Entering the market is an exciting time for a business. Wonderful, in fact. Just remember that everyone involved in your operation during this critical time needs to be at the top of their game and working at their optimum -- especially if you want to successfully navigate this crucial, go-to-market stage.
Thinking about talent is important; management often brings in freelancers or consultants to plug a gap or help access talent quickly. As a startup with lean resources, every single person is important otherwise it’s at the risk of cash flow.
Here are 3 tips to help you onboard and lead a productive team of freelancers and consultants so that you can scale.
We’ll discuss why defining roles, communication and appreciation are critical for success.
Define all your teams' roles
“Today’s workers need to approach the workplace much like athletes preparing for the Olympics, with one difference. They have to prepare like someone who is training for the Olympics, but doesn’t know what sport they are going to enter.”
― Thomas L. Friedman, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
The modern business ecosystem means we love people who can adapt. Globalisation has flattened the earth. In 2018, working with freelancers means you have to be clear about their roles and your expectations of them all the while keeping them focused on the common goal.
And, you can do all this by using technology to go above and beyond. Why send emails back and forth when you can make web calls? The convergence of technology and globalisation shouldn’t mean your freelancers are out of sync with your cause. Yes, you’ll have the jack-of-all trade freelancers, as Thomas L.Friedman highlighted in 2006, but it’s your job, with laser-guided precision, to keep them motivated and focused on the task at hand.
Communication is Key: Develop a Clear Strategy from the Beginning
You need your extended team at their peak during this crucial period. Therefore, you should set up a clear strategy for communication that runs from the top to the bottom of your organisation.
This communications strategy isn’t just for external messaging. Neither is it strictly for internal messaging. It’s for both. Consistency is key, whether stakeholders are dealing with colleagues or customers, or the communication is private or in the public domain, you must always maintain the company message.
Integrity too, must be instilled from the moment new employees, freelancers and consultants are brought on board. Without the correct communicative guidelines, as explained next, stakeholders won’t understand your brand, which will be detrimental to it and may even cause it to crash and burn.
Remind Them That They Are Valuable Members of Your Team
Why? Well, because they are and should be treated as such. Egos should be left at the door during the early stages of your venture. Everyone, including investors, first few employees, freelancers, and consultants should -- if you get your communications right -- be treated equally.
Also, don’t just assume everyone knows you’re pleased. Be proactive. Tell them that they’re crucial and reward them when they do well. Failure to express your appreciation may result in resentments. Instead, nurture a great working environment through positive reinforcement. To keep teams inspired and focused, be sure to encourage, mentor, reward, and repeat.
“You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.”
― Jim Stovall
Cat Williams-Treloar founded Humanisation, a Human-Centered Marketing Consultancy. Humanisation was born to help startups make a human impact in a digital world as they Go-To-Market across APAC.