Why You Need a Team of People Rather than Trying to Be the Lonely Warrior
Let’s consider the benefits of building a team.
If I am right and my arguments persuade you, your business will profit from working in a group, and your income will grow faster.
My personal story supports this statement. It is a story that can be applied to any online business.
After graduation, I had the idea to establish a translation agency and work there part-time as an interpreter and translator.
While I had a good command of three foreign languages, it was obvious that I needed teammates.
My foreign languages – English, French and Russian – were hard to get, and I felt proud of them, but I did not speak some widely used languages like German and Spanish.
On top of that, managing the administrative everyday jobs was not appealing to me.
So, the new agency started with a recruitment evening in an apartment, where many of my friends and acquaintances decided to join my would-be team.
As you can see, building a team in my case was an obvious necessity, and even timing was not a question.
Let me share with you my main takeaway from my translation business: the success of any project depends on the human factor.
Even if you have a brilliant idea, one person may not be enough to realize it.
As they say, teamwork makes the dream work.
If your aim with your business is to see it expanding, then it is only a matter of time when you need a team.
Here are a few supporting arguments:
- You cannot solve all problems alone, even if you are smart and experienced.
- You cannot handle all the workload alone.
- Involving venture capital is easier if you have a team (see my other blog post about that).
- Tasks should be distributed; it is not healthy to put all the burden on one person.
- The collective wisdom of a team is always greater than the knowledge of each member combined.
- Interaction among team members adds value to the final output.
- People can motivate each other; thinking collectively is usually fruitful.
- The sense of accountability is better in a team because people together bear responsible for a project.
- Spreading operative tasks at the team level allows setting higher objectives for the whole organization above the individual goals of team members.
- A team is cost-efficient: together they can manage the work and find optimum solutions.
- Listening to each other and learning from each other makes the whole enterprise a learning organization, improving the knowledge management process.
Are there any arguments against teamwork?
Well, there are some.
- Working with others entails making compromises.
- Team members must be compensated, either by giving them shares or salaries.
- Finding the right people is hard and costs money.
- Every new member joining the team represents some risks (we have heard about the so-called toxic personalities…).
- There is no need of having meetings or discuss anything with anybody.
- No need to organize the workflow, prioritize tasks, etc.
- Even the smallest team (two people working together) means there are factors – political, mental, psychological, and others – that can complicate your life.
In my opinion, the advantages of a team outnumber its downsides.
Furthermore, if you think of my linguistic enterprise and your starting online enterprise, there seems to be a connection, similarities I’d like to highlight.
In my case, it was quite obvious that if I knew only 3 of the major European languages but lacked two very important ones: Spanish and German, I needed more team members.
The demand for translations from Russian to English was more than I could handle.
Clearly, I needed another Russian/English linguist.
But as my business grew, eventually I also needed help with the billing, the bookkeeping, computer administration, and more.
Even though I had the knowledge and skill to perform those tasks, I could not translate from Russian into English and issue invoices at the same time.
I've got to add to my team.
Moreover, I had to add team members with complementary skills.
I needed to be freed up to do what I did best which was translate from Russian to English and not keep a handful of PCs properly administered.
This concept of diversifying a team as it grows applies to an online business as well!
The online business needs skilled copywriters, system administrators, bookkeepers, subject matter experts, etc.
Initially, this may be just the founding entrepreneur, but very quickly the workload overwhelms one person, and the team must grow.
Also, a person who is only a copywriter will write better copy than a person who must write copy, administer PCs, edit videos, perform webmaster tasks, etc.
Finally, two copywriters who review each other's copy and offer constructive feedback will write better copy than the lone copywriter.
So, I believe that my experience and these considerations show you that an online enterprise will do much better with a diversified team than with one, lonely warrior.
Please start planning and building that team!
Don’t be a Don Quixote on the battlefield of business.
Or, I am actually wrong: Don Quixote and Sancho Pansa formed a strong team!