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Tips for an Entrepreneur: How to Build a High-Impact Team for a Successful Startup

Hire people who can get the Work done and not get bogged down with silos or role definitions
Tips for an Entrepreneur: How to Build a High-Impact Team for a Successful Startup
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CEO, Mercer|Mettl
8 min read
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Talent acquisition is rapidly changing across industries and the World. The unidirectional cut of Start-up vs Big Company will be a woeful trivialisation of the topic. In my view, people want to associate with an Idea, the leader who has envisioned the Idea, people who are associated with the Idea and whether that Idea resonates with the individual talent or not.

A good e.g. could be Uber or Amazon, which had to work on changing themselves to attract talent, only a great brand, large P&L, pathbreaking idea or a visionary Founder was not enough!

Keeping this in mind, here are some tips that could help you make prudent decisions while building a successful team to drive your startup’s growth:

  • When Starting Out, Use Your Existing Network

When you’re just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey, things will often not come easy. This extends to your team as well. Trying to find industry experts to join you from the get-go is challenging and counterproductive. Instead of obsessing over what you don’t have, try focusing on what you do.

Founders need to start with their own Network because they are the people who know them the best. It will be much easier to articulate the vision, mission and execution plan to a close set of people who know you personally.

  • Avoid Bringing Experienced Professionals too Early

There is no right time to bring experience, it depends on the need of the organization and the industry in which it's playing. For e.g., If you are Tesla, you need Propulsion engineers or Auto design experts from day 1!

For startup founders, it’s best to hire professionals who hold prior startup experience or fresh graduates eager to learn and grow in an agile and high growth environment.

Fresh talent might be more amiable to be moulded in the organisational ethos and culture, but that doesn’t rule out getting the right amount of experience into the room. You have to work that much harder to discover the right experienced talent to suit your needs.

 

  • Don’t Hire a Lot of People at a Time

Hire people who can get the Work done and not get bogged down with silos or role definitions.

When a startup is on its way to growth, there are a lot of systems and processes still being understood and created. To make it more complex, there is often a lack of ample resources. This is why most of the startups operate on a lean model; having too many people on board is not a viable financial option for them, especially given how cash-strapped business ventures are in the initial stages.

To sustain and grow their business, entrepreneurs have to work out a balance between maximising business output and minimising financial expenditures. This is possible only if the company has a small team of skilled and cross-functional professionals to ensure high-quality work. Having a team of professionals who can take on different roles and responsibilities, can help start-ups keep the cash burn to a minimum, without compromising their long-term growth.

  • Find Partners Who Seek Learning Opportunities

It is no secret that a new startup is a massive exercise in education, even for professionals with extensive business experience. New and unique processes are created to address the specific business requirements of every organisation. As your operations gain scale, you need to ensure that your team members update their skill-sets in sync with the changing business demands.

How your team members look at this learning opportunity can make all the difference. Do they see it as a burden or an opportunity to grow their own professional competencies? If they do not have a mindset of constantly learning and growing, they are not fit for your team.

Leading a startup is like managing an intricate clockwork. In other words, even if one of the numerous cogs and wheels that make up the machinery falters, the system no longer works the way it was intended to. For it to function properly, all of its components must fit perfectly to perform their individual tasks. The aforementioned tips can help you build a strong team, enabling your startup to break the early inertia and gather momentum for an accelerated growth trajectory.

Tips for an Entrepreneur: How to build a high-impact team for a successful startup

Talent acquisition is rapidly changing across industries and the World. The unidirectional cut of Start-up vs Big Company will be a woeful trivialisation of the topic. In my view, people want to associate with an Idea, the leader who has envisioned the Idea, people who are associated with the Idea and whether that Idea resonates with the individual talent or not.

A good e.g. could be Uber or Amazon, which had to work on changing themselves to attract talent, only a great brand, large P&L, pathbreaking idea or a visionary Founder was not enough!

Keeping this in mind, here are some tips that could help you make prudent decisions while building a successful team to drive your startup’s growth:

  • When Starting Out, Use Your Existing Network

When you’re just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey, things will often not come easy. This extends to your team as well. Trying to find industry experts to join you from the get-go is challenging and counterproductive. Instead of obsessing over what you don’t have, try focusing on what you do.

Founders need to start with their own Network because they are the people who know them the best. It will be much easier to articulate the vision, mission and execution plan to a close set of people who know you personally.

  • Avoid Bringing Experienced Professionals Too Early

There is no right time to bring experience, it depends on the need of the organization and the industry in which it's playing. For e.g., If you are Tesla, you need Propulsion engineers or Auto design experts from day 1!

For startup founders, it’s best to hire professionals who hold prior startup experience or fresh graduates eager to learn and grow in an agile and high growth environment.

Fresh talent might be more amiable to be moulded in the organisational ethos and culture, but that doesn’t rule out getting the right amount of experience into the room. You have to work that much harder to discover the right experienced talent to suit your needs.

 

  • Don’t Hire a Lot of People at a Time

Hire people who can get the Work done and not get bogged down with silos or role definitions.

When a startup is on its way to growth, there are a lot of systems and processes still being understood and created. To make it more complex, there is often a lack of ample resources. This is why most of the startups operate on a lean model; having too many people on board is not a viable financial option for them, especially given how cash-strapped business ventures are in the initial stages.

To sustain and grow their business, entrepreneurs have to work out a balance between maximising business output and minimising financial expenditures. This is possible only if the company has a small team of skilled and cross-functional professionals to ensure high-quality work. Having a team of professionals who can take on different roles and responsibilities, can help start-ups keep the cash burn to a minimum, without compromising their long-term growth.

  • Find Partners Who Seek Learning Opportunities

It is no secret that a new startup is a massive exercise in education, even for professionals with extensive business experience. New and unique processes are created to address the specific business requirements of every organisation. As your operations gain scale, you need to ensure that your team members update their skill-sets in sync with the changing business demands.

How your team members look at this learning opportunity can make all the difference. Do they see it as a burden or an opportunity to grow their own professional competencies? If they do not have a mindset of constantly learning and growing, they are not fit for your team.

Leading a startup is like managing an intricate clockwork. In other words, even if one of the numerous cogs and wheels that make up the machinery falters, the system no longer works the way it was intended to. For it to function properly, all of its components must fit perfectly to perform their individual tasks. The aforementioned tips can help you build a strong team, enabling your startup to break the early inertia and gather momentum for an accelerated growth trajectory.

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