Forming a startup is a very arbitrary process. Often, startup members are formed by a group of like-minded individuals who share a collective vision. However, passion isn’t enough to fuel a business, which is why only a handful of startups end up surviving. Harvard Business Review says 60% of new ventures fail because of problems with the team. One primary reason for this is that startups focus too much on the improvement of the product or service, forgetting that having a good team is half the battle.
No matter how good of a product you might have, it won’t be a success if you don’t have the right people on board. A startup needs to be made up of individuals with different skill sets who can focus on improving different aspects of the business. So with that in mind, this article will look at the five experts your startup should have for it to succeed.
A growth marketer eats and breathes audience sentiments. Many tech startups fail because they did not provide direct value to their market segment or did not find the right demographics for their product. Growth marketers are key in avoiding this. The startup industry is a highly competitive arena, so it’s important to find someone who can strategize on how to make your product visible to the world. TechCrunch advises that recruiting founders of past failed startups is a good way to cut competition and hire an efficient growth marketer.
Human Resource Officer
Also known as productivity whisperer, a human resource officer is key in keeping employees engaged and happy. As organizations grow and scaling becomes a priority, engagement and wellness become more vital – this is where HR officers step in. Research from the National Business Group on Health found that 92% of employers today plan to invest in programs that focus on employees’ well-being. They recognize that these are the most effective in increasing engagement and productivity among workers. Pain Free Working lists several employee wellness programs which HR officers can deploy to help foster healthy social and interpersonal relationships. Companies like Trellis.co and Melrose PR have programs that allow employees to have control over their time and creative tasks. These programs are key to raising resiliency amid the stress of a scaling startup. HR officers also provide invaluable insight and ideas in increasing workplace cohesion and employee retention.
Cyber Security Expert
J.P. Band discusses how 43% of cyber-attacks are targeted towards small businesses, with 60% of these companies closing within six months of the breach. Unfortunately for startups, the number of cybersecurity experts available is low, with a huge gap between the demand and the number of specialists out there. With the growing number of cyber-attacks happening to small businesses, having a cybersecurity expert not only ensures that your startup stays afloat, but it also protects the information of all your customers and clients. Having an expert in this field is the best way to protect your credibility and the company.
The role of the startup lawyer is extremely vital, especially during the infancy period of the company. The ownership of the startup will, by and large, be determined by the legal documents that were initially drafted. An article on Strategy and Business Magazine highlights how lawyers working for startups must focus on helping the business exploit potential wins rather than focus on preventing losses. Their judgment must evaluate options that won’t curtail the growth of the startup nor risk non-compliance. The legal expert is there to represent the collective interests of the founders, ensuring that you always get the best deal possible and are protected against any legal issues.
In the first few years of a startup’s life, funding is dependent on investors instead of revenue. Thus, having a financial expert is essential to ensure that a startup isn’t running itself dry. The expert is able to determine how many sales must be made in order to breakeven. Moreover, they’re able to keep the team grounded in terms of spending and budget. A financial expert is there to project future sales and revenues as well.
All Things Considered
The projections mentioned above help the business strategist in making smart decisions for the startup. It boils down to working hard but also working smart. Navigating against the grain for minimal gains is counterproductive and can derail all the amazing things you have accomplished.
If your employment resources are limited, or your company is too small to hire this many people, you should understand the risk vs. reward value and consider outsourcing some of these positions.
Your company will be better positioned to success in the future.