A good startup team increases your chances of making a scalable business. Getting the right people aboard can be tough, especially if you are a newbie. I previously wrote about the anatomy of a good startup team, enumerating the people behind a successful startup team. As a supplement, this article provides tips to build a successful startup team. Building your power team needs the right people and the right moves. So how do you build one? Who do you need? I gathered tips to guide you through the process. Many of the pointers that you’ll read here comes from Rose Corona, a small business entrepreneur. (Read full story here.)
How to build your power start-up team:
1. The key people
Corona writes: “First of all, any successful team starts with 3 core people: me, myself and I. Without those three, you are going nowhere. They are the very core of your business. No one will care as much, work as hard, or invest so much of their own blood, sweat and tears as you will.”
In my previous article, The Anatomy of a Good Startup Team, I enumerated two core people behind the startup team- technical founder and revenue driver. I don’t see any problem with that, if you can be both. However I must remind you that to be efficient, you must never be both.
2. Round up the best people
While you focus on your strengths, get people who can fill your weaknesses. If you are not good at planning, step out of the way and get someone who can do the job better than you. Hire experienced people because they already know the nuts and bolts of the industry. However, you must have a working knowledge of all aspects of your business. Let me reiterate Corona:
“Find people who are efficient at the things that you don’t do well or don’t like to do. That is not to say that you shouldn’t have a working knowledge of all matters in your business. However, you don’t have to be an expert in all things.”
3. Hire an HR person
In line with tip number 3, hire an HR person whether you are good at managing and motivating people. This saves up on your time by allowing you to focus on the core functions of your business. When you hire an HR person, Corona advises:
“Make sure they are familiar with all the state and federal regulations for hiring and firing people. And that they know – really know — all the proper Employment Development regulations and laws.”
4. Look for committed people
Corona stresses: “Having a four-4 year degree or an MBA doesn’t necessarily qualify a person to actually do the job.”
Someone who has common sense and dedication is an asset, compared to someone who has a degree but without ambition. If the position does not need a degree of skill, hire people regardless of their educational attainment. Just make sure they have the ambition and passion to work.
5. Learn from the experience of others
Tons of self-help books and articles on how to be a successful entrepreneur are within your reach. Read and learn from the experiences of those who have trod the path you are journeying. Note what mistakes they committed so you can avoid doing the same. Talk to other startup owners, and learn how they solved the problems they had met.
“Regardless of the industry or field, small business owners have similar problems and similar needs. When a challenge comes up, you will wish there was someone around to ask how to deal with the problem… Many retired business owners are often treated like dinosaurs and feel forgotten. Tap that resource. It is invaluable and often free”, discloses Corona.
6. Formulate a strategy to deliver quality products
I always emphasize the importance of a business plan. You will find it difficult to formulate an effective strategy without a business plan. Note, however, that your this plan should allow some flexibility. In addition strategic planning should be one of your key activities. Customer satisfaction is in the heart of your business. It is imperative that your team understands the importance of quality service and customer satisfaction. Corona suggests:
“Build in flexibility. One thing about being in business is that it is always changing, so you have to be able to adapt to everything being thrown in the path of your best laid plans.”
7. Be realistic
In business, you will find that life in the real world is more complicated than what business schools teach. It is imperative that you don’t rely solely on theories. In the real world, action defines success. Corona admonishes:
“In theory, if business worked like the textbooks, everybody would be a millionaire. In business, as in life, you learn quickly that theory is just that: thoughts about business, ways of thinking, possibilities that might be probabilities.”
8. Train and be trained
Training and mentorship are indispensable tools. Akin to learning from the experiences of others, you must find yourself a good mentor to train you and hone your business acumen. Similarly, as the owner, your role further defines how important training your staff on several aspects of your business is. Corona relates:
“You are the head of your team. Be a leader through training and preparation. When the doors open, and the customers come in, they must be greeted with friendly, knowledgeable, and well-trained people.”
Having a great startup team spells success, so get the right people aboard. The tips above are a few of the many ways you can build your powerful business team.
What do you think of an ideal business team? Share your ideas with us by writing in the comments below.