When we hear about startups, we most often automatically think of an innovative idea that is the cornerstone of their operation. However, even despite its significant role, an innovative solution is only one of the components of the success of the entire venture. No startup has a chance to make it in the market without a talented team which, as the business grows, requires introducing some changes. Is it time to expand your startup team?
Startup team – table of contents:
Every startup has its founders who are fully responsible for its success or failure. They are the ones who make the most important decisions and significantly influence the shape of the entire business. Launching a startup requires a lot of courage and some kind of sacrifice.
In most cases, in the initial stages of development, the founders are the only employees. Therefore, it is so important for them to have various competencies, which even in the face of working with such a small startup team will let the company function properly.
Late hours, endless tasks to complete, a high sense of risk or the constant need to convince others of the uniqueness of an idea is a daily routine for founders. This begs the question, why don’t they try to expand their startup team right from the start?
The most common answer is money, or rather the lack of it. Starting a new business involves incurring many costs, which creates a real challenge, especially for young entrepreneurs without sufficient capital. In the first months of a startup’s existence, even the founders cannot count on a salary. They also cannot afford to hire qualified staff.
The demanding beginnings of a startup force founders to work hard and use skills to develop the business. However, in some cases, even despite the enthusiasm for work and sincere intentions of the originators, it becomes necessary to look for other forms of support.
A popular practice is to encourage trusted individuals to become co-founders of the startup. Such employees do not receive a salary for a long time, but in return they get a stake in the company’s capital. As a result, once the startup is successful, they can expect high profits.
When to hire employees?
The unconventional nature of startups makes it impossible to define a universal development plan. It is equally difficult to determine when you should start recruiting new employees. Each startup is based on a unique idea. Therefore, although in some cases you will see a partial similarity between the different phases of development, it all depends on the nature and organizational culture of the business in question.
When deciding to expand the team, it is important that the decisions made correspond to the current needs of the startup. The first employees hired are an extremely important element influencing the further success of the business. Participating in the early stages of development, they influence the shape of the organizational culture.
Still a small startup team must work well together and understand common goals. Those hired from outside should therefore understand the original idea and genuinely commit to it. The early stage of team building involves a lot of responsibility, and the very selection of the first employees can determine the fate of the entire startup.
As the startup team expands, proper work organization becomes even more important. When starting a business with only a few people, making decisions or assigning individual tasks was almost natural. However, when you are already hiring more and more new employees, functioning without a clear structure and a precise plan becomes impossible.
The development of a startup also involves a change in the very structure of the team. Initially, when the startup team consists of only a few people, they do not have clearly assigned functions or positions. Everyone performs tasks from different areas. With time, the founder decides to hire employees with specialized skills who are ultimately expected to work exclusively in their field.
At the same time, working with a larger number of employees makes it necessary to appoint a leader who will take care of the working atmosphere affecting the efficiency of the entire team.
Startup team – summary
It is difficult to clearly define the point at which a startup should start hiring employees. It all depends on the vision of its founders and the characteristics of the target market. However, as the business grows, it faces new challenges that require the involvement of new team members. Hiring the first employees affects the structure of the entire startup. They are the ones who will make or break the company culture, and they’re often the ones who will be with you for a long time.
Read also: 7 startup roles explained.