Building Your Core Team

When you are running a startup, everything revolves around the people you work with. In most instances, you will be with these people for the lifetime of your business, or very quickly know if it’s a right relationship for you. It is important that you pick the right contributors from the beginning of your venture. Building your core team is one of the hardest parts of starting a business, and choosing the wrong team will deplete your focus, motivation, and most likely change the direction that you need to move in a new business.

While you do have to be smart about acquiring capital, building a customer base and generating revenue, the ultimate success of your business stems from how well your team works and implements their core responsibilities of being part of that team. Choosing the right team members takes time, and you should not settle for anything but the best that you can afford.

There is a saying that “when you pay peanuts all you get is monkeys” which is most likely true, but having said that, you don’t always have to pay a premium to get the best in business. A lot of great achievers and contributors are not just motivated by money – tap into areas that work for these contributors. When you are negotiating with your contributors, a good professional challenge always works. Having a platform to achieve better things is another one – in my experience certain specific responsibility is a good seller too.

Do they share your values?

Expertise within a certain market, technical skills and industry networks can all be built. What is difficult is changing a person’s values and personality, as these are subconscious and deeply ingrained in the person’s character. It is important to build a team of people who share similar values because this will help your team members to work better as a team.

When hiring, consider the person’s integrity, attitude, motivations and their style of work. Most things will have to be experienced along the line when you are working together, but be quick to make decisions if your values proposition is not working out.

Are they business-minded?

Although diversity is important, all your team members should have a shared understanding of the rudimentary principles of business. This does not mean that each employee should have a degree in business studies, or that they have experience in managing a company. No, this means that each contributor you bring in should understand your business goals and what is required of them to meet these goals.

Are they prepared to make unpopular decisions? Do they consider the best interest of the business as their only priority? It’s hard, but these are important principles to practice when building your core team.

What are their skills?

When you launch a new venture, the skill set you need is subject to the opportunity at hand. You must possess enough self-awareness and confidence to be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and build a team that will complement the skills you have. Ideally, each person will have some overlap of skills while also bringing their own specialities to the table.

To be able to put together a successful team is a huge asset. If your employees can build a prosperous prototype with a market strategy, communicating your business values and selling your services will be a more straightforward and an easy process. Always concentrate on your core skills and let go off things that other contributors can do better than you.

Although challenges are guaranteed to arise, having the support of the right team will make a significant difference when you launch your business. When you build a compatible team, you will be able to fulfil your business goals and establish a partnership that will support you in facing the challenges of starting up.


For more business, leadership and entrepreneurial content, read my previous blog, What to Look for in an Investment.