Your startup team can make or break your company’s success.
As the founder of a startup company, your first year is the most challenging phase. There are lots of things to consider like finding the kick-ass co-founder, catching the eyes of the best investors, and gaining tractions in the market.
Entrepreneurship is a wild ride. And having a great startup team behind your back is critical to the success of your company.
That’s why founders should be extremely careful in their first hires. Your team is a significant part of the startup puzzle. Their skills, attitude, and work ethic can bring a huge difference to your business.
So how will you build your A-team?
First, you need to determine the key roles your startup needs.
The visionary sets the purpose of the company and holds the team to it.
The visionary is armed with ambitious ideas. Think of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. They saw a clear picture of the future in their head, believed in it, and convinced their team that it’s possible to achieve.
The visionary is overflowing with the enthusiastic energy that drives the team. He’s confident and eager to turn a small scale business to a bigger one.
The Product Builder
The product builder makes sure that the visions are transformed into reality.
He can be an engineer, architect, programmer, designer, etc. He’s creative, innovative, and always looking for solutions. The goods and services he designs can attract customers and investors.
Not everyone knows how to sell. And having one in the team who has mastered the art of it can keep the company on the right track.
The rainmaker is an expert in selling and marketing. He forms strategies and looks for ways to sell the company’s product. Oftentimes, he also manages the financial aspects and makes sure the money flows well.
The rainmaker is also a customer champion. Since he knows the market, he has a solid grasp on what the customers need. He constantly gathers feedback, which the product builder can use for innovation.
The taskmaster gets down to business and ensures everything is organized.
An excellent doer, he builds a good work structure and a concrete business plan. He keeps the office running, delegates responsibilities, and challenges the team.
Now that you know the vital roles you need to fill, let’s cite the key points in building a startup team.
One clear direction
A team should always function as one.
For this to happen, there must be a set of goals, vision, and core values that everyone understands. These things must be established even before hiring the rest of the team. They will serve as a guide in the searching, hiring, and managing process.
A clear direction will ensure that everyone in the team is on the same page. They all should have a common goal. If not, members will act on their own, and team work will be impossible.
Communication and collaboration
Awesome teams communicate with each other well. They exchange ideas, opinions, and experiences. They are not hesitant to share their knowledge or coach other members.
The best teams have chemistry. And that level of connection will not happen if they won’t communicate or collaborate with each other.
Everyone in the team should be 100% all-in.
The startup landscape is volatile. Every member of the team should be passionate and dedicated. Everyone must deliver.
Commitment results to excellent work ethic. If the whole team is invested in the company’s goal and vision, they can push themselves out their comfort zones. They’ll work harder, and their winning mindset will help the company reach new heights.
Crucial tips on forming your startup team
Your network is the best place to search for the right people.
You can try your personal network and pitch your idea to your friends or relatives.
Also, consider asking help from your fellow entrepreneurs. They can refer people they know or their former employees with the good work ethic. Networking events might also help you find the right candidates.
If you can’t find anyone within your network, try online platforms like LinkedIn. Many professionals out there are also searching for opportunities and wishing to be part of startup teams.
Once you found the potential hires, check references like your business depends on it. Talk to their past employers if necessary.
After reviewing their profiles, experiences, and references, it’s time to see if they fit into your company’s culture.
Aside from conducting an interview, it’s also best if you can invite them out for lunch. Connect with them. Listen to their stories, their passion, and answer their questions.
Remember, you are likely to spend a lot of time with your team. They’ll be your companion for the rest of your business journey, so pick a person you genuinely like. Hire someone who shares your goals and values.
Take care of your people
Startup life is demanding and you and your team might need to work for long hours. Its nature is unpredictable, too. The company is still in its early stage and trying to gain the market’s attention.
Because of this, it’s important that you take extra good care of your people. Create a positive work environment. Give awesome benefits if you can.
If you have a limited budget, tell it to your team beforehand. Communicate this matter clearly with them to avoid disappointments or false expectations. Once the company achieves certain milestones of financial freedom, increase their salaries. Or give additional perks they’ll appreciate.
Your transparency is also important. Wherever the company stands, be honest about it.
Remember to be a good example, too. Make sure to show a consistent drive. If you’re losing your fire, your team will lose their passion as well.
Give them freedom
Hire experts and let them spread their wings. Give your team the freedom to be awesome. If you aren’t an expert in sales, avoid telling your salesperson what to do. Trust their skills.
Also, provide flexible work schedules if you can. This will contribute to their creativity and productivity. This will also work best if you have team members who work remotely.
Take your time in completing your team. Running a startup is like raising kids—you won’t want to nurture it with someone you don’t like.
There’s a popular saying ‘You are the average of the five people you spend most of the time with.’
Keep in mind that the people around you are crucial to your success. And having a brilliant startup team will not only benefit your business but your whole-being as well.
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