In my last blog I talked about how both football and business teams need a balance to perform well and spoke about how a team of strikers (eg: sales people) or a team of defenders (eg: finance people) would not perform well and in a worst case scenario could end up be being relegated (or insolvent).

Looking on the positive side a strong performance by a football team can lead to promotion.  However being in a bigger league brings challenges and in order to survive and thrive better players may need to be added to the team that won promotion!!

The demands of growth and being in a bigger business league can also create challenges.

  • In the early stages of a business the owner will (or should) know everything that is going on.  Usually (often in an informal or ad hoc way) the owner may deal with virtually everything (eg: business development, providing the product or service, day to day finance and more!).
  • When the business grows, the work load will be too much for the owner who will start to build a team:
    • the business will start to hire people, possibly specialists.
    • however using the football analogy, there will be a small squad, and people may also take on duties outside their comfort zone, ie: playing out of position.
    • also the business, may not be able to afford the top players
  • At the other end of the spectrum a large business will have highly qualified specialists that the owner can rely on and few people (if any) “playing out of position”.

(Although, away from the analogy) As a business grows there are more and more things happening.  The business (by sheer virtue of having more people in it and more volume) becomes more complex.  The owner can get bogged down in detail or alternatively hire better qualified people who can make the difference between the owner being able to work in the business or on it.

Returning to football, a newly promoted team requires a balanced squad and also some better players.   Improved income will mean that the club may be able to afford some new signings, but often the club will not be able to sign all the players they would like.   They is can be solved by:

  • training existing players (although that’s assuming the players have the ability to raise their game)
  • taking on loan players with no long term commitment.

I would say that all business owners should consider the composition of their team and ask themselves:

  • is it balanced?
  • does it have people operating at the level that is really needed to push the business forward?

If the answer is “no” to either question; then it is definitely worth doing something to improve the team.  That can be done through:

  • employing people
  • training (if staff have the aptitude to improve to the right level)
  • taking someone on “loan” ie: on a freelance basis without a long term commitment.  I would add that experienced “on loan” resource can not only solve a short term problem, but may also help to train/ develop the permanent members of the team.

Whether it is HR, IT, PR, sales, marketing or finance there are people out there that can help your business work towards the next promotion!!