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How Big Should Your Team Really Be?

Filed in Educational — March 20, 2023

How big should your team really be: Your guide to determining the right team size for your business

The question around team size is often a one which stops many founders in their tracks when they are beginning to scale or are moving from operating at multi 6 figures in annual revenue to hitting their company growth goals of 7 or 8 figure revenues.

Knowing how big your team should be is something that comes from trial and error, to a certain degree. However, it is a common mistake that founders make regarding over estimating how many team members they need to service a particular area of a business. 

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need 10 full time employees when you might only need 3 freelancers who can do a better job in less time…

We all know that hiring new team members is often an exciting and busy time, right? 

But often enough it can be stressful and taxing, too. 

‘Why?’ You may ask…

Because you haven’t fully considered all the factors involved in the decision making yet. Your ideas are all half-baked and haven’t been meticulously thought out.

Here are some prompts to get you thinking:

Key questions to ask yourself:Why is this important? 
Have you considered your business model?Team size must correspond to your business model. 
You may find that you don’t need a large team to suit your business and that a larger team may hamper your progress.
Consider reshuffling your current team members and utilising their potential fully first.
Are you outlining clear expectations? Set clear expectations, boundaries and limits so that everybody is involved and collaborating fairly.
Strong leadership is essential.
Be prepared to face the challenges of hiring new team members and be patient! 
They may not be able to do a task as fast as you can, but that’s ok. 
By delegating, you have time to do other tasks within your business that have never previously taken priority.
Have you set realistic goals? Set clear goals and outline an achievable success path for your team.
This helps to: 
Motivate and maximise your team’s potential
Encourage a good rapport 
Build trust and empathy
Foster a positive working environment
Reach your goals in business!

These are just a few important questions that can be considered to help you get a full picture of the situation that you are faced with.

It’s no secret that hiring more team members can be an ego boost; making us believe that our businesses are heading in the right direction. 

But, we all want to make the most affordable, beneficial and essential decision for our business to reduce setbacks and losses, right? 

So, sometimes it’s necessary to think about your decisions fully, even when you’re at a time of exponential growth in your business and desperately need all hands on deck. 

Key takeaways to keep in mind: 

  1. Plan and do an audit of where you currently are, what is the team achieving? What skills are missing? Where aren’t you getting the most out of the resource you’ve got in place already?
  1. Create a roadmap that matches your growth goals and wider aims of the business over the next 48 months. 
  1. Work out for each role what you think you need, what type of employment / hiring makes the most sense e.g. salaries, contractor, part time, freelance, agency etc. 
  1. Take time and have a thorough recruitment process. This isn‘t something that should be rushed or poorly executed. 
  1. If you can slowly expand your team, do it. If you have the space to onboard and allow team members to settle in with quality support before hiring 10 other team members, great. Sometimes that won’t be possible – scaling at times is fast. 
  1. If you need to onboard 15+ people in your team at once, you must ensure you have adequate resources available to make sure that onboarding and integration is going to be successful.
  1. The more deeply you can understand each job role, what you want, what the role actually is not what you think it is… the better you can hire. Don’t skip the step of understanding what the person’s day to day is going to look like.  
  1. You are better having a smaller well-managed team who are high performing than having a huge team that you feel that you don’t really know, lack the ability to manage and aren’t clear on what they are all doing or responsible for achieving.
  1. If you got to the end of this blog post and are still reading, it’s likely you’d benefit from a Strategy Intensive with May where you can fully plan and map this progression out and leave knowing exactly what your next steps are. Not only with what size team would be best but also how you are going to make that a reality. More info here
  1. The time and money you put into developing your team is not wasted, it’s so valuable and will pay you back 100x over. At times it can be difficult to prioritise but don’t let it slip, don’t hire and then have to fix afterwards, that’s really costly. Get it right from the start and make your everyday smoother. 

Want more team discussion? Listen to our podcast episode 1 of the Honest Business Podcast here. It’s just over half an hour’s worth of invaluable advice from May, as she takes a deep dive into this topic and really drills down to the intricacies of hiring team members.

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