0 Comments |  Leadership |  PRINT | 

Three things to remember when picking the right start-up team

Thursday, 5 September 2013 | By Marc Peskett

Building your start-up team is one of the biggest decisions that you will make.


Who will you trust with your big idea?


You need a step-by-step plan to make sure that all the people and components that you bring together are working perfectly to bring that big idea you have to life.


On a weekly basis, we deal with a common challenge that all clients and starts-ups face: How to build and get the right people and balance on your team to make sure that idea turns from dream to reality.


There are three vital components to building your early stage start-up team.


1. Match your employees with their passion and skill-set


You would think that this would be easy, but the reality is that the biggest failure organisations have is not matching the skills of their employees to the right roles.


Make sure you take the blinkers off when it comes to building your team and look for the people who can do things you can’t – and who can complement the existing ecosystem. Look at their cultural fit and ask them what they would like to do in the company rather than just retrofitting them into a role they have done previously.


Really embrace the fact that you are about to do something new. This is the chance to up-skill and let your team re-invent and invigorate itself to keep the passion going when the going gets tough.


Have open and honest conversations about what you and your team are good at, so everyone can find their perfect place.


2. Keep the team tight


Have you ever heard the saying, ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth'? This happens all the time in start-ups when you are building your team early. Too many big hitters can also lead to a great idea being squashed or diluted because of overloading the same sections of the business.


It is essential to think about the size and balance of your team, especially when it comes to speeding up and slowing down decision-making processes in the early stages. A start-up needs to be fast, agile and confident when proceeding down this pathway. The key parts of the team you need to balance are vision, product development, legal, financial, resourcing, technical development and business modelling.


We recommend having three to four people in your start-up team that can cover all these roles at various levels to keep the momentum up.


3. Surround yourself with mentors and advisors


Find people who have been successful and who have also made mistakes: you need people who have travelled the road before to advise you. They can teach you how to jump the hurdles, fast-track initiatives and help you see future roadblocks that you may not even be considering.


You may have more than one. Finding a mentor doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all solution. You may also find a mentor that has a support team that is willing to help you as well.


When embarking on any journey, it’s always handy to have a good map in your back pocket for when times get a little confusing and tough.