A Guide for Startup Founders: How to Structure a Winning Team

Getting a startup idea off the ground is an intense process. It’s also a difficult one. But while your idea may be an individual effort, everything else definitely isn’t. It requires a team effort.

If there is one winning formula for starting a successful business, then it’s creating a founding team that can match your ambition. Investing in the most valuable resource of a newborn company should be your only focus.

Forget about product development, the business process, running daily operations, and setting targets for the third quarter; use this guide instead, to learn how to structure a winning team of founders for your startup.

1. The founder

If you aren’t used to the concept by now, that means you. A solid team starts with a strong leader, and being self-aware will lead you to better performance which gets you a better team.

First off, make an effort to objectively evaluate your skills. Determine your strong points, and list what skills you lack. Focus on hard skills and soft qualities, as 77% of employers say both are equally important.

Then, contemplate your character, its main traits, flaws, values, and beliefs. Put pen to paper and turn everything into one giant list, and start searching for people to fill in the gaps.

2. Select your co-founders

Behind every great startup leader, there is an equally important business partner. Having a team of co-founders can relieve some of the stress of starting a business because they are dedicated to the startup as much as you.

In general, co-founders are people who are prepared to work for the startup full-time but focus only on one area of business. So look for people that add what you lack to the business, and make sure they align with your values.

For example, if your skills lack the financial savviness to manage the budget, find a person who can fill the role of both CFO and co-founder. And if you’re an outgoing action-taker, make sure they are too.

Your CFO, CMO, COO, CTO, and others will form the core of your business team. Keep in mind that, as co-founders, they are entitled to a share of the company. It’s only reasonable since they are with you from the very start.

3. Structure your team for the future

Founders fail to understand that you need to think long-term to structure your team. In fact, many startups succeed in their first year of business but fail five years later.

A startup is just a phase your business will grow out of as it scales. Plan for a long-term business model and structure the organization based on those ambitions.

That’s why it’s important to choose people based on their character much more than on their skills. If you have a good relationship with your team, it’s a positive sign of long-term commitment.

4. Nurture relationships to build a team

Once everyone is on board, focus on creating good group dynamics. Yes, they are all experts but they also need to know how to collaborate to succeed as a team.

Spend half as much time on team-building as you do on developing the offer or your business strategy. It will give you more time to establish good lines of communication to start building relationships inside the team.

Hosting a welcome gathering in an inspiring shared office space is a great way to introduce everyone on the team. Later on, make an effort to spend some time together outside the office.

5. Invest in your team

Your team is your biggest asset. And if you want to grow your startup, it’s critical to invest as much as possible in the professional development of each team member.

Develop a strategy to send at least one team member on a professional training program each month. Once they return from the course, they can pass down what they’ve learned to everyone else and increase the collective knowledge of the whole company.

6. Create the winning formula

Having a good startup idea can get you far. But having a great team around you can get you even further. Use these tips to gather the perfect group of people around you, and you will have a solid foundation for your startup and a winning formula to match.

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