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5 Questions to Answer When Building a Startup Team

Serial entrepreneurs are often able to create successful businesses with maybe one or two other people on board. More in-depth or technologically advanced startups, however, typically require a cohesive team working together in order to pull everything off.

Anyone who has ever had to hire an employee or attract a business partner likely understands that this is more difficult than it might appear.

Ready to build an A+ team for your startup while avoiding lazy or impractical workers? Ask yourself these questions before you even begin to look at potential candidates:

  1. What positions need to be filled? This might seem obvious enough, but no one wants to scramble to fill a last-minute position, which is how you end up with vague or scattered job descriptions and less than ideal workers. Go over your business plan and make sure that you have a list of positions that addresses all aspect of the startup.
  2. Which positions are a priority, and which can wait? Chances are, a customer service representative may not be needed at the very beginning of development. Try to focus on the positions that will get the startup ready to launch in the most efficient and effective way possible.
  3. Could contractors or freelancers be helpful? This is an important question that can ultimately impact employer liability, taxes and, in the future, health care or workers’ compensation coverage. Check growth projections before coming to any definitive conclusions.
  4. Should I network more for a better pool of candidates? Chances are that any good entrepreneur has already started the networking process, but a little extra push at conferences and utilizing social networks like LinkedIn can create a larger and more diverse pool of candidates from which to choose. While a larger number of applicants can seem overwhelming, it can also increase the chances of finding the most qualified candidates.
  5. Is working with friends and family a good idea? It can be tempting to promise a position or partnership to a good friend or family member, but it could be far from being the best move. Unless that person is easily the most-qualified individual for the position, it is often best to leave business and one’s personal life separate.

Building a team with only yourself as the foundation can be an understandably daunting task, but that makes it even more important to stick to the plan and avoid taking shortcuts in the process. Keep your answers to the above questions in mind when looking at candidates and watch your team slowly begin to accumulate the best members possible.

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