Nothing is more exciting for founders than that first moment when they take their destiny into their own hands. After putting in the hard work and research using the Lean Startup Model, and determining that the product or service you have developed is really desired by customers, it’s finally time to bring your vision to life.
Now it’s time to identify who you need to join you to grow and protect your business. There are well defined as well as unexpected challenges ahead that are beyond the scope of just one person, and it’s up to you to identify the kinds of people you need behind you – those with the right experience and expertise – to face those challenges. You also need to know when you will need them.
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg recognizes the power of a good team. “The most important thing for you as an entrepreneur trying to build something is … to build a really good team. And that is what I spend all my time on.”
What Skills Do You Outsource?
At the very beginning, you probably did a little bit of everything in order to put your plan into action. However, a few more people with specific expertise will be needed to help you go beyond the nuts and bolts of creating the business. These are the types of people you will need to make sure your business has the right financial and legal footing to hit the ground running:
- An experienced startup accountant
- An experienced corporate lawyer
- A banker – Finding a banker that is willing to dig in and understand you and your business will be a valuable resource for the future. By winning this person over, you won’t be viewed as another commodity and source of a fee. Instead, you’ll have a valuable partner that will more likely be a source of financial support to help grow your business.
- A reliable outsourced bookkeeper
- Product Development – This is an area that can be outsourced as well. However, be sure you control the vision and the strategy. If you have the skills and experience in house, keep it there.
All Hands on Deck
Next, as the founder, you need to assess your own competencies. Be brutally honest about acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses, and the type of person you will need to fill the gaps in terms of both skill and time.You should have a very strong vision and clear goals for the company after defining and redefining them with the startup model, so you can proceed to identify the skillset you will need to make your business a success.
Identify what you need, from product or service development, sales, marketing, project management, to operations, and who be responsible for these things. Sometimes that person will be you, the founder, and other times, you will have to evaluate who to bring onto your team.
Finding someone with the right experience and expertise isn’t the only only criteria you need when vetting a potential teammate. A candidate could be the best in the business, but if you can’t stand him or her, it’s probably best not to lay down an offer. Here are some things to consider when looking at future teammates for your business:
- Vision – It’s important to look for candidates that are passionate about the vision you have for the company. Founders must communicate the big-picture goals they have, and provide a potential teammate with an opportunity to make a difference.
- Diverse Knowledge – Find candidates with knowledge and skills different from your own, so that your team is well rounded and prepared to deal with any challenges that arise.
- Continuous Improvement – Look for evidence of learning ability. Someone who has learned from the past and will adapt their knowledge to future challenges at your company is a prime candidate for your Lean Startup Model mindset.
If you have found people with the right experience, expertise, and characteristics, you will have a found the right players to join your killer team to bring your business to life.
Written by: Judson Sutherland, Founder & CEO