A lot of start-ups require the help of a founding team. It is virtually impossible for a single person to possess enough experience to begin an effective new business. I am a big proponent of teams. I am a firm believer in the idea that nobody is an island and that it is more beneficial to have smaller pieces of a larger pie instead of a larger portion of a smaller pie.
Who do you require to be part of your team? How do you locate them? What are the values and traits that are the most important in forming your team?
Who do you require to be part of your team?
The first thing you must examine objectively is yourself and your abilities and capabilities and compare them with what you require for this endeavor to find out what the gaps are. Are you a good salesperson? Organizer? Accounting & Finance? Marketing? Researcher? Writer? Speaker? These are but a few of the most fundamental skills that you’ll likely require to consider when planning and launching your business. It is hard to critically analyze your own skills and abilities, so you may need a third party to help you. There are also tests online that evaluate what type of entrepreneur you are and what other types of entrepreneurs you need to add to your team
There might also be particular technical positions you have to fill in the team (such as web developer, software engineer or web designer, etc.). It is important to decide at the beginning if these crucial jobs will be paid or are so vital to the success of your venture that you ought to consider making these roles a part of your partnership.
Where can you find them?
It’s difficult to answer, how are you able to find trustworthy partners? Well, the internet has made it much easier to connect with an even larger geographical region. We aren’t all lucky enough to live located in hubs of entrepreneurial activity such as Route 128 as well as Silicon Valley (or the top colleges for entrepreneurship, in the world, for that matter), which is why you should keep this in mind when you search for your ideal team. Keep in mind that relatives and friends might appear willing and capable initially to be part of your venture, but I would strongly recommend that they are the ones you should be most cautious about joining your team. A lot of family and friendship relationships have been shattered due to new ventures that started to fall apart when the person who was initially in charge did not take their part of the responsibility (which is likely to be the case in every scenario).
Networking is essential, as is maintaining a solid database of contacts (as easy as collecting business cards of people whom you meet and then writing a brief summary of their names and what they do on their back) to know who they are and what they’re most interested in. Attend forums and events along with the chamber of commerce events, attend an entrepreneurship class at a local university and connect with your fellow students or post a classified ad. Making yourself known is possibly the most crucial aspect of all! Many potential entrepreneurs are concerned about people taking their ideas that they choose not to share their ideas with anyone, and their venture is never beyond the concept. Inform everyone who is willing to listen! There is no way to know the person who will become your ideal business partner and will help you make your dream come true.
There are many great sources for building teams on the internet. One quick look on Yahoo! for forums that deal with business or entrepreneurship can get you moving on the right path when it comes to networking with people on the internet. A classified ad for free on Craigslist will start to attract potential partners if you’re aware of what you’re looking for and you can create an effective advertisement. If your partners aren’t local to you, your start-up is still a possibility to be successful. Applications like Skype (free call & conferencing), Skype (free voice phone and conferences), or instant messenger and email make the world a smaller space and offer effective ways of communicating in file transfer. Indeed, some of the newest businesses find that they are more efficient with their time through these means of communication rather than being in the same room with their coworkers from 9 to 5.
What are the values and traits that are essential when forming your team?
If I were a venture capitalist, the standard answer is that they went to the Ivy League school, have at least an MBA or engineering degree, and have launched at the very least one new venture that has been extremely successful. However, considering that the majority of us are unable to find an individual with these qualifications isn’t an option when you are in the beginning stage, I’m going to eliminate this list of requirements completely. You require someone who is trustworthy that has knowledge and experience in the areas of expertise you’re lacking the most, along with a strong drive and entrepreneurial spirit, someone who is able to work with but who is willing to challenge you, and lastly, you can trust your intuition. In this regard, you wouldn’t like to be in conflict with your instincts, as our subconscious mind is able to pick things that we might not notice initially think of, and so”gut feeling “gut feeling” is often just right in this field.
If something within you suggests that this person might not be the ideal partner for your business, don’t allow them to be an integral part of your new venture. Many people have made this mistake (including myself). Be sure to follow your instincts regarding this matter. As a final note, avoid being influenced by people who come up to you with a boast about their vast networks of contacts and how they have the ability to contact a multitude of people that will be a huge help to your business. Contacts, in most cases, are just an email address or the friend of a friend. Although sometimes they can be successful, don’t believe in the other person’s “contacts” as they would suggest you to believe…just an experience from the personal experience of many.