadian Business Service Center. http://www.cbsc.org/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=CBSC_FE/display&c=GuideFactSheet&cid
- Business Plans Index - A subject guide to sample business plans and profiles for specific business types from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. http://216.183.184.20/subject/business/bplansindex.html

Some recommended books are :

- Business Plans Kit for Dummies
- The Complete Book of Business Plans : Simple Steps to Writing a Powerful Business Plan
- Writing Business Plans That Get Results : A Step-By-Step Guide
- Business Plans For DummiesŪ
- Your First Business Plan : A Simple Question and Answer Format Designed to Help You Write Your Own Plan

Admin

Coley 06.10.2009. 22:31

What are some ways that a small business can be socially responsible? Everything socially responsible (packing materials that are environmentally friendly, donating money, etc) seems to cost so much money! My small business doesn't have major corporate financial resources, but I want to be as socially responsible as possible and want to give back to the community. What are some ways that a small business without major corporate financial resources can be socially responsible and give back to the community while continuing to make a profit?

Coley

Admin 06.10.2009. 22:31

Coley, in a price-conscious world, your question is a great one. Many consumer decisions center on price alone, with no attention paid to how goods are produced or other negatives triggered intentionally or inadvertently by companies and consumers. As consumers, we buy engagement rings never thinking about whether young African children might have been enslaved to mine for those diamonds -- and of course without thinking about how that might have been OUR children if we'd grown up in a different culture.

That's consumer behavior; now let's shift to responsibilities and opportunities for companies. Marci's list of questions provides a strong base for you to increase your social responsibility. One way to look at this is through the prism of the Triple Bottom Line: People, planet, profit. In a perfect world, you want all three. In the real world of compromises, sometimes you'll end up slightly imbalanced. The trick is to keep your business from ignoring any of the three (by the way, I usually replace planet with the word "community" and use it to think beyond the environment).

Some thoughts:
-- Are your customers so price sensitive that they would balk if your products were sourced so that the growers or manufacturers were assured a living wage? (Costco has built a huge business on this -- I'm not even talking about Whole Foods).

-- Wouldn't many of your customers applaud if your packaging were all reused materials (especially if you let them know what you've helped keep out of the landfill)?

-- Isn't treating your team with deep respect much less expensive than recruiting and training replacements?

-- Doesn't being out there doing work at the local Boys and Girls Clubs help bring awareness to your brand?

We entrepreneurs create our own businesses at least in part because we want to create a reflection of our souls. Maybe a little less profit and a lot more goodwill isn't a bad tradeoff. But I'm willing to bet that if you focus on doing good while doing well, you'll grow your bottom line too.

Admin

wikkedsun 07.10.2007. 19:47

How do i create a business proposal and a business plan to bring to an investor? I have a great idea for a business and im sure it will do well besides that im not sure how i present it to an interested party. if anyone can help me out that be great

wikkedsun

Admin 07.10.2007. 19:47

According to the book ?The ABC's of Writing Winning Business Plans: How to Prepare a Business Plan That Others Will Want to Read -- and Invest In? http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0446694150/powerhomebizguid by Garrett Sutton, below are some tips to make a winning business plan that can get funding:

- Money follows management. Investors look first at the people involved in the company. If you are just starting out and don?t have relevant experience, investors expect to see that you have an experienced team of advisors and employees helping you in the business.

- Make sure you ?sell? the one reason your business will become profitable.

- State clearly the strategies you will employ to get the word out about your business. Your business plan must show how you will leverage the Internet, public relations, viral marketing, and other strategies to attract customers.

- Present realistic estimates of the time, energy and costs of building a successful business. Do not underestimate or overestimate revenues. While investors know your numbers are simply guesses, they want to see that your numbers are within the ?range of reality.? Be careful of your financial statements: this is one area where you can easily lose credibility if presented poorly.

- Benchmark similar companies to show that you?ve done your homework and researched the market.

- Your Executive Summary is your calling card. If it is not a winner, investors may not even read your entire plan. Emphasize your own as well as your team?s track record in the Executive Summary.

- Before sending your business plan to lenders and investors, send it out first to a few in order to get feedback. You?d want to correct your plan if someone tells you that you?re way off mark, rather than have a potential investor tell it to you and lose the chance to get the funding you need.

Here are some resources that can help you write your business plan:

- SBA Business Plan Basics http://www.sba.gov/starting_business/planning/basic.html
- PowerHomeBiz.com Creating a Business Plan section http://www.powerhomebiz.com/startup/businessplan.htm
- Entrepreneur.com Writing a Business Plan section http://www.entrepreneur.com/bizplan/0,7253,,00.html

You may also want to review some sample business plans to see how it actually looks like:

- Bplans.com http://www.bplans.com/sp/businessplans.cfm
- MOOT Corp Business Plan competition winners
http://www.businessplans.org/businessplans.html
- VFinance - View hundreds of real business plans in pdf format. http://www.vfinance.com/home.asp?bps=1&ToolPage=bps_main.asp
- Business Owners Toolkit Sample business plans and information on how to create a plan. http://www.toolkit.cch.com/tools/buspln_m.asp
- PlanWare Planning software and information. http://www.planware.org/
- Virtual Business Plan Walk through the design of a business plan. http://www.bizplanit.com/vplan.html
-SBA Business Planning Guide http://www.sba.gov/starting_business/planning/basic.html
- Small Business Advancement Center http://www.sbaer.uca.edu/business_plan/businessPlan.pdf
- Sample Business Plan General planning guide created by the Canadian Business Service Center. http://www.cbsc.org/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=CBSC_FE/display&c=GuideFactSheet&cid
- Business Plans Index - A subject guide to sample business plans and profiles for specific business types from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. http://216.183.184.20/subject/business/bplansindex.html

Some recommended books are :

- Business Plans Kit for Dummies
- The Complete Book of Business Plans : Simple Steps to Writing a Powerful Business Plan
- Writing Business Plans That Get Results : A Step-By-Step Guide
- Business Plans For DummiesŪ
- Your First Business Plan : A Simple Question and Answer Format Designed to Help You Write Your Own Plan

Hope that the above resources help

Admin

CO120391 11.11.2010. 04:36

How would i go about starting a bail bod company from ground up? Im currently a corrections officer and am sort of familiar with the business but i absoulutely HATE my job so i need a change and was just curious what type of certifacation of licensing i would need to start one up or even an amount of money to get the idea going? any help or advice would help.

CO120391

Admin 11.11.2010. 04:36

Let me start by saying, the time tested adage ?A failure to plan is a plan for failure? is more true today than ever before. Following are many reasons for Entrepreneurs like yourself to prepare a well thought out and concisely written business plan.

You must understand that the most critical ingredient in the recipe of long-term Entrepreneurial success that is way too often left out of the planning and operations of business, and sometimes with negative consequences.

Prove to yourself and others that you are serious about your business with a well thought out business plan, which is evidence to yourself and others of your commitment to building the business.

Establish business goals and objectives/milestones by clearly lay out your long-term business objectives/milestones that are most important to the success of your business.

Identify and better understand your competition by analyzing the competition, since all companies have competition in the form of either direct or indirect competitors, and it is critical to understand your company's competitive advantages, as compared to your competition?s weaknesses.

Identify and better understand your customer with an in-depth customer analysis that is essential to an effective business plan.

Identify and put previously unstated assumptions into words through the process of writing the business plan, which helps identify previously unknown assumptions (i.e. required licensing, etc.), and analyzes whether the assumptions are true or not.

Assess the feasibility of your venture and answer the question, how good is the opportunity? Include research specific to your target market and competition, and the feasibility study is a critical component for the success of the business.

Document your revenue model and address challenges and assumptions associated with the model, and show exactly how the business will make money.

Determine your business financial needs, and determine exactly how much capital you need and what you will use it for; essential for raising capital and for effectively employing the capital.
Attract potential investors with a well thought out business plan.

Reduce the risk of pursuing the wrong opportunity through minimize opportunity costs, and careful assessment of the attractiveness of this particular opportunity, versus other opportunities.
Forces you to research and really know your market by increasing your understanding of your marketplace, identification of the most important trends in your industry, along with the greatest threats to your industry, and the size of the target market for your product/service.

Attract employees and a management team and increase the success of retaining top quality talent, while inspiring employees and management thereby positioning the business to achieve its strategic goals.

Plot your course with time lines and focus your efforts with the well thought out business plan that provides a roadmap from which to operate and shift your short-term strategies constantly, with a view to your long-term milestones.

Attract potential partners after determining whether it is worth collaborating.
Position your brand by defining your company's role in the marketplace, and describing the business and brand position to customers, investors, and partners.

Well-documenting your marketing plan is essential to decisions specific to how are you going to reach your customers, how will you retain them, what your advertising budget is, and what price will you charge.

Understand and forecast your company?s staffing needs with a roadmap for your staffing needs that help to ensure smoother expansion.

Uncover new opportunities by seeing your business in a different light, and brainstorming that creates new ideas for marketing your product/service and running your business.

Finally, you must understand that through the process of preparing a comprehensive business plan you will find the answers to all of the questions you have about the business, regardless of the type of business you want to start up.

Best of Luck!

Admin

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