The Art of Cat Herding Pt2 - Communications and Financials
A vital part of how a team operates and is managed is about communications. The 1st thing to understand is all the different types of communications that need to be done in teams:
- Policy / Organisation / Structure information
- Team Membership (who are the drivers / what do they do)
- Event organisation
- File storage (paints, setups, documents)
- Event organisation - both ad-hoc ones and planned events
- Feedback on setups, tips, race strategies etc
- In-race communications (spotting, driver to driver comms)
- General chatting (both text and audio)
Traditionally, things were fairly simple - teams used a website/forum to do pretty much everything written and Teamspeak to do audio and some kind of server storage (Google drive, Dropbox) for files. But, Discord has clouded it somewhat because it can be used for both text and audio (and to some degree file storage).
There's no perfect solution - you just need to decide what's best for you. As an example, here's what we do at Kinetic:
We use a combination of a website/forum, Discord and Google drive. Google drive has all the setup files, paints and documents the team uses and access to it is strictly controlled. The website/forum is used for all communications we believe has lasting value and Discord is (almost) only used for audio and text communications that won't be kept. To emphasis that, in a later article, I'll talk about how we organise the cars for special events and that process is started on the Forum but changes to Discord once we've made the main decisions - so stuff like feedback on the setups, driving schedule discussions etc are done on Discord. But, once the race is over, we delete the Discord channel for that race.
Running a team is pretty cheap and can be self-funded fairly easily. The only team specific expenses are a domain name, file storage, website/forum costs (building and maintaining it). Entering cars in some leagues is a cost but the drivers involved could fund that.
So, the only real question is how to fund the expenses. For sure you want to have a kitty for some expenses but it could be generated by driver fees or sponsorship. Having sponsorship sounds cool but you need to think about if you really need it and what restrictions it might place on you. A lot of real sponsors will expect to have a legal entity to pay money into and is that worth the effort/cost?