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4 Steps to Building a Winning Startup Team

4 Steps to Building a Winning Startup Team
A startup's success or failure can depend on the strength of the people behind it. / Credit: Team image via Shutterstock

In many cases, a startup is only as good as the people behind it. The success of a business can heavily depend on whether the people involved are doing their jobs well.

As the founder of two tech startups, entrepreneur Lynn LeBlanc has learned that a successful business needs a strong, highly skilled team right from the start.

"A good startup team needs to have [experience that] spans most of the core functional areas of a successful company," said LeBlanc, the CEO of IT management platform HotLink. "This way, you'll have predictable outcomes from the combination of each member's knowledge and skills."[6 Smart Hiring Tips]

To put together a winning group for your business, LeBlanc advised seeking individuals who fit the following criteria.

  • They have experience in areas that you and the rest of the team don't. Hiring people with similar backgrounds might seem like a good idea initially, but in order to truly flourish, your company needs dedicated experts in all core areas of business. If you have a strong technical background but no experience with sales and marketing, hire someone who knows that area inside and out, and vice versa.
  • You know them well (or they know each other). Many entrepreneurs learn the hard way that hiring unqualified family members and friends based on a close relationship is a bad idea. However, it is important that the people you do hire for your startup are ones you know well. You should feel confident in their background and expertise, and know that they'll make a positive contribution to your business. If you don't personally know a potential hire well, someone else on your team should so he or she can vouch for the candidate.
  • They can afford to work for a limited salary at first. Look for financially stable people with enough savings or another source of income to live on a limited salary for the first year of the business. It may be a tough sell for some, but if you can save money on payroll upfront, you'll have a lot more flexibility when it comes to your business finances.
  • They want to use your product. This may seem obvious, but the people you hire to work with your startup can and should serve as early evangelists for your product or service. LeBlanc said that some businesses make the mistake of not having their target-end users participate in the product development process, which can lead to issues you never thought of once actual customers begin using it. Your team shouldn't just want to help you create a great product; they should want to provide feedback as potential customers before it goes to market.

Originally published on Business News Daily.

Nicole Fallon

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. Nicole served as the site's managing editor until January 2018, and briefly ran Business.com's copy and production team. Follow her on Twitter.