Who you know, not what you know!

One of the many reasons new business ventures fail is the lack of a well formed team. In 2001, TWC wrote a press release that stated “Some 83% of all business start-ups fail, often because of intrinsic weaknesses in their management teams.” An article on CNN Money mentions that often times “dream teams” lead to failure because of too many all-stars on one team (synonymous with ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’). The opening statement in an article by Ian MacLachlan of Business Team states “The primary reasons for failure are a lack of capital and poor or no management experience.”

While there are a lot of other reasons that a majority of the businesses started fail within 3 years of operation, the leading cause is a defect in the team running the business. It seems that meeting the right people, for the right job, at the right time is painfully difficult. The proof is the fact that these failing teams are the venture killers!

But meeting the right people are difficult. Typically, to find them an entrepreneur must attend user groups, post advertisements for potential position openings, and query an existing social network. Without existing and trusted relationships already established, it is hard to acquire new connections. People want to get paid. And people really deserve to be paid. That hot idea and ripe market just can’t wait for that though; the opportunity slips by. Eventually, if the idea was worthwhile, another company beat you to it.

Why is it hard to meet and build relationships with quality people?

Unlike the days in most everyone’s youth, people are weary of building new relationships. They have wives and husbands, children, pets, existing jobs (“slave” labor), and hobbies; they are comfortable. People who are on the lookout for new connections are critical, and look down on lack of business experience. It is reasonable after all… they’ve been burned by inexperience, negligence, and victims of one-way relationships. Or they’re comparing you to the business owners they already know without getting a chance to see what you have to offer.

Why do so many people feel the need to be a part of every facet of the business?

This is something that has bothered me for a long time. A lot of people feel the need to dip themselves in every aspect of a new business’ responsibilities. Some feel that it is exciting to get a taste of every slice. Others have an ego complex. And still others have no sense of focus.

This is not to be confused with a general understanding and assistance of running a new business (“wearing multiple hats”). Core members of a new small business should definitely work together, lend a hand, and get an understanding of what the other members are involved in, but someone should ultimately own a responsibility. There’s simply no room for everyone to. Different views, opinions, and ideals eventually become a major disruption to what is suppose to be a bonding force between focused and striving founders.

Why is it so difficult to get teams to come together and build a shared agenda or ideology?

Why is it really? Is it because by nature our survival clocks keep us on our toes and lead us to trust (all too firmly) our instincts? Perhaps it is because we are weary of trusting others.

But in order for a business to be successful, a synergy between members is crucial. When a team can come together on a single (but shared) vision, positive growth starts happening. People jive, productivity increases, teams flow. Finding this balance is difficult, and as ever changing as stock market trends and pop culture.

There are answers. Nurture your connections.

Hired hands are a dime a dozen, but often they don’t provide a service-level needed to scale or start a successful business. Nurturing your network is the most beneficial form of building a future team. You’ll build trust and support, and eventually the people around you will want to be part of it all. By lending a hand to people you’ve met, mentoring another entrepreneur, or introducing them to your own network, you are seeding a future business partner (in whatever form that may be).

It takes work, but with persistence (and keeping in touch) you will find that the more quality people that you know will very quickly outweigh the quantity.

The question I propose to everyone is, what are some of your excellent methods of building solid relationships before a venture is even born, so that when the day comes to build a team, everyone is on board?

One thought on “Who you know, not what you know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *