The Team is the Essential Component of Startups for Success
Why do startups fail who started off with the promising combination of a great idea, a sound business model, and adequate financial resources? Because the starting point was not complete: they lacked the right founding team. A strong team at the onset shapes the direction and development of a new venture considerably – which often decides on the fate of the startup.
But what characteristics make a founding team the “right” team?
It is all about the right balance. For example, a too optimistic startup might be unaware of obvious risks, then it might be good to have a risk conscious member on board. Especially first time entrepreneurs face challenges when they start a company with their friends. Avoid dilemmas by keeping the following 6 core characteristics in mind:
1) The genius is an expert in his field of expertise.
2) The executive gets things done and completes tasks no questions asked.
3) The leader makes necessary decisions and takes the lead when need be.
4) The industry expert is familiar with how things are done in an industry.
5) The sales (wo)man sells the idea to the world.
6) The finance guy keeps the startup’s numbers in order.
You can also find a combination of skills and traits within one person.
But what happens when the founding team needs more members?
Hiring the right new team members is just as important as acquiring new clients. Take your time and ensure that your earliest hirings fit to your company culture. It helps to sketch out your dream team before looking more intensely for new members. What skills and values are the most important? Usually young startups have no trained members who can help with recruiting new team members. This two-step filter might help:
1) Filter according to abilities: you can find the applicants’ hard skills in their CV.
2) Choose the one who fits best in terms of values: This person might not be the best coder, but will make collaboration so much more fun and efficient. Because attitude trumps skills.
For ensuring a nourishing and effective team work, make sure you and your team have a clear picture of your company’s vision. Be transparent about where your company is headed and involve all your team members as often and soon as possible. Have a clear culture and promote a clear set of values. This will also help you when onboarding new members.