Busting the Myth that a Successful Business Needs a Team

I have a friend. He always says, “You need a team if you want to succeed.” Of course, I agree that those who support you are important. It is important to have an idea which unites. But your friends — even if they are lit up with your idea — have to feed their families. And you may fail to have a sufficient startup capital to provide at least a minimum payment for their work.

People can work for a cause without getting any money, but not everyone has enough enthusiasm to get to the finish line. You cannot demand maximum their efforts — you will know that you have no right for that. If this is your team, you want them to get decent pay.

None of your friends may have the necessary expertise, and you will need a professional who needs to get paid.

If you have no team or money to pay your employees, it is not an excuse to fail to do what you dream of doing.

Start with a Small Scale, but Make Sure to Start!

Doing everything at once is a common error of startups. You see your competitors publish 4 articles per day and think that you need to follow the same rhythm. You see the numerous features your competitor websites have that you really like, and think that your website should have no less. From my own experience, I can say that startups with such an approach usually die before even entering the market.

If you can publish just one article per day, go ahead and publish just one. If you can implement just one feature, do it. Start with something. Let the world see it. Develop it. When you have an audience and your project starts making a steady income, you will be able to hire another author or add new features. You can create a large company and draw investments if you wish. But you will have it later. But at first, all you have is you, your discipline, and your belief in success.

Simplify the Complicated, Delegate the Simple

Break a complex iterative process into simpler steps and delegate some of these simple steps. Finding and training a few people who will perform simple tasks is much simpler and cheaper than hiring a professional who will be able to perform the entire process, and do it efficiently. When you break a process into several steps, take a closer look at them: maybe some of them can be automated using software tools or standardized to avoid unnecessary efforts. If you manage to save 5 minutes on a step you make several times a day, it will save hours and days of your life in the long run, even though you spend some time to optimize the process.

Only Enter into Partnerships with Those Who You Cannot Run Your Business Without

“Pay people who you can replace, and enter into partnerships with those who you cannot run your business without.” This idea that I heard at a conference may seem harsh, but it can save your business. If you think that your people should work on your project, if you think that they are more reliable in their work, you can promise an interest of your future income to a designer or a reporter who is a friend of yours. But imagine that you have to coordinate the opinions of all these partners, and these opinions may conflict with your main objective. Imagine that they fail to contribute to the development of your project or even break off the relationship with you, but you still owe them their interest. How does that sound? Cherish your project and don’t bargain it away. Those you hire will come and go, and you will run your project permanently.

Your partner is with you for many years. You should be able to easily find a common language without the endless need to sort out your relationships. Your vision should be the same. Your partner should contribute something to your joint venture, something your project cannot develop or exist without.

Advertising is Your Lever

No matter how good service you offer, no matter how good content you publish, you will not achieve any success if this content is seen by no one or very few. The development process will take many years. You will simply lose motivation to produce a lot and provide high quality if you fail to see the result. Advertising is the lever you need to use even if your project has just started and you are low on budget. Which is more pleasant: writing an article and knowing that it will be read by thousands of people or less than a dozen?

Analyze and Enjoy the Result

When you achieve a certain success, analyze which of the steps lead you to this success. Maybe you started to write certain articles that caused a greater response from the audience, or maybe you started to write more. Or maybe an article about your project appeared in a popular blog. Put more efforts into the things that provide results. Maybe these are the things you will need to hire another expert for. Don’t forget to enjoy your success, with or without a team. Share this joy with the ones you love, even if they are not directly involved in your project.

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