Building Your Startup “Dream Team”

First and foremost, let us begin with the most important member of your team: You! You are truly what is and what will continue to be the driving force behind your team and your growing company. If you do not have the ambition, motivation and passion for your business, it is already doomed to fail. You must also have a clear idea and vision for your company as to where you see it in the next week, month and year from now. As we know, statistics claim that most startups fail within their first two years. In order to avoid this, you must have a clear and thorough business plan, but remain flexible. If something is not working, be open to change, or drop it completely.
Let us move on to your core group. Begin to surround yourself with like-minded people, especially those that excel in the things you do not do particularly well. You must erase the fear of people not being able to do things as well as you and feel comfortable with delegating tasks. To find these core members, begin attending networking events, innovation conferences, mixers and more with plenty of business cards and a polished elevator pitch. Reach out to your own peers, friends and family as you just never know who may already be within your network. Another option, especially if you are building your business in a new city, is to engage with a recruiting firm to help guide and familiarize you with the area and the most qualified people for the positions you are trying to fill.

A big part of the hiring process is the interview. This is your time to have a dialogue with a potential candidate and discover whether he/she is a good fit for your company. Be sure that while interviewing a candidate that you allow them do most of the talking, not you. Although you want to have a conversation, you must allow your candidate to demonstrate his/her thought process, use of language, communication skills and the ability to think on his/her feet. Let us review a few good interview questions:

1. What experience do you have in this field?
2. Do you consider yourself successful?
3. What do co-workers say about you?
4. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
5. Why do you want to work for this organization?
6. Are you a team player?
7. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?
8. What is your philosophy towards work?
9. If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?
10. Have you ever been asked to leave a position?

Once you have your team together, your next challenge begins: managing. This should be seen as just as important, if not more so, than the hiring process itself! Recall that you are the guiding force of this business, and now, your team. If you want them to succeed and do well, you must mentor them. Do not throw them to the sharks and see if they sink or swim. It has been found that mentoring employees leads to increased work flow, better relationships and overall, a more positive work environment. Maintaining an open idea forum welcomes discussion, feedback, criticism and continues to encourage creativity. By empowering your employees, you will gain their respect, their trust and their friendship and in turn, create and maintain a successful business.

We hope you found these ideas helpful and best of luck in your business endeavors!