Where should I start when it comes to creating my team? How can an entrepreneur decide whether or not to brand their company with their name or with their company name? What are unique resources available for small business owners and entrepreneurs, specifically for women?

Tiffany Mason

founder, Mason Coaching and Consulting, LLC


Team: When building an entrepreneurial team, the first principle is to hire people better than you. If you cannot afford to hire seasoned A-level talent, hire people who can attain that level under your leadership. The second principle is to hire employees who fill gaps in your skill set. Third, hire people with a strong network to leverage. The fourth principle is to hire those who share your passion and vision. The final guiding principle is to hire people who are directly responsible for revenue generation.

Naming: The final hiring principle dovetails nicely with naming your company. Hiring revenue-generating employees helps avoid the "consultant's paradox." This happens when the founder has to be directly billable to generate revenue, thus can't spend time working to grow the business. In some industries, placing your name on the business puts you in a position where your clients all ask for you to personally handle their accounts. I recommend two things before placing your name on the business: First, do research to ensure sure you're not entering an industry where your name equates with you performing all the revenue-generating work. Second, hire a branding consultant to help.

Resources: This doesn't need to be a lonely journey. A number of local, regional and national resources are available to support entrepreneurs. Specifically, for female entrepreneurs, look to Sofia Fund, Small Business Development Center, Girls Going Places and WomenVenture. There are also many meetups and gatherings around the Twin Cities. Contact the University of St. Thomas Schulze School of Entrepreneurship to help you find the right one for you at

About the author

Brian Abraham is an associate dean and endowed chair at the University of St. Thomas Schulze School of Entrepreneurship.