Growing a business? It takes more than just a founder to make it happen. Learn how to build an internal and external team that will keep the business going strong.

When you start out as an entrepreneur, you probably are going to need mostly an external team. And the external team would be the people that you’ve hired to navigate the spaces that you just have no idea about. And that would be legal, your business advisory, and accounting. You’ve got to have insurance people, you’ve got to have banking relationships.

These are things that you may think as an entrepreneur, you can’t afford to pay for that and you can do yourself. I assure you. The sooner you engage those individuals to help you, the quicker you’ll reach your successful point.

How about the internal team?

It’s based on a need, not necessarily a want. So what do you need? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses and can you bring in someone to take you to the next level? Should it be exactly who you are? And they should think exactly like you, a clone? That’s what everybody I think thinks, right? If you could just have a clone of yourself, this would be great.

But if you get someone with a little bit different mindset who can see things in a little bit of a different light, has a little bit of a different experience, is able to bring a little bit something different to the table, you start to grow in scale. And also you’re able to have two different conversations and see things a little bit differently as you go through hiring even more teammates.

Here’s a link to the episode we mention featuring Janel Sykora – CMO | Entrepreneur | StoryBrand Certified Guide.




Glenn: [00:00:00] Hello everyone. Welcome to another edition of Empowering Entrepreneurs Podcast. I'm Glenn Harper.

Julie: [00:00:04] Julie Smith.

Glenn: [00:00:05] What's up, Julie? How are things going on that side of the table?

Julie: [00:00:07] Hey, you know, it's a lonely table over here again. We have we don't have a guest.

Glenn: [00:00:12] Well, we've realized that as we are talking about certain concepts, we get all these questions all the time and they want a little more elaboration on how these things work. So let's go in a little depth about how this works. And I think today I think the main concept that we want to discuss is a team or is everybody a lone wolf or do people really need teams? And I think there's probably an internal and external team. Would you agree?

Julie: [00:00:36] I agree. I think this is one of my favorite topics.

Glenn: [00:00:40] Well, you are a team sport type of person. I was always a lone wolf until I realized that wow team is pretty cool and I'm going to start a little bit about that. You have to have a when you start out as an entrepreneur, you probably are going to need mostly an external team. And the external team would be the people that you've hired to navigate the spaces that you just have no idea. And that would be includes from the legal standpoint, from your business advisory, accounting, tax situation type of thing. You've got to have insurance people, you've got to have banking relationships. These are things that you may think as an entrepreneur, you can you can't afford to pay for that and you can do it yourself. I assure you. The sooner you engage those individuals to help you, the quicker you'll reach your successful point.

Julie: [00:01:27] Well, and I think it's actually less expensive to do it the way you just described. But, you know, I think once you build your team externally, you're again, surrounding yourself with people who believe in what you're doing. And you're kind of been able to describe, especially with your, you know, your business coach or your business advisory people exactly where you're going and what you're doing. And I think that's really important.

Glenn: [00:01:50] Right. And remember, these people that you hire to be on your team, they're all for you. And you're not actually looking for a quantity of work and time with them. You're looking for quality. And so you're going to these very pointed questions or pointed situations. And if you can communicate effectively with them what you're trying to accomplish, they certainly help you guide through all that.

Julie: [00:02:12] And I think something to note too is you may not find the right fit for you right off the bat. So it's okay to go through one, two, or three of them in order to find the best fit for you. I wouldn't necessarily settle if your gut tells you that this isn't the right fit.

Glenn: [00:02:28] Are you saying that all attorneys and bean counters are not the same?

Julie: [00:02:32] What I am, I'm, you know, maybe.

Glenn: [00:02:34] Saying, well, they're all definitely different. And again, it's as an entrepreneur starting off and building your external team, it's you know, you have to go with the concept. You know, price is what you pay, value is what you get. You as an entrepreneur are trying to do a value proposition for your clients. But at the same time, your team, your external team, they are doing a value proposition to you. So the price should it's important, but it shouldn't matter because you're trying to get this value. So you got to learn the difference between the two.

Julie: [00:03:03] Absolutely. I think that's a great point. Then I'm going to circle around with something a little different. I think everybody on that team should be able to work together.

Glenn: [00:03:10] Oh, it's very important. Who's the ringleader, you think? In your experience? My experience, yeah. Who do you think is like you'd be the ringleader for that relationship, for all those different parts of the team externally?

Julie: [00:03:21] I mean, I definitely think the CPA business advisor is the one that helps to kind of lead that their knowledge is a little bit more. Broad in regards to what you're doing, and they are able to facilitate some of those things a little bit better. But I also think that goes back to what I just said is making sure you have all the right people in the right places at the right time on that team, because if they're unable to work together or they're, you know, unable to believe together what's going on, that that causes a little bit of strife, I think.

Glenn: [00:03:49] Right. Remember, your external team is the one that's going to kind of set your business up to make put you in the best position to be successful. And there's a lot of conceptual things, strategy things, there's a lot of Q&A going back and forth. And the people that do that, the majority of that time should be the why and the how and the shortcut and the value add. And then ultimately, once you get that set up, they're going to be doing these transactions to set you up a certain type of entity. You've got to go open a bank account, you got to do these tasks, transaction things. But most of the time you're looking for the advice at first to help you get you set up.

Julie: [00:04:26] Properly, right? And I think once you realize as an entrepreneur that you don't know everything and you're not great at everything and really turning those things over to the people that are will set you up for success.

Glenn: [00:04:36] You suggesting that entrepreneurs think they know it all? You know? Yeah, we do. And the hard part is not only knowing it all, but we look at it as a badge of weakness. If we don't like it, we think we're supposed to know it all, know we're not. We're supposed to know what we want to do for a living and what our entrepreneur journey is supposed to look like and what that product is, the service we're executing on. But we're not supposed to know everything about these other things. And I think probably once you get your external team going and you should recognize successes at that point financially and just you have a little bit of swag about you and you're doing well, then all of a sudden you've got to figure out the next challenge, which is what, trying to scale.

Julie: [00:05:13] It, right? So that probably means you need to have an internal team. And how do you you know, how do you make that first hire and what does that look like?

Glenn: [00:05:21] Boy, that's a toughie. Like who is the first go-to person? You know, most entrepreneurs probably start off with somebody answering the phones. Maybe somebody thinks about doing just somebody to help with the internal books, maybe doing some accounting work, maybe a marketing person. What how does one go and decide what their first teammates should be?

Julie: [00:05:41] Well, I mean, I think that's huge. I think it's based on a need, not necessarily a want. So what do you need? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses and what are what can you bring in someone to take you to the next level? Should it be exactly who you are? And they should think exactly like you do a clone. That's what everybody I think thinks, right? If I could just have a clone of myself, you know, this would be great. But I think if you get someone with a little bit different mindset who can see things in a little bit of a different light, has a little bit of a different experience, is able to bring a little bit something different to the table when you start to grow in scale. And also you're able to have two different conversations and see things, you know, a little bit different as you go through hiring even more teammates.

Glenn: [00:06:23] I agree with you 100%. I had to learn that on School of Hard Knocks and how that works because you think you want a clone of yourself, you want somebody that's going to do what you do. You really don't. You want some of those opposite of that and brings something of else to value to the table because if not, you're going to keep doing the same thing the same way you've always done it. You have to get out of your own way on that.

Julie: [00:06:44] I absolutely couldn't agree more with that. But I also think that that helps, you know, as the entrepreneur continues to grow, even that first hire, maybe it's that second hire as you continue to hire more kind of becomes that intermediary, an intermediary between sometimes the owner and that vision and what they're doing and the rest of the team. And I think that helps the team kind of collaborate and come together. And usually, the owner and you know, this teammate can communicate differently with the team. And when I say that, meaning they understand what that teammate may need to hear more than that owner, and oftentimes I think they can get a little bit better, you know, production or a little bit better product out of those employees.

Glenn: [00:07:27] And it's I think the important thing to note, you know, you have your external team that does these things to kind of keep you compliant and your strategy and all those things. But then ultimately you're trying to deliver this product or service and your internal team will help you do that. Well, you as the entrepreneur generally have this wild idea that this is the product or service you want to do, but it's impossible to scale, it's impossible to do everything on all levels of it. So you need definitely some operations people to help out. And that's a huge thing. And I think when you put the operations person in to help you deliver that product or service more efficiently and more timely and more standardized, all of a sudden now you can start expanding, right?

Julie: [00:08:09] So now we're switching, you know, your team should help. You know, you're going to have to standardize and process some of that because as you continue to scale, you're going to want that efficiency. You're going to want your brand to have consistency, which is, you know, Janell talks a lot about that on a previous podcast that your brand basically is consistency and so as you scale. You bring on teammates, you want to be able to make sure that everyone is doing things the same way so that the same product, the same service is what's being delivered ultimately.

Glenn: [00:08:38] Yeah, it's funny. You, you, you got to have everybody on your team kind of doing it the same way for the same reasons. And if not, you're not going to be very successful.

Julie: [00:08:50] And I think what goes with that, though, is each teammate is going to have their own flair. And I think it's recognizing that and letting them have that. But at the same point, it's still the same product or service being delivered. And I think that's an A in a great small company. That's what's kind of cool about it though, is everyone's ability to have their own flair, yet it's still the same product and service, right?

Glenn: [00:09:09] You have. We always talk about this with other guests and things that you have, this internal thing that you're trying to accomplish and how everybody has their swag and how we get along. And then we have these external how we represent ourselves outside as an entrepreneur. I guess it's twofold. One is as the entrepreneur and your leadership team, how you have to hash things out and then be united, then go out and talk to your team and then as the entire company, how do we go represent out to our clients? Right. Those are two separate three separate conversations, basically. Right.

Julie: [00:09:42] Right. And especially as you're scaling, recognizing when you need to implement those with your team and who needs to kind of be the leader behind those. I think in general, as you get bigger, it's not necessarily the owner or the entrepreneur, it's someone else you've put in place to kind of deliver your vision, your mission, what your brand is, and exactly how you're going to deliver that.

Glenn: [00:10:01] So you're saying that there's hope for consumers, that they don't have to do everything all the time?

Julie: [00:10:05] Well, like they have to get out of their own way first. But once they do that, yes, absolutely.

Glenn: [00:10:09] It's the craziest thing. You know, you as an entrepreneur, you look at things and look at other companies and other entrepreneurs, you know, like, why can't that be me? And it can be you. But the only way it's going to be you and you can be that person is when you try to implement all these the things we just talked about because that's how these people did it.

Julie: [00:10:30] And I think when, you know, when I sit down to hire, I want to hire. Everyone's got to be smarter than me. I don't ever. And I think we both have that same like never want to be the smartest one in the room. I want to hire everyone that's smarter and surround yourself with those people because ultimately that's how your company is going to be able to go to the next level.

Glenn: [00:10:48] You trust them and power them and let them go to work. And again, ultimately, you're going to have some sort of parameters that, you know, that says, hey, we've got to stay in this box when it comes to how we do our brand and things. But when we're not talking about that, the sky's the limit. We're going to talk about anything and do anything, and that's what we're doing. But ultimately, you don't want to stifle somebody's creativity, creativity. You do not want to not trust them, and you don't want to empower them because you'll never keep them.

Julie: [00:11:16] Right. And I think as you're building your team, who you hire changes and how you hire changes because once you get one or two people that you trust and you've empowered you, now all of a sudden are going to fiercely protect what you've built.

Glenn: [00:11:29] You kind of have to because the wolves are always crawling up the at the gates.

Julie: [00:11:34] Right. So I think as you go through that, you'll be able to better define that as well.

Glenn: [00:11:38] And I think one other thing that I think is important is entrepreneurs and people in general, they're always thinking short term because in this society today, everything's real quick. And I need instant gratification on this and this. When you're hiring somebody or you're bringing a teammate, it's not for who you are today. It's going to be who you are down the road. We're talking a couple of years down the road, six months, nine months, a year, two years, five years. And because if you don't have that vision, they're going to outgrow that that that job description immediately. And then they're not going to be happy about that. You've got to give an opportunity for them to grow.

Julie: [00:12:11] And I think if you're able to elevate them so you can have a short-term gain, you know, and you can still have that long-term gain, that's a great hire. But I think most people, like you said, hire for a short term, then all of a sudden you're stuck. You know, when you have a short-term employee, unfortunately, I think it's very costly for the company and most entrepreneurs can't endure that cost. So if you could really sit down and look at where you want to go and how that person fits into it, your hire may not be within two weeks. It may take four weeks or six weeks to get them, but they're going to be a long-term employee. And you know that two or three-week window that you had to wait, it's ultimately going to pay off a lot quicker than someone who's short term.

Glenn: [00:12:48] And that really comes down to you as the entrepreneur communicating what it is, your vision, what you're trying to accomplish. And it's really, you know, everything's sales or everything's marketing because it really is because you have to be able to effectively communicate what you're trying to accomplish. So whoever is that on their side of the table with you can process that, recognize it and see where they fit in on that. And then where are they going to bring in their help to make that happen? If you don't communicate to you, if you just keep all your cards close to your chest, nobody's going to know how can you grow a business. How can you build a team? How can you do anything if you don't share those types of things and accumulate with your team?

Julie: [00:13:26] Well, unfortunately, I think what happened? As you're not you've kind of. Someone else is growing that. And all of a sudden you have something that maybe you didn't envision or that's not really what you wanted and just go and start from scratch all because you couldn't communicate, I think it is very costly.

Glenn: [00:13:40] Definitely not where you want to be. So hopefully the takeaway of this episode is, you know, empower your team, create your vision and make sure that you find the right people at the right place from an external team, internal team. And remember, just trust and empower.

Julie: [00:13:55] And make sure you're always communicating.

Glenn: [00:13:58] Well, thanks again for joining us. I'm Glenn Harper

Julie: [00:13:59] I'm Julie Smith.

Glenn: [00:14:01] Take care.