Building and managing startup is more than just finding a group of people with the right mix of skills. The right startup team can keep your company afloat and help you sail further.
Nowadays more and more people are only able to work remotely due to the pandemic. Therefore, the scope of most successful startup teams today has become global and as a business owner, you can hire people from any corner of the world.
Research says that about 60% of startups fail because of poorly formed teams. These statistics confirm the fact that behind every successful startup is a team of passionate people who work tirelessly to achieve a common goal. No matter how cool your idea may be, building a team for your startup sets the stage for success.
Let’s now look at a few things you can do as a company owner and leader when it comes to managing a team for startup programs.
- Upgrade Hiring Strategy
- Create a Clear Map
- Learn to Delegate
- Take Care About Reimbursements
- Create Team’s Culture And Stick to It
- Set Expectations for Feedback
Upgrade Hiring Strategy
If you ask a sufficient number of company leaders about their strategy, you will probably hear some of them say, “I hire the best people and get out of their way.” It’s a good phrase that makes sense at a certain stage. No doubt that hiring the right people is very important. Building and managing startups, and delegating authority to give people more autonomy are powerful motivators.
However, managing a team isn’t easy. As a business leader, you need to play a much more hands-on role to make sure the company works great together and focuses on the right priorities.
Start with searching through contracted service websites rather than regular hire websites. When working with contract employees, explore the potential for long-term relationships and wait for your company to mature to take on career positions. You need the flexibility to quickly find specialists, not generalists who “were there and did it” and live in these conditions.
Create a Clear Map
Leaders have a responsibility to give their teams an answer to the question: “Where are we going and how are we going to get there?” Explain to your team what the goal is and how you are going to measure progress along the way.
This may sound simple, but it is often one of the biggest challenges that teams, departments, and companies face. Problems often start when managers begin listing 5, 7, or 11 priorities. If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any. Discovering these priorities and how to measure them is the most important job for a team leader because most of the work that everyone does will come from these goals. These priorities need to be built as carefully as the trajectory of a rocket launch.
Learn to Delegate
It’s not a secret that the vast majority of business owners are keen on controlling the whole process. This means that delegation tends to only happen when there is no other choice — business owners cover everything before they start hiring and outsourcing tasks. It simply means that delegation will inevitably happen as your company grows naturally.
Delegation is an art, and therefore, whether it is imposed on you or not, you should still do it right. The most important rule when delegating is to completely transfer a task or project, rather than retaining some of the work. By sticking to certain responsibilities, you will only create confusion about who is responsible for the task.
Take Care About Reimbursements
As soon as you have a team of at least 10 people, it will be quite overwhelming for your accountant to generate expense reports and spend time on payments and compensations to each employee. Therefore, at the start of your business, you need to choose expense tracking and reimbursement software, that will be equally convenient for both employees and accountants.
One of such apps is Expense Sensei, which allows your startup to become completely paperless. With Expense Sensei, you can create, sort, and manage reports right from your mobile phone, as well as upload receipts to the app from any device. It has a number of categories to choose from. Your employees, whether they are freelancers or work by contract, can stay in charge of every expense category anytime. You can even track the number of funds the team has spent on a specific cause.
Additionally, it’s fine, if your bookkeepers use various financial programs. With the Expense Sensei app, you can get the important data and print it, or work with it using spreadsheets.
Create Team’s Culture and Stick to It
Gather a group of people to work on any project and they will develop their own culture that is as unique as the people in the group. As a leader, you can be hands-off and hope that the team will perform well over time. Or, you may find opportunities to establish general principles for how people have to work together.
There are no hard and fast rules for developing cultural values in a team. In some cases, the founder of the company gives them out. In other cases, top managers pass the rules on to employees.
The most important thing for a team or company is that they live in accordance with the declared values, and not just perform certain actions. It’s also important for people to get promoted, even if their behavior directly contradicts the established rules of conduct.
Set Expectations for Feedback
How often people give feedback is just as important as how they deliver it. Some executives tell their employees in advance that they will give them frequent feedback. This way, employees are less alarmed when feedback comes in, and they are more open to hear it and act on it.
A lot of bad patterns happen when you don’t give people feedback for a really long time, and it just gets in the way. Good conversations are 80% of a good manager.
Now that you have a clue on how to build a team for your startup, it is equally important to maintain unity among them. Sounds simple in theory. If there is one overarching idea that runs through most of the points covered in this article, it is that most problems in teams can be resolved if colleagues are open and respectful with each other by having frank face-to-face conversations.