In the last 20 years, the power of the startup has grown and grown. This is to the point where the prospect of being involved in a startup is an enticing one for all sorts of people, from recent graduates to seasoned careerists. Aside from the importance of the idea at the heart of a startup, the other most touted aspect of the world is the people who are involved. This is why putting together a great startup team matters. Startup teams are tight-knit groups; driven and hard-working, but also relaxed and humanized in a way that seems intended to contrast to the world of standard business and enterprise.
But these teams don’t happen by accident. And the impact a good team has on the potential of a startup is actually enormous. So, the key is making sure that you, as an entrepreneur in any field, surround yourself with the right people. Here are 7 ways to ensure that you build yourself the best possible group.
1. Develop Your Leadership Skills
It doesn’t matter the intellect, work ethic, or capabilities of the people around you if you yourself can’t lead them towards achieving the best possible results for the company. You will waste their talent and time. It can be tough at first, but you ideally want to know how to lead the group before any of them get in the room with you. Plan well, express yourself clearly, and try your absolute best not to lose your calm ever.
2. Pick a Second in Command
When it comes to putting together your unit, this might be your first step. Picking someone you can absolutely trust and who you know complements your abilities with their own can be vital to the survival of your startup. Running a startup can require a huge amount from you. “Sometimes you won’t be in the office or you will be on the phones all day. Your right-hand man needs to be someone you can depend on to take over at the helm seamlessly. This is your central business partner, so make the decision wisely,” says Paul Richmond, a writer at Academized and UKWritings.
3. Make Sure You Are All on the Same Page
A first step I advise everyone to make in the opening stages of a startup is to run the one- or two-year plan by everyone on the team, to gauge their reaction. If there’s significant negativity in response from anyone, you have to re-evaluate instantly. Making sure that you’re all pushing in the same direction is vital when putting together a great startup team. You could put the project in jeopardy by not double-checking.
4. Ensure They’re Not Just in It for the Money (and You Too)
Working at a startup can be immensely rewarding, exciting, and energizing. It can also be a huge pain. There are guaranteed to be moments throughout the process that are absolutely awful. If the only thing driving you at that point is your salary or your promised salary, you’re likely to be tempted to let things fall apart. But, if you are passionate about the project, you’ll give everything you’ve got regardless. Check for this amongst the group.
5. Research the Talent
Sometimes, getting anyone to sign on to work for you can feel like a victory. But, don’t necessarily go for whoever bites first, do your research. Research to find the best possible talent. You’ll need a wide variety of choices because most talented doesn’t necessarily mean most suited.
6. Test Out In-Group Relations
Collaboration is huge at most startups. So, before committing to a team, do what they do for casting in the movies: get two or three potential team members together and test for chemistry. Make sure that if people have to work closely with one another, they get on.
7. Prepare to Make Changes
It can sound a bit harsh but if things aren’t really going well with one of your employees, either in their performance, attitude or drive, you have to be ready to intervene. This can mean getting in a replacement if needs be. No successful startup team gets there without a bit of flexibility. Make it clear to everyone that there is a probationary stage so that if you do have to get rid of someone, you are less likely to hurt feelings. Startups can be a bit like sports teams, and emotions can run high, but don’t let that stop you from guaranteeing the best possible line-up.
So, overall, I would advise you to take an attitude of caution when putting together a great startup team. Ensure that you have really given this a huge amount of thought and reflection as it can massively impact your business. Communicate clearly and stay flexible and you and your team will be on your way to success.