If you’re thinking about starting a startup, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is who to put on your founding team. A lot rides on this decision – the success or failure of your startup will likely hinge on the skills and abilities of your founding team.
Finding the right mix of people is essential to putting together a founding team that can take your startup all the way. Here’s what you need to know about founding teams, and how to put together the perfect one for your startup.
A founding team is made up of the co-founders of a company, as well as any early employees or key hires. The founding team is responsible for getting the company off the ground – they’re the ones who will turn the vision for your startup into a reality.
Let’s dive into what makes a great founding team.
Building The Perfect Founding Team
A founding team should have a diverse set of skills and abilities. This ensures that the team is equipped to handle all the challenges that will come up during the startup journey. Each member of the team should complement the others, filling in any gaps in skills or knowledge.
In addition to having a diverse set of skills, it’s also important that founding team members share the same values and vision for the company. This will help to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal, and reduce the possibility of disagreements or conflict within the team.
Last but not least, it’s essential that the members of your founding team gel well together. This founding team will be spending a lot of time together, so it’s important that they get along and are able to work well together.
Who Should Be On Your Founding Team?
Now that we know what makes a great founding team, let’s take a look at who should be on yours.
First and foremost, you’ll need a co-founder. A co-founder is someone who shares your vision for the company and will work with you to make it a reality. Ideally, your co-founder will have complementary skills to yours, filling in any gaps in your knowledge or abilities.
In addition to being a co-founder, you’ll also need to build out your team with hires that have the right skills and experience. As you’re putting together your team, keep in mind the founding team dynamic – you want a team that works well together and complements each other’s skills.
Some of the key roles you’ll need to fill include:
- CEO: The CEO is responsible for leading the company and setting the vision for the future.
- CTO: The CTO is responsible for overseeing all technical aspects of the company, from product development to engineering.
- CFO: The CFO is responsible for managing the company’s finances and ensuring that the business is running smoothly from a financial standpoint.
- Head of Sales: The head of sales is responsible for generating revenue for the company by selling products or services.
- Head of Marketing (or Growth): The head of marketing is responsible for creating and executing marketing campaigns that will raise awareness of the company and its products or services.
These are just a few of the key roles you’ll need to fill on your founding team. As you’re putting together your team, make sure to consider the skills and experience that each member brings to the table.
What To Look For In A Founding Team Member
So, what should you look for in a founding team member? It goes beyond the skills and experience that they bring to the table – you also want to make sure that they share your vision for the company and are a good fit for the team dynamic.
When you’re meeting with potential founding team members, take the time to get to know them on a personal level. Ask about their values and what they’re looking for in a company. This will help you to gauge whether or not they’re a good fit for your team.
It’s also important to have an honest conversation about what you’re looking for in a founding team member. Be upfront about the roles and responsibilities that they would be taking on, and what you expect from them in terms of commitment and dedication. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page from the outset.
Here are a few things to think about:
Do they have an entrepreneurial mindset?
Having an entrepreneurial mindset is essential for anyone on your founding team. This means that they’re not afraid of taking risks, and they’re always looking for ways to improve and grow the business.
Do they have the right skills and experience?
As we mentioned before, it’s important that your founding team members have the right skills and experience for their roles. This will help to ensure that the business is running smoothly from a technical standpoint.
Are they a good fit for the team dynamic?
It cannot be stressed enough how vital it is for your founding team members to get along and work together cohesively; these individuals will be spending a lot of time with each other. Not only should they be able to get along, but also lift each other up and act as support systems.
Do they share your vision for the company?
It’s important that your founding team members share your vision for the company. This means that they believe in what you’re trying to achieve and are willing to work hard to make it a reality.
Do they have the same values as you?
Values are important, especially when you’re building a company from the ground up. You want to make sure that your founding team members have values that align with your own. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.
Are they the hustle type that will do whatever it takes to make the company a success?
Having a hustle mentality is key for anyone on your founding team. This means that they’re not afraid of putting in long hours and they’re always looking for ways to improve and grow the business.
The hustler mentality is a go-getter attitude mixed with delegating skills. They get shit done and they make sure everyone else does too. If there’s something they don’t know, they learn it quickly. And if a task can be completed more efficiently, the hustler finds a way to make it happen. This mindset isn’t defined by position or title but instead by perspective.
Are they the hacker type that is always looking for new and innovative ways to solve problems?
If you are innovating, you’re constantly looking for new ways to do things. This means that you’re always testing and trying new things, even if it means breaking the mold. The hacker mindset is all about creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
From the beginning, the hacker should have a clear understanding of what the product they are designing should look like. They need to be able to think about what people want and why it is important. After that, they need to always be looking for ways to improve whatever it is they’re working on by solving problems.
Are they the hipster type that is always ahead of the curve?
The hipster (a.k.a. product person) is the one who is always ahead of the curve. They’re the early adopters that are always on the lookout for new trends. This means that they’re always looking for ways to improve and grow the business.
In order to be a successful hipster, you need to have an eye for creativity and originality. You should always have a vision for what the final product should resemble. Furthermore, it’s essential that you think about what consumers want and why your design is important to them. Lastly, always search for ways in which you can improve upon your current project by solving any potential problems.
Do they get along well with other people?
The last thing you want is for your founding team members to butt heads all the time. It’s important that they get along well with other people, both on the team and outside of it. This will help to ensure that everyone is working together towards a common goal.
Do they understand and respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses?
Another important aspect of a founding team is that they understand and respect each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This will help to ensure that everyone is able to work together cohesively and that no one is trying to do too much or too little.
Do they have complementary skill sets?
Last but not least, you want to make sure that your founding team members have complementary skill sets. This means that they each bring something unique to the table and that they’re able to work together to cover all of the bases.
Finally, don’t forget to ask about their availability. founding team members should be prepared to commit a significant amount of time and energy to the company in its early stages. Make sure that they’re able to make the necessary commitment before bringing them on board.
How To Assemble The Perfect Founding Team
Now that we’ve gone over what to look for in a founding team member, let’s talk about how to actually assemble the perfect team.
The first step is to identify the skills that you need on your team. This will vary depending on the type of company you’re starting, but some common skill sets include marketing, sales, design, engineering, and business development.
Once you know what skills you need, it’s time to start looking for people who have them. The best way to do this is by networking with people in your industry and getting recommendations from trusted sources.
A fantastic way to find local talent is by partnering with a recruiting agency that already sources and recruits for other startups. They will have the necessary connections and database for you to begin your search.
For example, Hirefuel is a recruiting agency that specializes in startups. They have partnered with many successful startups (FIGS, Crexi, eHarmony, Hinge, Mammoth Media, YourSuper.com, and many others) in the past and can help you find the perfect founding team members for your company.
Once you have a few potential candidates in mind, it’s time to start interviewing them. This is where you’ll really get to know if they’re a good fit for your team.
Be sure to ask about their skillset, their experience, and their vision for the company. It’s also important to ask about their availability and their willingness to commit to the startup in its early stages.
Once you’ve found the perfect team, it’s time to get to work! Remember, a founding team is only as strong as its weakest member, so make sure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.
Putting It All Together
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into building the perfect founding team. It’s not an easy task, but it’s definitely worth taking the time to get it right.
Remember, your founding team will be responsible for taking your startup from an idea to a reality. So take the time to find the right people, and you’ll be one step closer to building a successful startup.
Oftentimes, the best way to start working on your project is by hiring contractors. Later down the line, you can look for specific founding team members that fit your needs.