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Andre Agassi on business: Do business owners have to do it all?

Daniella Doughan
Business and Finance Journalist

Daniella Doughan is a business and finance journalist from Sydney, Australia.

Daniella Doughan
Business and Finance Journalist

Daniella Doughan is a business and finance journalist from Sydney, Australia.

Just because small business owners are used to rolling up their sleeves and doing everything themselves doesn’t mean it’s the most productive way to build a business.

From marketing and accounting, to cash flow, sales, product development and staff management, the to-do list for a small business owner is endless.

man playing tennis in corridor

But there’s a reason the saying “jack of all trades, master of none” exists. When he was in Melbourne for the latest Telstra Vantage event, tennis legend Andre Agassi spoke about the value in building a great team around you and working smarter, not harder. 

Fill the gaps in your own strengths

“Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses to build the right team,” Agassi says.

It’s impossible to be an expert on every facet of your small business, so consider what can be outsourced or the role your business needs to hire for. If you’re a whiz at marketing but struggle with accounting, there’s a clear shortfall. Whether you use technology (there is plenty of cloud accounting software platforms to choose from), a human expert, or a combination of both, it’s important to remember why you started in business. Chances are, it wasn’t to do the bookkeeping and accounting.

Put a price on your time; it’s highly likely you’ll be saving more by hiring an expert.

Look beyond your business

Instead of restricting your skills search to just within your business – or even within your industry – taking a less obvious route can lead you find new or different talents to fill your skills gaps.

Agassi references his trainer Gil (Reyes), who wasn’t a tennis expert. “I didn’t go to a typical tennis trainer. I went to somebody who knows how to build power, knows how to build strength…I didn’t need him to teach me about tennis,” Agassi says.

So, once you have identified your skills gaps, consider recruiting from outside your industry. Technology has broken down barriers when it comes to working across borders and time zones, opening up access to a much broader pool of great talent.

Then, consider ongoing initiatives to tap into wider knowledge and expertise, such as inviting guest speakers to meet with your team, maintaining a strong network of contacts, or involving customers and business partners in decisions and asking for feedback. 

Let technology do the heavy lifting

Rather than trying to do it all, the right technology can also give your business the ability to move faster or more efficiently than your competitors. Telstra’s Online Essentials can help you launch an online store for your business, Microsoft Office 365  offers document sharing, email and collaboration, and Skype for Business allow you to communicate with staff, clients or suppliers on-the-go. All of these apps (and more) let you work from almost anywhere, meaning the days of being tied to a desk in an office are over. And for a busy business owner, the ability for technology to save time, automate processes and work smarter is priceless. 

 
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