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How to build a Startup Management Team

An ideal startup team can keep your company afloat and help you sail further. But how do you build the perfect startup management team? Read on to find out.

No man is an island, and no CEO manages a company alone. This is a universal secret that every startup expectant should embrace and follow. With a strong startup management team, your business can go from zero to hero.

November last year, CB insights posted a comprehensive analysis of why startups fail. The third on the list of reasons is not having the right team. If a startup fails to fill in the seats for the management team on time, it is set to fail.

Understandably, the founder does all the work at the onset of the startup. But once you start running the race, you will need to onboard experts to help manage the organization.

This article will help you build your ideal startup team and give you an overview of the startup management team roles.

What are you waiting for? Get on reading.

How to Build a Startup Management Team

There are tons of ways to build a robust startup management team. But these are the few most important points that you need to remember.

Begin with yourself

Looking for people in your management team seems pretty exciting. You are like Hawkeye, forming the Avengers. But there is a criterion for bringing the Avengers together. They have to be superhuman, super smart, and super experienced.

What about you? What are your criteria?

Before you can answer that question, begin looking within yourself. What do you need? What does your company need?

You can start by evaluating your skills and knowledge. Find out the following:

  • What are you good at?
  • How can you help your startup?
  • What can you not do?

These are only a few questions that you can ask yourself to identify your strengths and weaknesses. In this process, you should be very honest about yourself.

By knowing your strengths, you get to see how you can maximize your skill and capabilities in leading your organization. On the other hand, your weaknesses are your basis on what roles you should fill in to scale your business.

By knowing these, you are not merely creating a yardstick for your management team. You are also honing your skill on how to manage a startup team.

This way, you can do what you are confident and very good at. For the rest, you can find competent people to handle them correctly.

Related Video: Proof Positioning

Identify key positions

Once you’ve evaluated yourself and come to terms with your strengths and weaknesses, it is time to identify your startup management team’s key positions. This process is akin to how the sports industry selects its players. Each position is vital to achieving the team’s goal.

The most common positions within startup companies are:

  • CEO (Chief Executive Officer)
  • CPO (Chief Product Officer)
  • CTO (Chief Technical Officer)
  • CSO (Chief Sales Officer)
  • CMO (Chief Marketing officer)
  • CFO (Chief Financial Officer)

Some startups do not apply for all these positions in their organization. It all depends on the industry that their business falls into. Take CTO, for example. Not all companies have a CTO; this position is more suitable for tech companies with software as their product.

Find action takers

An idea is only good when it is acted upon. That is why you need a management team that is not just all talk but also takes action.

Your prospect should understand the startup company roles and responsibilities that go along with their position.

Let’s go back to how similar this industry is to sports. Like any member of a sports team, the management team holds a position and role to fulfill. Therefore, they are accountable for whatever their action is, following their startup management team roles. Also, they need to be flexible in the long run and change their gameplay when necessary.

Whether you are a fan of any sport or not, you must agree that the principles adhered to by a startup management team are similar to those of a sports team.

Personalities matter

Let’s go back to CB insight’s list of startup post-mortem. Another reason to be aware of in a startup is to control disharmony among the organization.

One of the possible reasons that a team can go awry is the clash of personalities. Bickers and disagreements happen so often within an organization, that is quite normal. However, your startup management team should know how to handle disputes. The team is the pillar that holds the company together.

Before you welcome a prospect on board, get to know them better, and observe their personality traits. There are certain qualities for every startup management role that goes perfectly with a particular personality. Keep in mind that sound arguments are the culture of a great management team at a startup.

Never settle on filling a position temporarily

Onboarding people in position temporarily is not out of the ordinary, especially with startups. Most leaders think that it is unavoidable since they are still starting in the industry. Which is wrong.

Though you are still at the get-go, you need people you can entrust your business to. Constantly changing people in positions serves as a band-aid treatment. You may not gain the trust and full support of your employees.

Furthermore, hiring a person temporarily for a position can significantly affect your startup’s growth. Why? Because you will need to start all over again when you board the next person in the post. The change adds to the company’s opportunity loss and decreases company morale.

Startup Management Team Roles

Now that you know how to build a strong startup management team, let us get to know the positions that startup most commonly adapt to.

CEO, “The Commander”

The CEO, or Chief Executive Officer, is the leader within the startup team structure. The CEO mostly handles the bigger picture of the whole business process.

Other than that, they are mostly the dreamer. Before presenting the idea to the whole organization, the CEO is the first person to believe that the concept is a success.

The CEOs are the commander because they are the type of people that the members of the organization are willing to follow. The person is in that position because the people look up to them when it comes to leadership and decision-making.

CPO, “The Creator”

The Chief Product Officer is the company’s visionary. The CPO transforms the idea into reality.

Product development is under the CPO’s supervision. They are responsible for visualizing the product based on the proposed idea.

The “creator” constitutes the goal of the product, how the customers use it. Then, they set the right path to success.

CTO, “The Engineer”

The next position is the Chief Technology Officer. As mentioned before, not all companies have a CTO. This position is mostly present in tech startups. Technology itself is a complex territory, that is why a tech company should have an expert to deal with problems that can arise in terms of technology technicalities. Also, the “engineer” is responsible for bringing dedicated and talented tech people into the company.

CSO, “The Hustler”

No one can ever beat a go-getter sales expert. That is why the Chief Sales Officer is considered the “hustler.”

Your CSO heads the mission of selling the product or service of the company. Just like any hustler, your CSO can be a sales expert from your company. Their swift persuasion prowess helps your company hit its sales mark.

When you scale your business, the CSO is responsible for hiring excellent sales reps to increase your sales revenue.

CMO, “The Influencer”

Startups usually disregard the Chief Marketing Officer. The CMO trend is just recently rising. That is because industries are now seeing the benefits and ease of marketing products and services directly to customers.

The “influencer” has one mission: to create a name for the startup in its industry. They can achieve this by thoroughly marketing to the right audience.

If the CEO approves the idea, and the CPO realizes the product, the CMO introduces it to the customers. They not only present the product but also make sure that the audience remembers the product and the company.

CFO, “The Gamemaster”

Another constantly neglected position in a startup is the Chief Finance Officer.

It is quite understandable for a starting company not to have a CFO for its startup management team. However, it is a different story when you start scaling your startup. And Maren Kate Donovan, former CEO of Zirtual, learned this lesson the hard way.

Zirtual is a virtual assistant company that Donovan built from scratch. Before the company hit its 5th year, it garnered $5 million in total funding and $1 million a month in revenue.

Everything was running smoothly until they decided to switch their business model. All of a sudden, their burn rate skyrocketed. They couldn’t get enough funding, and they laid their employees off overnight.

All these happened for one reason: they overlooked the prospect of hiring a  CFO.

With a CFO on board, the management team would’ve foreseen the business model switch’s effect, a process overlooked by their outsourced financial firm.

The CFO handles all the company’s finances. They control the company’s finances and cash flow. Additionally, CFOs are in charge of keeping the company in the safe zone, primarily when investing for future growth. That is why they are tagged as “gamemasters.”

Complete Your Team with Expert Software Developers

That wraps it up. Now, you know how to build a capable startup management team and learned the different management positions a startup can adapt to. What comes next?

Well, you will need people to work on your product and services. If your business needs expert software developers, you can rely on Full Scale.

At Full Scale, we have all the software development solutions that you need. Our developers are skilled and experienced in creating tons and tons of software products, websites, and web applications.

Whatever programming language you need. Just say it, we have a developer who’s mastered it.

If you are interested, contact us now!

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