Assembling The Right Team for a Startup
A lot of newbies to the entrepreneurship world think that they can manage all of the critical work of setting up a startup alone, but, realistically speaking, it is nearly impossible. That is why it is super important to build a skillful and diligent team around you, one that can contribute to your business operation.
However, I would like to point out that assembling and managing such a team is not as simple as it sounds. One ‘wrong pick’ can sometimes hold you back significantly and even bring down your entire setup. No matter how productive or innovative your business idea is, it cannot be efficiently materialized without a proficient crew.
A study held in Oklahoma, Texas, and Oregon recently concluded that 60% of startups fail due to poor team management. This high failure ratio drove me to pen down some basic steps entrepreneurs can take to make sure they set up a capable and multi-skilled work team.
Early Stages of Business: Grasp Skilled Manpower with Your Limited Resources
Stringent management of funds and resources at your disposal is essential in a startup — especially in the beginning. Due to the limited capital, you should strive to use every available free resource and leverage services with minimal cash requirements.
Speaking from experience, during the initial stages of my career as an entrepreneur, I don’t think I would have managed without the assistance of my family and friends. That being said, your acquaintances can be a great help in getting you on your feet. Moreover, you can hire employees with a lot of motivation, albeit less experience, such as graduates or interns for duties that require medium-level expertise. That way, you save money and help others kick start their path to success.
However, you will need experienced senior-level persons to carry out the important work. One efficient and affordable way to benefit from the expertise of specialists is to hire them on a part-time basis. They might agree to partake in your startup side by side with their main job.
Identify the Primary & Support Skills Required for Your Startup
Generally, most entrepreneurs know the central positions and skills vital for their setup. The most common aspect usually ignored is the accommodation of various secondary positions — the kind that can make or break the supporting foundation of a new business.
Specifically, your efforts are practically ineffective without an experienced and professional accountant and a lawyer who oversee the financial and legal dealings, respectively. Legal or contractual issues can and will pop up repeatedly if you do not choose the right person to stand by your side — be the cost as it may be.
Moreover, though you can go on without a proper HR, admin, or logistics department at the starting stages, with time, you will most probably feel the need to incorporate these positions as well, so don’t undermine their importance.
According to my experience, you should always keep marketing matters on your radar, searching for new and out-of-the-box ideas. Don’t hesitate to try new ways, such as new social media platforms or campaign strategies not used before. Marketing is a lot of ‘try and err’, so have a budget ready for that.
Screening & Hiring of Candidates
Nowadays, recruiting has become more effortless with the availability of various online platforms like LinkedIn. But the question remains: How do you screen the right candidate from a pool of applications? As a young startup, you might not receive many applications from experienced and highly skilled people; therefore, you should focus on the degrees and certifications of the applicants.
The interview stage is where you get to know your potential future employees, and that’s where you should find out what attracts them to your yet undeveloped idea. On the whole, you should make a final decision only after calculating what an applicant can offer relative to your resources.
Lastly, I would suggest that instead of establishing a rigid hierarchical structure, you should maintain a cooperative and flexible environment where all team members can exchange suggestions to improve services or projects. That might be done online or in regular meetings, whatever suits your structure.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over time, it is that the quality of a work team is a major deciding factor in a startup’s success or failure. Even one or two incompetent figures among a good team can leave a harsh impact on business growth.
Thus, entrepreneurs need to take every possible measure to ensure a viable and diligent team. Here is an extra tip: If you can’t seduce quality employees with high salaries, try offering feasible incentives, growth opportunities, and a favorable work environment to keep the team members motivated and encouraged.