Can you really start a small business without a strong team?

Malaysia Lankawei 5
Malaysia Lankawei 5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Malaysian social entrepreneur went for a holiday at a remote coastal village and discovered that the local people were in need of homes. So he began to put a concept together of building modular homes that could involve volunteers assisting communities to build homes. But everywhere he went he could not find architects or civil engineers who could help him realise his vision.

Eventually after about eight months he was at a dinner with extended family and by chance he happened to mention what he was trying to do and one of the family members who owned and ran a construction company suggested that he meet with his management team and specialists to come up with a concept.

Even this construction owner’s specialised staff of architects and engineers didn’t believe it was feasible to build modular homes in the way that the Malaysian social entrepreneurs had envisaged. But eventually they came around and helped him develop his first prototype. Subsequently, the social entrepreneur has attracted funding for building many of these modular homes in rural areas in Malaysia. Because of his success he now has about 50 professionals including architects, engineers and lawyers to assist pro bono to develop the modular homes concept further.

The point here is that when you start something new from an idea or concept, you’ll most likely end up needing a team of specialists to help you conceive, design, implement and operate your business model whether it be for making money or making a difference. Yes, you can be a solopreneur but that often means that you are a “gun for hire” or freelancer selling your time rather than a product or service. The entrepreneur who starts up a new business based on a product or service will inevitably need a professional team as well as perhaps supplier partners who have specialised knowledge, skills and expertise.

Knowing how to identify, select and recruit specialised staff or supplier partners can often mean the difference between success and failure in a new venture. A large measure of your success will depend on whether others are motivated enough to buy into your value proposition, your vision and are convinced by the strength of your persuasion skills.

It’s a sad reality but if you can’t pull together the right team to help you develop and grow your start-up venture, it may never get off the ground. Or, you may get a small venture up and running but it dies a slow death because you haven’t been able to attract a crack team to help you realise your vision. The more time and attention that you paid to finding the right people who can assist you to grow your business, the better.

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