YOUR STARTUP STARTING LINEUP—Team Up For Traction

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The strength of your startup team and the magnitude of your startup opportunity are major factors in determining your startup success. When starting up your business, getting together the right players is a must. It starts with the coach. Your CEO must have leadership skills to inspire the right action at the right time with the right people. The CEO carries the message to the internal team, to stakeholders, to prospects, and to clients. So, if you are hiring this role or filling it, make sure you are prepared to clearly lead the way.

Here are three plays for gathering forces and building your startup team.

IDENTIFY POSITIONS
Look at the scope of work before you and prioritize needs. Your management team, or team captains, are critical to making things happen. Identify overlapping needs that one person might be able to handle. And, remember, as your company grows you will find new roles to be filled. With this in mind, keep a constant search for candidates.

RECRUIT PLAYERS
Generate awareness for your startup to help create interest that leads to a pipeline of applicants. Search for candidates via existing team members and their networks. Connect with prospects at networking events, search via LinkedIn, ask contacts for referrals. Empower employees with referral programs. Check out competitors, or get referrals from your investors, advisors, and mentors. Consider a corporate recruiter. Look for people who are compassionate, competent, and committed to making a difference in the world.

Per a 2015 JobVite survey, 92% of companies use LinkedIn to recruit, 54% use Facebook, and 52% employ Twitter whereas 36% of job seekers use LinkedIn,74% Facebook, while 38% use Twitter.

HOLD TRYOUTS
Before you hire a candidate, test them. Hire on a contract basis for a project to see how they fit in your organization. Do they communicate well? Are they responsive? How can they serve the company? Will this be a good fit for the team? Outsource tasks before taking on permanent employees. The results will guide your next step.

BUILD THE TEAM
Hiring a new employee is like joining forces with your offense and defense to win the game. Each team member collaborates with the others to deliver value for customers. Sometimes it is necessary to bring on a full-time player and other times it is helpful to outsource and partner with a firm that can provide a service such as design, PR, or IT. This way, you can leverage the efforts of others to execute business processes.

Progress-to-date and go-to-market plans can indicate early traction or the need to reassess plans—and players. Getting traction on an exciting model in a target market will take your startup over the top. So, gather the right players and get them to bring their A-game.