How to Build an Awesome Startup Team

by Emily Farrar

Who would make up your startup dream team?

As your small business grows, building an awesome startup team is essential to your overall success as a company. Not only do you need rock star workers with mad skill sets; you need people who complement your work style, and who fill in the gaps in your weakest areas.

Know your strengths and weaknesses

Before bringing on new team members to your startup team, be completely honest about what’s missing in your business. Are you chock full of creative ideas, but completely disorganized? Or maybe you’re a whiz at finding potential customers, but can never seem to close the deal. Get painfully honest with yourself about where you could use some serious improvement, because that’s exactly where new startup team members are going to come in handy.

Give it a test run

You wouldn’t get married based on one 15-minute meeting, so why would you commit to working with someone based on a single interview? No matter how great that initial first meeting may be, or how impressive a potential candidate’s credentials, there is no way of telling how you’ll work together until you’re in the trenches.

Bringing new startup team members on part time or on a per-project basis is a great way to get a feel for how things might be, should they join the team long-term. Hiring for a single project also takes the pressure off of you – if things don’t go smoothly, there is no expectation of the work continuing once the project is finished.

Practice crystal clear communication

Be able to articulate exactly what you need from your startup team members. Tell them when those needs aren’t being met, and praise them when your expectations are exceeded. It’s your responsibility as the boss to ask for what you want, and to clearly communicate how you expect your needs will be met. Remember, team members aren’t mind readers!

Work with people you like

He may be the world’s biggest whiz when it comes to web programming, but if he’s a bear to deal with on the daily, how long is the relationship really going to last? Get honest with yourself and find out what’s more important to you – building a team that is exceptionally talented, or finding people you actually like to work with? Of course, the two need not be mutually exclusive, but asking yourself the question will help you decide what to do when your mediocre marketing hire drops the ball for the fourth consecutive time.

What makes your startup team undeniably awesome?

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