5 Roles Needed to to Start Your Startup

Angela Ash


Startups are tremendously popular, and not without a good reason. That, however, doesn’t mean that everyone can start one without having a clue what they’re doing. For a startup to be successful, a brilliant idea and a ready marketing strategy are not enough. The biggest part lies in finding the right people with the same vision.

The vision is only one half of the riddle - the other is risk-taking. Startups are, after all, rather (in)famous for their unpredictability. Their employees are more like families than many families are because they know only their joint effort can make their startup successful.

Look for people with the right personality and motivation.

1. Startup Management

A startup is by no means a traditional business, but it needs to have a proper structure nevertheless. The first two roles to consider are the CEO and COO (chief operations officer). More often than not, the CEO oversees the vision, culture, and company direction, while the COO takes care of day-to-day operations.

The next people you’ll need are a CTO and a CMO (chief marketing officer) alongside front-end and back-end engineers, especially if you’re considering a tech start-up. Even if you’re not, startups are, by definition, tech-oriented, so make sure to choose good engineers.

Finally, you’ll need a CFO. Some startups practice the founder overseeing finances, but this is only efficient if the founder is actually versed in the role. Think in terms of all aspects of the startup’s finances and look for a skilled and well-organized CFO.

2. Startup Employees

Depending on the scope of your business, you’ll need to hire all kinds of employees. However, some roles are the same regardless of the niche.

Every startup needs HR staff, IT people, marketers, and a good SEO team. Don’t underestimate the latter - with business success being measured by its online presence and activity, it is crucial to set up proper SEO practices from day one.

The happiness, growth, and success of employees depend also on the skills of their managers. They need good leadership and feedback. Regular meetings and 1 on 1 talks should be an irreplaceable part of the weekly or monthly agenda of all teams in startups.

3. Look for People Used to Dynamic Environment

It is crucial to choose the employees wisely and not solely based on their diplomas. Startups are vibrant and dynamic and their employees need to be able to keep track of the rapid developments and enjoy the ride. Not everyone is cut for that, so think outside the box when selecting the right team.

One thing that is absolutely crucial for all employees is that they are versed in online communication (and face-to-face communication, come to that). Brainstorming is a common occurrence in startups, so you’ll want to rely on people who can use modern means of communication and state their ideas clearly.

4. Networking People

Networking is extremely important for startups. In fact, chances are, you’ll meet many of your future team members during networking events. Great minds think alike and they also tend to hang around the same events.

Don’t forget the power of networking once you’ve set up your startup teams. Find the best people to frequent relevant networking events. It’s the only way not to miss talent, after all.

5. Attract Talent

Lastly, talents are a great addition to any team, but nowhere can they shine so brightly as in a startup. Talents work on their own terms and often have a vision that surpasses your own. It is important to allow them to develop the ideas in the way they see fit and encourage them to inspire others.

Inspiration is crucial for startups as things can often get hectic and rather risky. It’s not sufficient to simply stay afloat - you’ll need people who love the challenge and enjoy the ride. Not for the faint-hearted, startups aren’t.

Personality Traits

When deciding on startup employees, ditch all notions of traditionality. Forget all about old-school CEOs and managers who oversee processes and don’t contribute much otherwise. Engagement is absolutely crucial for a startup to succeed.

When considering who to hire, pay attention to whether the applicant is only versed in office work. You should make certain that all employees will be able to transition to the hectic startup mode smoothly.

Leaders Vs Managers

The relatively new term “leader” has gained popularity rapidly due to the fact that old-school ways of doing business are rapidly going obsolete. With digitalization assimilating everything in its wake, the need to rethink all established routines is a must.

Leaders are, hence people who are creative, engaged, highly motivated, and lead others by example. Because of that, they are capable of inspiring others to perform better. Every startup should hire a leader or two to step things up.

Look for People Thrilled by Innovation

Needless to say, digital apps and tools are crucial for every startup and it goes without saying that all its employees are tech-savvy. That, however, doesn’t mean that you should ditch a skilled professional just because he’s old school.

Ensure that learning is taking place, but opt for alternative methods that enable everyone to contribute to the decision-making process.

Look for Risk-Takers

As mentioned above, risks are always present where startups are involved so you should make certain that people you hire aren’t afraid of taking them.

Handling all kinds of situations that may (and will) arise in a timely and creative manner is essential for success.

Set up mentoring and brainstorming sessions to bring everyone to speed and align the workforce with the startup’s vision and mission.

Finally, encourage asynchronous communication (communication that doesn’t require recipients’ immediate attention) to make sure that operations will always run smoothly and that information will be passed on regardless of the circumstances.

Overall, startup employees should be good communicators, tech-savvy, open to innovation, and relish in brainstorming sessions. To ensure the atmosphere is just right think of proper advancement models that benefit everyone - in other words, competition should be healthy.

Startups are, after all, risky and stressful undertakings, so make it so that everyone is enjoying the ride and reaping the benefits of their actions.

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Angela Ash is a professional writer and editor, who focuses on topics related to business, remote work, digital PR, marketing, clean tech, mental health, travel and more. She also enjoys playing the piano, writing poetry, and music festivals.

Louisville, KY

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