You have labored over your ingenious product or unique service idea, thought about your edge on the market, and the steps you’ll need to take to get there. But have you thought about who you need with you to travel into the world of entrepreneurship? You must be careful, and thoroughly know your teammates. Check into your team, even if you think you know them well.
Only name the most respected and reliable people that have already agreed to come on board. Some key positions to name in your business plan are as follows:
- Chief Executive Officer,
- Chief Financial Officer,
- Sales and Marketing Director,
- Operations Director,
- Business Advisory Council which is a specialized team that might even include your Investors. You ‘ll need to include at least one of the following type of individuals in this group:
- Most importantly –someone who has started a business before and then successfully sold the business to show that someone on your team knows how to run a successful business and achieve returns on investment
- A lawyer who can guide you through the complicated legal system for your particular industry
- A CPA who can make sure all GAAP rules are followed and file your taxes and employment reports timely
Make sure to honor anyone who helped start your business – co-founders and partners that were with you in the beginning. You might have to decide if these individuals will have a role in the different growth stages of the business. You will have to make some smart, but wise choices about who qualifies for the big race. Even though your college roommate rolled around ideas with you from the start, will you be able to work together for the long haul? He might not have the same goals as you do, so you’ll have to make some serious choices. Keep in mind where you want to be in the future, and who you imagine will be strong in getting you there.
There are some obvious ways that you can set up your team, but we recommend laying down a hierarchy so all are well aware of how they rate in the scheme of things. You might name yourself the President, but will you be actively involved in all aspects, or will you be placing a large part of responsibilities for the implementation of your plan on someone else’s shoulders? If you are relying on others to carry the burden because you prefer the role of Founder, then choose a strong CEO. Take time to interview candidates. Maybe you already know someone that you trust that might be a good candidate, but will they look solid for investors? What are their qualifications? What makes them so special? Do they hold patents, licenses, or degrees that will open doors to your success? Maybe they have been successful in similar businesses and exited. Fully describe your team’s qualifications so investors get a clear picture why you have chosen your team Members.
What about Marketing Firms? Will you need assistance in getting your product or service out there? Do some research to find Marketing Firms with recent success in your industry. If you haven’t heard the names of their clients, they may not be worth considering. It might be wise, naturally, not to pick a Marketing Firm that caters to your closest Competitor, for obvious reasons.
Make no assumptions about your team working well together just because they work well with you individually. See if you can throw them all in a room together a few times, and watch them interact informally together. If you can’t get everyone in the same room together, try getting a group of them together here and there, and see if socially they can cut it.
Take the time to evaluate your team based on their personalities, business strengths, areas of expertise, past experience and resumes. In the long run, you’ll be pleased that you did. Hopefully, you’ll find that you have chosen some extraordinary team players that will help you climb to the top!