How to Build a Team for Your Small Business When You’re Not Sure Where to Start

There comes a time in any growing business when you realize you just can’t do it all yourself. The late nights, the constant feeling of overwhelm, and the realization that you’re nearing burnout are all good clues that time to build a team for your small business!

But how do you begin the process if you’ve never hired people before? Don't worry.  I've got you!

In this post, you'll learn exactly how to build a team for your small business — including what to do BEFORE you even start the hiring process.

1. Be Clear On Your Mission

Before you start hiring, I’d encourage you to have a mission statement for your business. A company mission provides perfect clarity behind the what, who, and why of your company.

An example mission statement could be: To help small business owners gain clients through social media marketing.

Being clear on your mission is important as you’ll want to share this mission statement with any potential employees — both to see if they’re a good fit, and also so they’ll know how their role fits into the “big picture” of your company.

This will be important as you’ll want to share this mission statement with any potential employees…both to see if they’re a good fit, and also so they’ll know how their role fits into the “big picture” of your companyClick To Tweet

Haven’t identified your mission statement yet? No problem. I go over this briefly in my post, How to Set Goals in Your Business.

2. Understand the Culture of Your Company

In addition to your company's mission, you'll also want to understand the culture of your company.  This is likely something that hasn’t crossed your mind before.  That's not surprising. Up until now, you’ve been running the show by yourself.

Whether you realize it or not, even as a team of one, you already have a culture.  You just haven't articulated it yet.  Before you build a team for your small business though, you'll want to be able to express it clearly.

Spend some time thinking about what your culture is.  Write it down.

One strategy that works really well for this is to simply choose five words you want to define your working environment.

Some examples could include:

Once you’ve chosen the five words that feel accurately reflect your culture, you can go ahead and expand on each.

How are these values manifested in your company?  How do these relate to interactions with each other and with clients? Be specific!

The clearer you are the easier it will be to express to potential hires.

3. Write Your Job Descriptions

If you already have a pretty good idea of what types of jobs or tasks you want to hire for, that will make this next step much easier.  That step is to write good job descriptions.

I cannot express how important it is that you have clear, concise descriptions you can include in your job postings.

A good job description will cover the following elements:

  • The job title (e.g., Project Manager)
  • Where the job fits in your company hierarchy: Who will report to this person? Who will this person report to?
  • Specific responsibilities: What will they do on a daily basis?
  • Skillsets or qualifications needed: Think about experience, education, specific technical skills, etc.
  • Salary or pay: It’s fine to have a range depending on experience and education

4. Find the Right People for Your Team

Once you've gone through steps 1-4, you'll be well on your way to building a team for your small business. This is the step where the “rubber meets the road”. 

It’s time to get out there and find a winning team that will help you grow your small business!

I always, ALWAYS recommend starting by asking trusted friends and colleagues for recommendations. This is far and away the best way to find amazing, trustworthy members for your team.  If you belong to a networking organization, start there.

I always ALWAYS recommend starting by asking trusted friends and colleagues for recommendations. This is far and away the best way to find amazing, trustworthy members for your team. Click To Tweet

If you can’t build out your entire team through personal recommendations, here are some other ways you can find people:

  • LinkedIn: You can either post your job(s) on LinkedIn, or reach out to qualified candidates already in your network (or your network’s network!)
  • Post your job(s) on popular recruiting sites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, or Monster
  • Looking for a virtual team? Post your job on remote job sites like FlexJobs or
  • Share about the openings on your social media accounts. These people will already know and like your business, which is a great start!

Before you meet with potential candidates, be sure to have a list of questions or criteria that will help you narrow down your selection.

Keep in mind this should include “soft skills” and first impressions! For instance, does the person seem flexible and relaxed? Does he or she ask the right questions? Does he or she seem like someone you’d actually enjoy working with?

These aren’t necessarily skills you can ask for in your job posting, so your interview will be the perfect time to gather this information!

Final Thoughts about Hiring a Team

I hope this post has given you some good ideas for building a team for your small business.

The whole idea can feel very overwhelming at first, but just remind yourself that this is a necessary step in growing a successful business.

You can reduce the overwhelm by creating a business process that you can use to build a team.  Having a process helps make it all a little easier.

Are you ready to jump in and build a successful team? Let me know in the comments below!

UPDATED on April 19, 2022

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