How to Build a Startup Team For Success: The Complete Guide

Your million-dollar startup idea is only as good as the interpersonal and technical skills you apply when you build a startup team. In the brutal world of startups, having encyclopedic knowledge and work ethic alone, will not cut it. 

Here are some of the skills you need as a CEO to be able to build a startup team successfully: 

Once you have acquired these skills, you can start working towards forming your startup team.

In this process, the fundamental job of a startup founder is to connect with individuals who share a similar passion and drive.

A startup founder should hence focus on building a quality team, without compromising on the hiring bar. 

We have answered a few important questions to help you build the ideal team for your startup.

What Should I Look For In A Co-Founder While Building a Startup Team? 

Hiring the right fit who will work with you and help you build a startup team can be a crucial element for your team’s success.

Most entrepreneurs are faced with the dilemma of getting a co-founder or being a sole showrunner. 

If you decide to enroll a co-founder, make sure they have the right skill set and share your passion for the business.

You have to keep in mind that the person you choose, will be with you at all times, tackling obstacles and managing the business. Hence, you must pick a co-founder with whom you have the right chemistry.

You must understand that this partnership is much like a marriage in the corporate realm.

Here Are 5 Steps That You Must Follow In Order To Identify Your Potential Co-founder:

Step 1: Identify gaps

You need to begin with identifying gaps in your business. It could be an entire business area or a specific process. 

Accordingly, you need to find a person who has expertise in the area, and from whom you can learn too. 

A refreshing example of the same, is Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore, the founders of Intel. Bob knew about Physics, and Gordon studied Chemistry. 

Step 2: Start your hunt

Once you have identified the gaps in your business, you should start looking for prospective candidates in your network. 

It is always a great idea to partner with someone who you have worked with previously. The upside would be that you are already acquainted with each other’s working style, have a rapport and mutual respect. 

In the case of Eventbrite, Julia and Kevin Hartz tied the knot before founding the event management and ticketing firm.

Step 3: Test the waters

Share your business idea with your potential co-founder. He/ she needs to have the same level of commitment, excitement, and passion for building an efficacious startup team. 

To build a startup team that is sustainable and efficient requires years of relentless hard work and dedication.

Therefore, having a strong co-founder by your side, who is equally passionate about the business is crucial.

Step 4: Say Cheers!

If you come across someone who shares the aforementioned skills and criterion, you may have found your potential co-founder!

PayPal founders, Max Levchin, Elon Musk, and Peter Thiel all shared a common goal to create a novel way to receive payments. 

The same goes for Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who wanted to improve the way we search for information on the internet, and in turn, gave us Google.

Step 5: Set ground rules together

Once you have your co-founder on board, the next step is to build your startup team and that process is rather stressful.

It is advised that you keep the communication lines open at all times. This will help you and your co-founder to be on the same page while building a strong team for your startup.

It will be in your team’s best interest if the founders together can tackle and resolve conflicts instantaneously.

How Do I Find The Right Team For My Startup?

Having an impactful co-founder by your side will drastically increase your chances of success.

However, to build a startup team, you need dedicated individuals working alongside the founders. 

In order to expand your team, you need individuals who can seamlessly handle various business aspects, such as product or service development, operations, and marketing.

3 Steps To Identify The Right People For Your Startup Team:

Step 1: Be Fastidious

Be particular about the skill sets of people you hire, and don’t be afraid to be picky. You need to keep in mind that you are trying to find the perfect fit for your startup.

Step 2: Ask the right questions

In the interviews for potential candidates, ask them questions to gauge the field they come from. 

Collect information regarding specific situations, everyday tasks, and the level of involvement of potential candidates in product or service development. 

These answers will help you analyze:

  • If they have the right skill set for your startup
  • If they will be able to accept and assimilate the startup culture

Step 3: Look for all-rounders

Be on the lookout for candidates who enjoy overcoming obstacles and resolving pressing issues. 

Having such candidates as your team members will help you build a team that is inherently strong.

You can also consider involving advisors in your team, who can address specific concerns of your business. 

At times, advisors can be offered some equity or some share of the company to demonstrate that you value them and their opinions. Such a move can also assist in increasing the value of your startup.

How Do I Know If I Have Found My Ideal Startup Team?

You will just know. 

There are only so many technicalities and parameters you can engage while setting up your ideal team. Some attributes you find, and some you inculcate.

Let’s find out how!

A strong team for any startup should consist of the following attributes:

  • Result oriented
  • Accountable
  • Committed
  • Solution-oriented
  • Trustworthy

 

If you are aiming to build a startup team, which can have a long-lasting impact, you will need a strong team. 

You need to surround yourself with individuals who are among the best in their respective fields. Identifying such individuals and attracting them to your organization should be your top priority.

Once you have these individuals on board, you need to make them more effective as a team as soon as possible. 

It can often be tedious to coach and lead a team to success, but it’s worth it.

Here Are 5 Tips To Effectively Coach Your Startup Team:

Tip 1:  Inspire passion by envisioning the big picture with your team

Tip 2: Go scouting for new ideas

Tip 3: Enable easy communication among teammates

Tip 4: Point your team in the right direction and redirect as required

Tip 5: Make sure you are in it to win it

How Do I Build A Great Sales Team For My Startup?

The sales team of a startup is mainly responsible for creating conversions and managing leads. 

Sales are one of the most essential roles in any organization, and hence it is very important to build a strong sales team. 

However, you need to ask yourself a few questions before you start interviewing potential candidates:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your business?
  • What do you consider to be an ideal profile for a customer?
  • What are your past sales figures and how do you envision the future?

 

Reflecting inward by utilizing these questions will help you identify suitable individuals for your sales team. 

Research has shown that components such as customer profile, revenue growth, and sales traction, can reveal an individual who is best suited for your sales team. 

The candidates you are considering to hire for your sales team should have the following qualities:

  • Ability to make the customers feel valued by creating a good first impression
  • Ability to communicate clearly and showcase the full value of your product/ service
  • Ability to accept failure while striving for success

 

Try to keep your team confined to a few members as startups typically go through different restructuring phases. 

Learning to identify these phases appropriately will assist you in availing the help of the right person. 

In Conclusion

Starting with a weak team can be a potential deal-breaker for your firm, even if you have a million-dollar idea. 

A strong team is the starting point of a great company. With your vision, you need to attract the best individuals and guide them toward a shared goal. 

As a leader, you should inspire your team members and make them aware of their contributions and their impact on the organization. 

Lastly, always make it a point to celebrate with your team when you have achieved significant milestones.

 

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