How to create your perfect startup team
Finding the right team for your startup is critical for success. It’s one of the very first things you need to think about. We regularly work with startups and new businesses, so we understand how tricky things can be. That’s why we’ve put together some essential advice on how to create your perfect startup team.
Of course, every business is different. One startup’s dream team could be another’s nightmare. Before you hire anyone, you need to think about your business’s unique needs and who can help you meet these. But, thankfully, there are some general pointers that are going to put you in the right direction – whatever your business model is.
HOW TO FIND A TEAM FOR A STARTUP
To find a team for a startup, you’ll want to look out for people with:
Financial experience – You’re going to need somebody in your business who understands budgets, particularly if you’re seeking external investments. If that person isn’t you then you need to hire someone with a head for number-crunching.
Tech savviness – For a modern startup, you’ll likely want everyone to be computer literate (unless you’re going old school). If you’re working with anything more technically advanced, you could benefit from hiring a true whizz. Having this different mindset can help solve problems before you even realised you had them.
Business knowledge – Chances are that if you’re reading this guide, you don’t have any experience of building a business from scratch. That’s OK. Nobody had experience before they did it for the first time – you’re not alone. However, if you can find someone who’s been there before (through the highs and the lows), their advice can be invaluable.
Passion and pride – Passionate can be a clichéd buzzword, but you’ll still want people who are truly excited to work with you and grow your startup. Find a team that are proud to work with you and you’ll have found a team that will stay. Although you need experience in the team, don’t overlook people with drive and the potential to learn.
That special something – One way of making your business stand out is having a team who just do that. Any good startup collective needs a superstar or two. You simply want people who are top at what they do. OK, we know it’s not that simple as everybody wants those people too, but once you have one, you’ll be a magnet for more talent.
Whoever you hire, it’s important that you have a variety. It’s no good having a group who are all excellent at behind-the-scenes technology, but nobody in the team willing to stand up and voice creative ideas. You need a blend of people for the perfect mix.
Variety is essential for a startup – from the experienced old-timers to the intrigued new starters; you can find the qualities you’re looking for in people from all walks of life.
THE BENEFITS OF A LEAN STARTUP TEAM STRUCTURE
Although you want variety in your team, you won’t be able to have everyone in your very first team. As a startup, it’s often beneficial to start small, establish the team hierarchy and roles, find the gaps and then grow from there.
You’ll want a clear and defined startup management team and then you’ll need to hire people based on your skill gaps.
The benefits of a lean startup team structure are:
Small teams bond better – Typically, smaller teams will form closer friendships quicker than a large group. Think of the difference between a trio and a choir of over 100 – you’d expect the three bandmates to know each other, but many in the choir won’t know each other’s names. Starting with fewer employees gives a family feeling and helps build community.
Lower financial risk – Sadly, not all startups will be successful. But a lean startup structure minimises any risk as you will have less overheads due to the smaller headcount of employees.
Ready for failure – The good thing is that even when things go wrong for lean startups, they’re prepared. The small team structure can be agile and adapt to unexpected changes so that you can ride these ‘failures’ out and learn from mistakes.
Experimentation is easier – Too many decision-makers can block creativity. In a startup, this is the last thing you want. You need to be pro-risk and too many people’s opinions will hinder this. With a small team, you can experiment and take risks.
Greater accountability – Everyone in a small team needs to contribute, and you’ll always know who’s done what. Because of this, everyone is encouraged to always do their very best. However, although there’s nowhere to hide, there’s still always room to try new things.
7 TIPS TO BUILD YOUR STARTUP TEAM
Founding a startup sounds great, doesn’t it? It won’t always be easy but it’ll be worth it – and with our 7 top tips to build the perfect startup team, you can soon begin your journey.
1 – Identify your weaknesses and find strengths with others. Use hiring as an opportunity to fill in the gaps that you’re missing. The first step to success here is being honest with yourself with what you can and can’t do.
2 – Hire a variety of people. Get the mix right and you’re already on the road to success. You want to have a breadth of skills, personalities and experience.
3 – Keep your team size lean. Although you’ll need a variety of people, you’ll still want to start small and build up. You’ll expand in time but keep it natural with your business growth.
4 – Look for those who believe in your vision. You need passion to create a successful startup and you’ll want the team behind you to be driving this.
5 – Welcome experimenters and risk-takers. In order to generate creative ideas, you need people who’ll disrupt the norm. You want reliable hard-workers, of course, but you also need everyone who joins the team to know they shouldn’t be afraid to do the unexpected.
6 – Build with the future in mind. Although you want to build the perfect startup team, you really want to build the perfect team overall. For now, you should think small but you also want to have a team who will grow with you so make sure you hire with a long term vision.
7 – Find the perfect startup office. Location, location, location. Base yourself in the place where the talent pool has what you’re looking for and you’ll find recruitment easier.
FIND THE RIGHT OFFICE FOR YOUR STARTUP
Finding the perfect office space is something we can help you with.
If you’re looking for startup office space in London, get in touch with us here at WorkPad. We offer flexible contracts that are ideal for your new business. With modern design-led serviced offices in some of the capital’s most in-demand locations, why wouldn’t you want to start your adventure with us?
We’ll provide you with an extremely desirable working environment, super-fast fibre internet, IT support, and in-house maintenance and cleaning. You just need to bring the ideas – and the team. And, we hope we’ve given you some inspiration for that too.