How to Build the Right Team for Your Growing Startup

No matter how great your idea is, the team behind your idea is the most important piece of the startup puzzle. So the first step towards building your start up is putting together a good team. Remember that the employees you hire can make or break your business. Hiring the right people makes all the difference, especially in the early days. Here are a few ways in helping you make the decision a little easier.

1. Identify positions

The first step towards building the team is identifying the positions. Every company is different and so are their roles. Therefore it is a good idea for you and your co founder to sit down and identify positions that you require and fill them out.

What kind of person does your company need the most? What exactly will they be doing? And, what are the expected results? These are some of the key questions to answer before hiring or before identifying the roles. Some positions like sales and marketing may overlap and you might be able to find one person to take on multiple roles, at least initially.

2. Find your star

Each hire has to have a core competency that your business desperately needs. Once you have hired a team, it is important to identify your best performers. As a start up founder, you are going to have a lot on your plate. This star will help take some load off your shoulder. Hence you want to find people that share the same goals that you do, and you want to set the bar high for what you expect. Hiring problem solvers goes a long way. You need people who can identify questions you didn’t know existed in the first place.

To create a successful startup team, it’s always a good idea to include the following
• Industry veteran – Most start ups comprise of a young team and what they lack is the experience. Someone who knows the industry really well can be of tremendous value. They’re not just going for what’s cool or new but they have the experience to understand what’s needed in a particular industry.
• A finance guru – Keeping track of funds is something that’s not just important but highly essential for a start up. Having someone who can crunch the number will do a lot of good.
• Leader – Hiring a person who not just works hard, but inspires will be a great asset to your team. The leader doesn’t always need to be right, but if he or she is a leader figure that others can look up to, then that’s a good thing.

These perspectives are really important for keeping your day-to-day business on track. This way you, as a founder, can focus on growing your business rather than getting involved in the small aspects of the office.

3. Take care of your people

Finding the right team is a challenge and getting them to stay is a bigger challenge. So once you hire someone, treat them well. You can just issue him directives, evaluate his work, and compensate him for his time. Or, you can consider him a member of the team that has chosen to dedicate his time to making your vision a reality, including learning alongside you and experiencing the ups and downs of your venture. The latter is one of the main reasons why people join start-ups in the first place.

4. Choose a mentor

One of the most important things you need to do when you start a business, will actually cost you nothing. You need to find a mentor. Having a few people in the team who have already achieved what you want to achieve is crucial in succeeding in your business. So spend some time identifying people who have already done what you want to do and reach out to them. Take these potential mentors out to lunch and tell them briefly what you do and then ask them questions.

The mistake founder usually make in building an advisory board is asking experts to join something formal with a defined commitment after one hour of talking. Explain your idea, talk to them before you ask them for a long term commitment. Founders should use the time and expertise of these mentors in the areas where it will do the most good. However, simply having mentors isn’t enough. If you want your company to be among the best, you need a mentor who knows how to reach that level.

Entrepreneur – Chennai Angels, invest in startups
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