As a budding college entrepreneur, I am always surprised to see how collaboration can result from offsetting a weakness. Entrepreneurship is a learning curve and the business owner must be able to soak in new information like a sponge. That said, certain aspects to launching a startup can make it worthwhile to find collaborators.
For example sometimes a founder might not have the time or see the value in learning a new skill. If an entrepreneur is launching a mobile app, why should he or she bother to learn how to code when it's possible to find someone who can do coding? The founder can focus on strengths while either outsource the app's development or partner with someone skilled in development. For many entrepreneurs, the value conferred from gaining the needed service this way outweighs the costs of hiring a freelancer or outsourcing the work, especially when a startup is still in the idea stage.
The hardest part of collaboration, though, is finding people who share adequate passion for the enterprise. Every entrepreneur should know talk is cheap and action takes feet.
This past month while using an automated Twitter and Instagram lead-generation platform named Flockwith.Me for my startup, Yes Man Watches, I reached out to its founders to share my feedback and gain insights. After my talk with the team behind Flockwith.Me, I realized startups can benefit from having the following three key players for a launch:
1. A numbers guy (or a finance guru on steroids) can break down the company's costs in every way imaginable and ensure each dollar is fully utilized. This person knows exactly where the money of the venture is going and could even file its taxes. He or she keeps track of every penny earned and that it is allocated effectively.
2. The hustler doesn’t breathe without thinking about the startup. He or she is willing to do anything and everything to help the company progress. Each time he or she meets someone new, the startup is mentioned. Naturally, the hustler is a smooth seller and brings in more clients than anyone else on the team.
3. The back-end buddy knows the ins and outs of how the team turned the idea into a reality. Without this person, there would not be a product. This individual isn’t in the spotlight nor does he or she need to be. Rather this person is there to ensure that the product or service runs smoothly.
The entrepreneur should figure out his or her weaknesses and find people with the skills to counterbalance them. These startup players must share the passion and vision -- and the whole team should be on the same page. Always treat the startup like a baby: If someone isn’t handling a situation well, teach him or her how to do it right or drop that person from the team.