5 Tips For Building the Perfect Startup Team

perfect startup team

A startup company is only as good as its team. No matter how good your idea is, no matter how much experience you have, your startup’s success will depend completely on the people you hire. Here are 5 tips For building the perfect startup team.

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1. Work with people you like and respect

Now, before we begin with this section, there is a caveat here. Work with people you like and respect. This means, don’t hire that couch crashing cousin of yours, just because he’s really fun to have around. You need professionals, people whose opinion you respect, people who are experts in their fields.

Startups are usually small, especially at the beginning. These people are your employees, but they will, at times, act like your partners. You need to trust them, to value their advice. You should never fall into the trap where you place charisma over expertise (unless that is exactly what their job title calls for).

On the flip side, if you really can’t stand an individual, for whatever reason, you shouldn’t force yourself to like them. Hiring people that can get along will improve the company and team morale, making you much more productive. No matter how good somebody is at their job, if you have a feeling that they just won’t fit into your company, there is no point in hiring them.

2. Hire people that are always learning

As we’ve explained above, you need people who know what they are doing. However, you also need lifelong learners. Saying the business world is always rapidly changing thanks to technology is already a cliché, but it’s true nonetheless. No matter what line of work you’re doing, you will see that this is 100% true. And that is why you want to get people who are passionate about their work, people who are always improving themselves.

A successful startup needs people who are in touch with how their field is changing. They need to know what the best new thing is, and understand whether it’s a fad or a completely new direction. A lifelong learner will continually hone his or her craft, constantly educate his or herself.

Recommended reading: How to Tap Into Future Trends For Your Business

3. Be aware of their strengths and weaknesses

A startup team is all about balance. One individual excels in one area while lacking in another. You, as a leader, need to choose the right people, see exactly what they are good at, where they have problems, and then learn how to mitigate that. So, for example, you can hire a person who is incredibly thorough, precise, and pedantic but isn’t so good with social situations. This means, accordingly, that you want to place this person in the position where they can shine.

Always keep your eyes peeled, and watch your people closely. There are some signs in a person’s character and demeanour that will tell you outright what to do with them. Are they a go-getter, somebody who gives 110% at their work? Or do they seem like a person that would just do the bare minimum? They may not be necessarily lazy, maybe this person is just not interested in this kind of work. But, whichever one of these is the case, it doesn’t really matter, the end result is that you shouldn’t hire them.

4. Lead by example (and see who follows)

Always lead by example. Present yourself as the professional you (hopefully) are. Always be the first one to come to work and the last one to leave. Show that you are calm and in control, even when you don’t feel like that. Take care of your people first, and plan out accordingly. This means, always give them their paycheques on time, even if yours is going to be a bit late.

Also, remember that future issues can always spring up and that you should be prepared. Have all your employees up to date on their company insurance policies. Give them good dental and medical coverage. 

Tip: always have the number of a competent attorney in your company’s phone book in case things arise that you need some expert advice on.

5. Communication is key

Finally, communication is paramount to your success as a team. As we’ve said, startups are usually small, at first. You will be around a tight-knit group of professionals that are supposed to help you achieve success. This means the way you all communicate means a lot. Avoid confrontation, be respectful, and treat them as your equals. Always be open and upfront, they need to know what is happening in your company at all times.

Look at how complex communication gets when you grow:

Image source - https://twitter.com/reza_zadeh/status/914758576152887298


Building a good startup team is essential to cement your chances of achieving success. Remember to always be respectful, to get experts that you actually want to be around, and to be aware of their capabilities. Get people that you like and respect, and remember to always lead by example.

Over to you now. Have you built a top team for your startup? Share your tips in the comments below. 

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