Illustrated infographic examining the components of an innovative business.

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Small Business Guide to Effective Team Management

University of West Alabama’s Small Business Guide to Effective Team Management is a free resource with tips on how to make great hires and foster a company culture that flourishes. Effective team management is one of the most important skills an employer can learn.

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Every entrepreneur is looking for a dynamic combination of innovation and stability that allows small businesses and start-ups to not only succeed but to change the world. There’s no clear-cut guide to follow when creating the next world-changing company . . . or is there? Heeding the advice of experts in the field and gleaning lessons from the stories of iconic businesses, we’ve compiled the elements, steps and pointers necessary to start a revolutionary company.

Elements (1)

Though companies vary, these are the elements that every innovative business requires:

Enthusiastic customers who are not served or are under-served by your competitors

Innovative processes for sourcing, production and distribution

Unique resources, like funding, labor, tools, digital assets and intellectual property

Strong value propositions — your unique services and features —  that create your business’ distinct character

Committed partners, including suppliers, distributors, employees and investors

Comprehensive demand generation, from sales to advertising to marketing

Steps (1)

  1. Divide your customers into three detailed personas (semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers) according to demographics and needs, and plan how your business will serve each.
  2. Based on your three customer personas, build your demand generation to maximize sales through regular monitoring, testing and reconfiguring.
  3. Consider how your customers will distinguish your business from your competitors. List value propositions accordingly, refining your products and services to better complement each.
  4. Connect the processes that are needed to provide products and services to your customers.
  5. Account for available resources, and pay special attention to ensure there are no gaps in what’s necessary to complete your processes.
  6.  Connect your partners and examine how each can further your value propositions.
  7. As your business grows, re-evaluate how your elements are interacting. Readjust as necessary to better serve your customers.


Start with the basics: The final product can only be as good as the first elements. Whether they’re your processes, resources or partners, do your due diligence. More than 20 percent of U.S. businesses fail in their first year. (2) Don’t let negligence turn your business into a statistic. 

Test along the way: It’s difficult to know how things are really going unless you take a moment to ask yourself and the people around you. Genuine input will help you iterate, self-correct and otherwise improve your business. Perhaps that’s why companies with two founders, rather than one, raise 30 percent more funding and attract customers three times as fast. (3)

Hone your skills: The difference between middling business leaders and exceptional ones begins with formal education. That may be why more than half of all U.S. business owners have a college degree. (1)

If you’re serious about launching a revolutionary company, start by ensuring you’ve got the education you need. Earn your online BBA from the University of West Alabama Online today.