What makes a perfect startup team?
I am the co-founder of a startup with my husband. I have taken on the role of customer service / sales rep. While my husband is responsible for managing our finances. It seems like we're still missing a lot of critical roles in running a business and we have a budget to bring on more team members. What positions are critical to have filled on your team?
Good luck with your business.
The answer depends on the nature of your business, it can be many positions for example it can be someone into IT who takes care of your website and email campaigns, or a marketer. It can be a lawyer if you do a lot of contracts.
You are talking about human capital planning, so my suggestion is to start by examining your long term business goals, then review your vision and mission statement and determine the job objectives required to achieve that, then you can create the relevant positions.
However if you sell anything to clients my humble suggestion is to start with a seller job to maximize your customers interface.
I suggest at a minimum you bring in a 3rd party outsider who can be a sounding board between your husband and you...And get to learn your own strengths and weaknesses, your husbands and new hire...And play off of those strengths by building TRUST
I think It dpends on you sales plan , are you going to cover Area or city or country , well accordin to your plan & No of sales team you can make out the position you require ,Sales manager or Sales in charge as well as No of sales you need - taking into consideration thier experience ( sales records ) I think you have to get those who has strong sales records ,in order to gain your targets .
The positions in the initial stages of a business depends on the type of business, the type of industry and the market environment you are in.
Depending on your type of business, your initial resources and needs, perhaps as a start-up, the roles of HR, Marketing and IT can be fulfilled by the co-founders, because the needs may not be a lot, especially if it is neither a centrally hi-tech business nor a labour intensive one.
What you do need, is diversity. And your first team members best be entrepreneurial. When first starting out, don't bother with a phone operator, receptionist or a personal assistant, because you don't want to invest time in managing them in the infancy stage. You probably should look for disciplined entrepreneurial personalities that will help you grow and expand your business, your market share or markets. Coupled with the entrepreneurial personality, you best get folks who are innovative thinkers (whether technical or non-technical), systems thinkers who always have the end in mind that are cautious of consequences across parallels and creative. And they need to bring different competencies to the table, that will complement your own and each others'.
Perhaps if you can share the specific nature of your business and current competency pool along with vision and business model, you could get a little more help with answering this question.
Hi Rema! I remember you from another post. Vermont Maple Syrup in FL correct? I think this is a great business idea - my parents moved to FL 10 years ago and all I heard about for years were the products they could no longer get because they moved. I know you are saying you have a budget for more team members, but what are your real needs? Analyze what you do during the day to see what you could hand off to someone else. Then analyze what you are not getting to do because you are busy being administrative or running an errand instead of handling appropriate tasks. It's not an easy exercise the first time you do it but it gets easier and more fluid as you go. Believe me I still slap myself sometimes saying "hand that off!". Good luck...and if we can help you in any way look us up! 900 miles is nothing with today's technology!
I owned a business with my husband in the customer service area. His strength was more detail and technical oriented, while mine was "big picture", sales, and strategy. We divvied the company up where he handled all the technical work while I ran the business. I needed a finance fairly quickly due to our growth and we hired a Controller, as a CFO would have been overkill. What we invested in was sales since it was important to leverage our contracts and grow as fast as possible. I can share that we made quite a few mistakes along the way and figured out that we needed strong job descriptions along with what you expected the position to do. This helped us make less mistakes (sales people that are good can sell themselves, even if they're not the right person).
One of my mentors told me that when hiring initial staff, look to where you are strongest and bring those types of people into the company. This way you are not learning what the position should be doing allowing you to mange the person well.
BTW, you should be thinking about the culture of your company as you bring new folks into the company.
Best of luck!
Hello Rema. I would take a look at the success of the salon, how did the opening go, was it on target for your set timeline? Are you reaching the levels forecast? If yes, then you may already have the most of the right team in place. Your Vermont Maple Syrup idea sounds delicious from a tourist as well as local consumer market. Being from New England and now Florida, I would love access to those products. I will assume your product supply chain is in place.
I also suggest a legal opinion on liability etc. Also I would go for a marketing / business development person that can acquire new clients, in the brick and mortar location and also online. If you do not have a web presence or using SEO you should look into that as the vast majority of people visiting the area visit online first to map their vacation strategy. There must also be local directories that cater to businesses in the area for the tourist factor. Look into what and how they drive local business as well. for your online SEO or other needs, feel free to reach out to me and I can introduce you to a few good folks that have proven success. Best wishes.
Its hard to accurately benchmark what makes up a perfect startup team w/o a specific line of business or industry, except to say these three keywords; Commercial Awareness, Entrepreneurial Marketing and Passion & Perceptive drive.
Commercial Awareness, places everyone in a confident and data driven position that assures everyone, as a team, they know What, Who, Where, When, How of the Startup / Product. Suffice to say that product background or adept knowledge of the brand is a necessary requirement.
Entrepreneurial Marketing, the say that the best person to market a product/brand are the product owners/managers. A product, is the brainchild of a product owner/manager and they are more attached, motivated and have a greater interest than anyone else in the organization/startup. Say for example, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey etc. these leaders are just one of the millions of entrepreneurs in the Globe who did just that. In entrepreneurial marketing, if possible, one must be more driven on the ideas of what makes an enterprise (innovation, invention and commercialization), more value on what makes life better and interesting than unique service/value proposition. Lastly, is the holy grail of startups 'Growth hacking'.
Passion & Perceptive drive, someone use to say that passion is the only metrics that matters. Because such attributes possesses a strong determination to see things through. It is the foundation, the idea of what you are trying to achieve was founded. Its the reason why Steve Jobs did not sold Apple to Bill Gates, this is the reason how Walt Disney was able to raise an empire base on dreams or how Robin Peng fearlessly challenege the one of world's big tech company, Apple Inc.'s suit against his AppleCore and many more others. But in addition to Passion, it is a business prudence to hope for the best and plan for the worst and to understand the market; the demographic, demand, metrics or otherwise and the competition; their position, leadership, strategy or their market share or otherwise. Knowing and having all of these in a startup team's mindset makes everyone in the Startup fully passionate and positively perceptive towards the goal(s).
I hope I was able to help w/ your question and should you have any other stuffs you'd like to ask in the future just drop me a message and I'd be glad to share some thoughts or assist you in any way that I can. Good luck and God bless!
A few quick thoughts...First, a husband and wife ownership team can be the best of situations -- and it can be the worst. Be open and honest with each other, recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each, and interact in a business-like way to be synergistic.
Secondly, even before considering new hires, draw a simple functional org chart for your business (INCLUDING the top position). Put just one one of your names in each of those boxes. This makes sure that before hiring people, there is clarity around who is to look after it. It also will point out who should have the owner oversight of that function, even if you hired someone to do it.
Lastly, be open and honest with where you are each good. Delegate to an outsourced contractor the functions that are not key to driving growth and profit...Then address key areas of weakness between you two and determine whose name goes in that box going forward.
I hope this helped.
Hello Rema, it entirely depends on the nature of business you are into. Being a technologist myself, I am tempted to ask as to who is handling your tech services and operations? Every business today is deeply entrenched into tech support (social, website management etc). Again, assuming that your business does not need much tech support, who is taking care of operations, delivery, HR etc? If these roles are evenly distribured between the two of you, I guess you should be all set - at least to kickoff. Feel free to drop me a line if you wish to discuss in detail. Will assist in best way possible. I myself set up an Intrapreneurship establishment with just 2 staff members. So I guess if you've got the entire scope of your ops covered, you needn't worry.
I doesn't and never believe there is a perfect startup team,
Maybe you can read "Good to Great" - very good suggestion there to describe what a good team is.
Depend on the kind of business and the extend of the work, 2 people can also form very good startup team. More importantly, you should draw up a skill set matrix to check what skills are missing and a profile matching table to check what kind of personalty required at this period. Than use the guidance from "Good to Great" to choose the required team members.
The success of any business is about marketing. Selling is asking for the order while Marketing is creating a demand in the mind of the customer so that they seek you out. Apple is a classic example wherein their customers are declaring "I love my iPhone". In the era of social media marketing I would think that finding the right person to manage your marketing is an imperative.
First of all, there is no perfect team due to individual personalities and skills.
As a business owner, you should concentrate on your strengths of running the company and providing the products and services you have to offer.
If you don't know how to do something or are not good at something, that is a good candidate to outsource or one in which to find an employee to do. For the specialized stuff, go to a professional.
I have worked for three small businesses, taking one from $7m to over $100 m in 7 years and work with small businesses across the country all the time. Here is what I recommend to almost every startup:
1. Do what you do best and outsource or hire someone to do the other tasks.
2. Find a business attorney and put on a retainer or negotiate a rate for when you need them.
3. Hire a book keeper to handle financial data entry
4. Hire an accountant or CPA to act as your CFO, do financial reviews and taxes.
5. For marketing, make sure you find someone who totally understands small business marketing. Very few do and not many agencies do. Lead SEO and Branding for another day. You don't need that. I do not recommend that you try to do this yourself.
6. If you are the sales person, get some training, not just read a book.
7. Make sure you understand state and federal laws in respect to employees. An HR consulting firm would also be a good add.
Hope this helps.
If you will have employees, an HR expert is important. This can be outsourced if you and your husband do not have employment law, taxes, and employee benefits/relations experience. Another area of expertise needed is a solid understanding of corporate structure, required business filings, corporate insurance policies, and company financial statements. I can help with all of these! Feel free to call me at (904) 868-0278 for a free consultation. Wishing you the best of success!
Reading your introduction profile, I would said to consider punctual support via students or home-based workforce for the start...however you might want to think already of a potential partnership with another entrepreneur providing the additional service you do need to support your business-growth...(something about networking, marketing and virtual team)
We do organizational design and growth management planning work with small business. You don't mention the type of business you are running so that impacts the answer, but generally speaking, functions tend to be the same but the priority order is different dependent on 1) the type of business 2) the size of business and growth plan - what are the priority actions to grow the business 3) the strengths and skills of the existing owners/executive (and a few other 'smaller' factors).
Generally you want to think about balancing the externally facing needs (business development, marketing) with internally running the company (operations/people management, legal, finance).
I'll try to give you the 'quick' version of start up org design. Look at your (2-5 year) strategy. Capture all the ongoing tasks that need to be done to get there , looking at what is strategic, down to administrative (we do that usually on a giant wipe board so its interactive, but a table or excel file also works). You might miss a few things, but try to capture as much as you can think of at this stage. Think about how 'much' of a task needs to be done too, and identify if there is a point in your growth plan where a task is going to eat up time - for example, you say your husband is doing finances and you're doing sales and service. How many clients do you need to have before service has to be separate from sales? you can estimate this, but its better to plan it up front than react when you hit the break point.
Start grouping tasks together based on likeness (same kinds of activity) and level of expertise (you don't generally want strategic activities like marketing strategy with admin activities but in a start up you may need to live with some of that for a while). And review all the groups for feasibility . Can someone do this job and succeed?
Rank the groupings in priority order for achieving your growth plan. Then look at what you and your husband have the skills, experience and capacity to do and what you don't. Usually - (and this is a big generalization) priority roles are financial management, business development, running the operational day to day of the business, and marketing. But again, it depends on your skill set, your strategy and growth plans, and what makes sense to 'hire' vs. fill with an outsourcing arrangement. e.g. you might hire a bookkeeper who also does other administrative work and running of the office, and outsource tax etc to a firm rather than hiring a finance manager but then if either you or your husband is an accountant (you mention he is doing the finances), you may not need that role, or for example, you might use an agency to do your marketing, but hire someone to do business development who talks to the agency so you don't have to...it depends on how you plan to grow the business and what skills you already have.
You can use the task bucket to help shape a role profile and job ad for the positions you plan to hire.
Feel free to get in touch if you have questions or any of that doesn't make sense!
Marketing would depend on a lot of things and can be very broad of a field. Eblast How are you presenting your company? Do you have a designer? You might also need an administrative person, for day-to-day duties. If you need a designer to give you a identity system for your company, Im always available. Feel free to connect.
Depending on what your domain/area of expertise/product/service offering is going to be: I would say the main areas to focus on are: Marketing/Business Development leading to Sales (which you are doing), Operations (if technology related, then a tech partner), Finance (which your husband is doing). Play to your strengths. If you think someone else can do a job better than you can, let them do it.
This enables you to focus on your core competency.