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Monday, July 6, 2020

Where To Find Exceptional Startup Team Members

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There’s a lot you can do solo as a startup founder, especially in your venture’s earliest stages. Do you need team members in order to start speaking with potential customers, sketching your app idea, pre-selling your product, or even building and testing a prototype? You certainly don’t, but there are many advantages to building and starting with a team since the beginning.

First, in the earliest stages, your team is the most valuable asset in your startup. If you’re approaching an angel or seed investor with just an idea or a prototype and a vision with no validation or customers, they will want to make sure your team is equipped with the necessary experience, expertise, and passion to successfully execute on your plan and turn it into the expected outcome. Fundraising is a big reason why starting with a team is important.

A startup needs a leader, builder, and marketer. The leader identifies opportunities, sets a plan, builds a team, and executes. The builder is the creator of the solution while the marketer brings and boosts sales. Each one of these three roles has a unique skill and input that shape the overall venture.

It may sound more logical to hire as needed. In other words, when you know what to build, you hire a builder. And when you have what to market, you hire a marketer. The truth is, these two roles play a big part in figuring out what to build and market. 

They each uniquely evaluate and translate customer insights into actionable plans based on their respective backgrounds and experiences. Developing and marketing your app idea the right way is another reason why starting with a team is important. 

For budget-sensitive founders for whom hiring a builder and marketer since day one is not an option, consider involving and paying them for a startup validation stage during which they get to contribute to customer development and planning by joining customer interview meetings, investor pitches, sales meetings, and brainstorming sessions. 

Best of all, this validation stage will serve as a team evaluation period considering the detrimental business and financial consequences of hiring the wrong team members. Here’s where to find and hire an exceptional team.

1. Specialized Marketplaces

There are many online marketplaces with talented people. A specialized marketplace is different because it picks and focuses on one specific skill. For instance, many specialized marketing marketplaces filter through thousands of applicants to select and connect you with the best of the best in marketing.

Nowadays, there are specialized marketplaces in development, design, finance, virtual assistance, content creation, and more. If you need assistance finding, interviewing, and hiring the right person, consider using those marketplaces.

2. Cold Outreach

This feels like a limiting and time-consuming option. For me, it is how I recruited most of my team members. Sometimes your ideal team member is one search away. If you know who you are looking for, don’t undervalue the power of search engine and social media research. 

3. Recommendations And Referrals

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear, seek someone’s recommendation and referral? We usually think about asking someone if they could point us to a talented candidate they worked with and trust. This is only one way you could reach the best team members.

In today’s social culture, recommendations, and referrals changed. Think about the last time you saw a social media post by an entrepreneur looking to fill a position. Most of these post types tend to go viral because chances are even if your friends, followers, and group members don’t fit the role or are not interested, many would know someone who does. And the post goes viral. 

You want to boost the reach of your announcement? Don’t hesitate to use cold outreach to contact and ask influencers in the space to spread the word. This is a good ask because it is something they can use to help their followers.

In conclusion, before you know it, your startup will no longer be able to operate as a single person venture and will need the support, skills, and expertise of exceptional team members who can help you realize your vision. The sooner you make this investment, the better.

Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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