/ Blog + Insights / 24 May 2021
Many investors identify the founding team as one of the main contributing factors to any start-up success. But, by the same token, a team that is reactively cobbled together can also lead the business to an early grave.
In the high-paced environment of a start-up, the composition – and therefore the power – of a great team is often underestimated. But a founder’s ability to assemble a strong team capable of winning sends a clear message to any potential investors – you’re serious about the success of your start-up.
So how do founders go about designing and building a high-performing team?
Start-ups are multi-faceted - and founders cannot be expected to be experts in all areas of the business. As a founder, understanding your own ambitions, personality, strengths and weaknesses is essential. It’ll help you identify individuals with complementary skills that fill the gaps in your own working style.
All start-ups need an engineer (responsible for product development), a designer (who creates the user experience), and a business-person (they bring it all together and take care of sales).
Each business will follow a different roadmap to hiring these functions, but it’s imperative that these new hires are agile – and can lead their respective divisions through the first stages of business.
Diversity fosters innovation and allows teams to become greater than the sum of their parts. Founders should seek talent through a variety of channels, then take the time to understand the differing approaches, so you can proactively manage potential cultural problems and areas of conflict.
The founding team needs to define a clear vision for the company - one that is consistent with their passion. It can be challenging to keep high-performing, ambitious employees with diverse backgrounds focussed on the same goal. Build your team around that common vision - and become relentlessly focussed on delivering customer value.
Founders also need to keep their desired culture as a north star when assessing potential new hires. Early hires should address skills gaps, be highly motivated individuals that thrive on adversity and problem solving. But, they must also buy-in to organisational culture if the start-up ship is to sail in the right direction.
There’s no such thing as perfect when building a founding team. However, it’s important to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are – that way, you can work out how those could be amplified or addressed.
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