Tips for an Entrepreneur: How to Build a High-Impact Team for a Successful Startup
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people.” This applies to all businesses and more so to the start-ups. Having the right mix of people can work wonders for a new or nascent business. The people you choose to hire will have the ability to make or break your business dream. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that one of the common reasons for a start-up to fail is not having the right team.
This makes it important for you to be extremely selective about the people you bring on board. We share some tips and things to consider while bringing together an impactful team to drive your business growth.
1. Evaluate Yourself
Start from ground zero. Create the desired skill matrix required to achieve your business goals. Try to cover different functional areas as you create one. Once you have a well-thought matrix ready, weigh your skillset, and identify your strengths. At this point, consider not just the core capabilities but also the soft skills and temperament. If you have a business partner, a factor in what they bring to the table.
Now look for competent people to bring in the rest of the skills to create a balanced team.
2. Explore your existing network
When the business is new and the cash flows are not stabilized, sourcing out the hiring may not be the best of ideas. Instead, look for people within your network – people you have worked with or have been associated with earlier. You would not only be aware of their core capabilities but also about their personality and attitude. Having had some experience with them, you are more likely to make a better judgment of how good a fit they would be to your business.
3. Share your vision
To achieve the aimed results, it is important that everyone rows in the same direction. And to move in one single direction, your team needs to first see in that direction. Spend quality time and efforts to educate your team to share the same vision that you have for your venture. Help them understand the importance of their role to achieve it. Only when your people have the visibility of the larger picture will they feel driven to work for it.
4. Hire people with multiple skillsets
A start-up is not likely to have a clear demarcation of the roles and responsibilities of different teams. It is still in the process of creating molds and shaping things up. In such times, it is best to look for versatile people who can don multiple hats. Refrain from hiring people who believe in being pigeon-holed. Instead, encourage those who have at least one core competency that you are looking for and a couple more that they can contribute to.
It is also important to make this clear during the hiring process so that the expectations from the candidate are set right.
5. Choose people who love to learn, adapt and grow
No two businesses are the same, nor are their challenges. Even if you try hard to plug all holes, there will surely be circumstances catching you off-guard. These inevitable and unforeseen conditions will require a dynamic team that not just rises to the occasion but also takes the learnings forward. So, I prefer people who show constant curiosity and want to look for ways to improve continuously and evolve.
6. Create a heterogeneous mix
Having a diversified mix in terms of skill sets, personalities, temperament helps create a good balance. A team with similar people is not likely to make a good cut. Even though they might all gel well there will be little room for growth. You would not get different perspectives while dealing with day to day operations. Having a heterogeneous mix will allow healthy friction and a weak spot of one could well be covered by another team member. This, in turn, would help you have a multi-dimensional assessment of your business decisions.
7. Build a culture
While hiring for a start-up, you are not just building a team but also cultivating a culture. The people you bring on board will have a great influence on the beliefs and values that get imbibed in the culture. Make sure to rake in individuals whose dogmas and ideologies resonate with the ones that you want to build for your business.
A remarkable team has an instrumental and everlasting impact on your business. But to build a team like that does not come easy. Be patient, gauge well, spend time and energy to get the right people. Beware, rushing through the process can turn out to be a costly mistake.