Starting A Business: Building Your Team

Your business is almost ready to roll at this point; you’ve secured financing, created and registered your business name and structure, created a marketing plan, evaluated the risks and opportunities inherent in what you do, and are just about ready to start providing the goods or services you aim to provide. You may be capable of handling a lot of this on your own; if so, it may not be time to worry about team-building just yet. On the other hand, if you know the scale of your operation can’t be managed by you alone, or if you anticipate rapid growth, the time to put a good team into place is now.

The first step to creating a great team is an honest evaluation of yourself, your business, and how you expect it to progress. Look at the skill sets that you and your partners have, and determine what’s missing. If you’re a web-based furniture retailer, where you create artisanal pieces and your partner handles the finances, you might want to look for a digital media designer and a programmer to get your website looking top-shape. No experience with project management on your team? You might want to try it yourself, or you might consult with an experienced project manager.

Once positions have been identified, think about what characteristics are embodied in the spirit of your company; these should be values and traits that you possess and admire because if the CEO isn’t with the culture, it’s not going to work out. These values are often embodied by a mission or vision statement, and a good one can attract like-minded people to your company.

Next, take a look at the budget. There are plenty of advantages to hiring full-time employees; they tend to be more interested in the long-term success of the company and the consistency of full-time work means you’re more likely to find someone who’s in it for the long-haul. The obvious downside to the option is expense; for small projects where a full-time employee is unnecessary, part-timers or contract workers are an excellent fit. Always keep the ongoing success of your business in mind, though; if you expect rapid expansion, hiring full-time right off the hop might be worth the extra cash. Whenever you’re looking through your budget, it’s a good idea to consult an experient accounting firm to help you crunch the numbers.

Now that you’ve figured out who you need, what values you want them to have and how much you can pay them, it’s time to start the search. Use online recruitment sites, browse LinkedIn and advertise as much as you can; that’s what the Web was made for. Be sure to leverage your social capital as well; ask friends, family and business connections if there’s anyone they know who might fit the bill.

During the interview process, there’s a lot to look for: honesty, demeanor and experience are all important factors. You want to get a sense of whether or not the individual will mesh with the rest of the team. Be sure to fact check; just because a résumé says they have a certain level of experience or education doesn’t mean they actually do. Take your time to find the best possible candidate, but stay within budget; soon, you’ll have your dream team!