There isn’t a startup in the world that succeeded without great people working frantically behind the scenes. With no brand or lumps of money in the bank, startups are utterly dependent on their people. And that means that the people choice is their most important decision.
But getting that decision right can be difficult, and most companies don’t get it right. Here’s what it takes to build a winning startup team?
Hire people with different skills to your own
Lynn LeBlanc is the CEO of a data company. He believes that one of the most important things a business can do is hire a range of people with different experiences. One of the major pitfalls of startup enterprises is that CEOs look for individuals who are most like themselves.
According to, to LeBlanc, they should be doing the exactly opposite. They need people with as broad a range of skills as possible, especially when the business is still small.
The problem for startups is that they can’t often fill all the positions they’d like to fill. CEOs themselves often end up doing simple things, like paying invoices, as well as making strategic decisions.
Often, CEOs don’t have a clue how stuff like SEO works. And so getting a bunch of similar people isn’t going to make the business successful. Broaden your horizons and look for people with varied and useful skills.
Track your team members daily
Processes for performance management have improved significantly over the last few years. Employers are dumping old practices like the annual review, and replacing them with more modern approaches. The best companies today are reviewing staff performance on a weekly, or even a daily basis.
Monitoring employee performance is a particularly important task for CEOs and startup managers. They need to be sure that everybody on their team knows what they’re doing to maximize the team’s potential.
And they need to be able to set clear targets and goals for every member of the team. Having a system where everybody knows what everybody else is doing keeps the whole team on track. Each element in the team can plan ahead and schedule their projects to finish at complementary times.
Look for people who see the potential in your idea
Startups can’t usually afford to pay their staff the going market rate for their services. But startups have other ways of enticing people to work for them. One thing that they can do is share their vision with potential candidates. Back in 2005, Facebook was little more than a startup.
But who would turn down a job offer from the company today? Not many. People are often willing to work for less in the present if their share your vision of the future. Find people who are prepared to accept lower pay because they’re the people who most want to see you succeed.
Remember, the people who love what you do most will already be using your product. Plus, they’ll act like evangelists for your message, getting the word out that your product is great.