August 7, 2018
Getting together a small crew of professionals is a difficult task both for big companies and small startups. Every person brings their own personality, vision of the final product and the road to reach it, and different expectations about their position on the team. However, for a relatively small startup, the consequences of these difficulties could be much more damaging.
One team in a big company, like Google or Amazon, is just a part of a big machine. There is not a lot of pressure of having to like or be close to the people you work with. For a young company, every new person can make or break the whole project, both skill-wise and personality-wise. So, what are the pitfalls of searching for co-creators and employees for your new enterprise and how to avoid them?
Absence of technical background
If you have a concept that you’re certain about in terms of relevance and return of investment, but you have little to no idea about the technical aspects of its realization, you will definitely have a problem picking an employee for this task. Smaller startups usually don’t have enough finances to use the services of a competent HR manager, so you will have to do qualification and experience checks and interviews by yourself.
The most important advice that you need to follow in order not to be scammed and hire an incompetent person is not to rush the process and be thorough. This is essential when building a strong startup team. Don’t pick the first person who seems qualified: ask around, reach out to their previous employers and colleagues for comments. Look further than professional skills and double-check that your personalities work well together, too. Another tip that comes in pair with this one is to be swift and merciless when it comes to firing. Don’t try to prolong the inevitable if a person doesn’t have the skills you need – there’s plenty of fish in the sea, find someone who suits you better.
Alternately, you can look into small outsourcing teams - those are a great option when you need to reach your goals at a reasonable cost, and you don’t need to worry about your personalities clashing when you don’t work in close quarters.
Lack of commercial expertise to build a tech startup team
The reversed situation is just as common, probably even more plausible, as most of the new ideas in a field are developed by professionals in that field. However, if you don’t know the detailed process of monetization and marketing for your idea, it will never become profitable.
It is much more likely to encounter a scammer in this area, because money attracts them like honey attracts bees. So, the simplest solution to this problem is to hire a part-time consultant, who would have no interest in lying to you. They are much easier to find and, with enough information, you will later be able to either handle the task by yourself or to hire someone you are sure will be competent.
Team structure and workload
On the subject of advisors and part-time workers, sometimes it is much better to hire them for other positions, too. Some experts say that for young companies, hiring a person on a part-time basis with the possibility of offering them a permanent position based on their performance works much better than accidentally hiring an ineffectual full-time employee. It is also helpful to hire contractors or advisors as initial help to a new staff member to take off some workload to let them focus on studying or assess the case. Once again, outsourcing the services might be a good idea that will save you quite a bit of money.
Correct division of roles and accountabilities
Sometimes a startup doesn’t have a clearly determined leader. When everyone is equal, problems might arise in terms of the decision making, taking the responsibility, etc. To take away the confusion, you should either pick a capable person to take the lead or hire a professional to take up the position of CEO.
Tech Startup Team demotivation
This problem is quite common for startup companies that have been active for a while but haven’t achieved the success that was expected. However, you should never lose faith in your project. The best way to encourage the team is for the leader to set up clear goals and checkpoints that in the end lead to a distinct big picture. Be prepared for some of that goals to not work out and don’t be dismayed by it – adapt to the changes and stay positive!
Although creating something new is always risky and unpredictable, with the right people by your side you will always be able to overcome every obstacle and avoid the pitfalls. Just select your team, inner or outsourced, and enjoy watching the evolution of a simple thought into something more material.
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