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Building a team

As your business expands, you will need to take on staff or train your existing workforce in order to meet increased demand for your products or services. Whether you already have employees and are looking to expand the team or you are a sole trader thinking about taking on staff for the first time, building a team will allow you to delegate responsibilities and take advantage of new and different skills.

Successful team building is vital as it will define the future of your business. It can also be a bit of a headache and a drain on your valuable time since the recruitment process demands a lot of attention, but putting in the effort now will pay off in the long run.

The right time

When making the decision to recruit, there are some important factors that you need to consider, such as the legalities, financial implications, and timing. Timing is all important – if you recruit too early you might be faced with cash flow problems, but if you leave it too late you may be unable to meet demand for your products or services and miss out on new business opportunities.

The first step is to define your goals and establish where you are going as a business. Defining what you do well and what you need to do better will help you think about the type of employer you want to be and develop a brand candidates will want to be part of.

Employing people who share in your vision is important, so think about what your company stands for and why people would want to work for you.

Test your skills

Identifying the skills, disciplines, competencies and qualities your team needs to help you achieve your goals can be challenging for a business owner, so it might be worth employing someone from outside the business to undertake this task.

We have focused on recruitment so far, but you can also improve the range and level of skills in your business by training up existing staff. Giving staff new training opportunities can increase their loyalty to your company and improve productivity.

Once you have decided what skills you require you should also think about setting some ground rules on how you expect the team to work together, communicate, plan, and meet.

Clarify your offer

Once you have identified the type of people you need, you can start to think about the job description. It is important to be honest, clear and accurate on what the role entails and the skills and expertise you are looking for – there is no point attracting potential candidates only for them to decline an offer because it wasn’t quite what they were looking for.

Stress the opportunities and be clear on career progression. What can you offer talented people to make them want to work for you?

Finally, remember that great teams are made up of people who complement each other, so don’t be tempted to employ candidates just because you like them.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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