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The 10 Types of Employees Every Business Owner Needs on Their Team

Skye Schooley
Skye Schooley

A strong team can support and grow your business. Here are the 10 types of employees you need on your team.

Independent businesses are only as strong as the team members that work behind the logo. As a business owner, you simply can't do everything yourself, nor should you want to. Having a strong team to support your business allows the business to be better and stronger by combining everyone's strengths and talents.

A strong, supportive business team needs several key personality types to achieve the maximum potential for growth and success for your independent small or medium business. Whether you're looking to fill a few key leadership positions or do some strategic, larger team building, look for these 10 types of employees.

1. The dreamer

Every team needs someone very optimistic, with big dreams and aspirations for the company. They will help you make ambitious long-term goals and keep going when things get tough. Most of your employees will probably fall into the habit of focusing only on the day-to-day or week-to-week tasks to get through their quarterly or monthly objectives. It's great for office-wide morale to be reminded of the big dreams and bright future for your company.

Such positive, aspirational reminders give the day-to-day tasks more meaning and provide excellent motivational energy for your team. If you do not have one or more zany, dreamy co-founders or managers on your team, seek out a cheerleader type to round out your team-building efforts.

2. The doer

Big dreams are positively essential for any company, but equally important is the doer who can translate those big plans into concrete plans of action. This is the perfect team member to run your meetings as they can turn conversation points and agreements into follow-up tasks or specific assignments. This person might already exist as the project manager at your company, and if so, definitely keep them in mind for larger opportunities and central roles in growing your business. Ask for their assistance turning your "big picture" vision into a year-by-year action plan.

3. The data connoisseur

Overall, all small businesses should be moving towards more data-centric and data-informed operations. Make sure your business is on the most direct and smoothest path with the data connoisseur. There are many different data points one can capture, especially in the digital space, but which ones matter most for your company, your goals and your industry? The data connoisseur is more than an expert or simple aggregator. They love data and understand each point's intricate strengths and weaknesses, as well as how they all relate to one another.

If you are seeking out a data connoisseur, look for passion, not just a mathematical background. These days, any good data connoisseur will also be incredibly digital and software savvy too. No matter your industry, data is the key to growth.

4. The friendly smile

Employees, and customers, still make up the very foundation of most businesses. A friendly smile is essential to putting your best foot forward with those who use, interact with or partner with your business. Robots or automated systems will never be able to ease the tension or create a lasting relationship the way a friendly smile can. Whether you utilize this person as your spokesperson, customer service representative, or perpetual MeetUp meeting attendee, this essential team member will help your business grow by being the master of the human-to-human connection. No team building is complete without the friendly smile.

5. The communicator

Communication is an essential skill in today's professional landscape. Every business needs a strong communicator who can articulate your company's vision statement and value proposition to the world. Whether that be in person, or through digital content, solid communications skills are the sign of an adept critical thinker and having someone who possesses this trait on your team will make it much easier to achieve your goals.

You may have a startup that could truly change the world.  But if the concepts that drive it are too esoteric and complex, it will be challenging to get your vision across to others. Having a great communicator in your business can go a long way toward building support for your idea and explaining your potential value to investors

6. The problem-solver

Although similar to the doer, the problem solver is a slightly different personality. While the doer is responsible for leading the team to take on actionable goals, the problem-solver can come in when things don't go quite as planned.

Every business encounters issues along the way. It's essential to have at least one team member who thrives on adversity and can lead the company in times of crisis. Problem-solvers help the group to see the glass as half-full when others see it empty. They look at the potential opportunity in a situation rather than focus on the negative, and they help rally the troops to push through challenges.

Did you know?Did you know? In NACE's Job Outlook survey, participating businesses rated problem solving as the most essential competency among new hires.

Good problem-solvers are hard to come by, so if you find one, hold onto them. When interviewing applicants, ask about any difficulties they've experienced in past positions. Good problem-solvers clearly articulate their strengths and demonstrate how they handle high-pressure situations.

7. The creator

This type of employee is inventive and always thinking outside the box. They take on their assigned tasks, but are often found thinking of new ways to do something. They are not complacent with the phrase "because this is how we've always done it." Instead, they ask questions, challenge the status quo, come up with new ideas in meetings, and push to reform business operations to be more efficient. Having a creative employee on your team is key to innovation and improvement.

8. The seller

The art of selling is a true talent, and if you own a business, you have something to sell. Some people are so convincing that they can sell you the shirt off your own back. When building your business, look for these ambitious workers, especially if you need someone to work in your sales or marketing department. Sellers understand what consumers need, and they are good at positioning products in a way that fulfills those needs. These types of employees are often charismatic, outspoken and good with people. They thrive in environments where they can work with others.

9. The leader

Every organization needs a leader. As a business owner, you may assume the role of the leader, but as you expand, you will need to relinquish some authority to other leaders in the organization. The employees that take on a leadership role will be top-level employees that oversee other employees and help guide the business to success. Although some people are natural-born leaders, others can be developed to be great leaders. Keep this in mind when you are looking for leaders for your organization.

FYIFYI: It is important to be able to identify the leaders in your organization. However, when looking, be sure to search not only for natural-born leaders, but also those who can be molded to take on leadership roles.

10. The learner

Employees who assume the role of the learner frequently ask questions, read, soak up the knowledge of others and improve upon their skills. Instead of taking shortcuts, they go out of their way to learn the best way of doing something. This employee tends to work well with others and thrives in collaborative environments where they can bounce ideas back and forth.

Image Credit: Prostock-Studio / Getty Images
Skye Schooley
Skye Schooley
business.com Staff
Skye Schooley is a staff writer at business.com and Business News Daily, where she has written more than 200 articles on B2B-focused topics including human resources operations, management leadership, and business technology. In addition to researching and analyzing products that help business owners launch and grow their business, Skye writes on topics aimed at building better professional culture, like protecting employee privacy, managing human capital, improving communication, and fostering workplace diversity and culture.