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Picking The Right Team

In a recent post, I stressed the fact that you shouldn’t get so hung up on a name. I honestly think that it’s best to brainstorm a decent amount but to ultimately just pick something and move on. Every day you waste thinking about the “perfect name” is a day you cannot spend growing your business. When it comes to picking a team, this is NOT the case. You’ll want to do your due diligence here to make sure the team you’re assembling is the best possible fit.

Who should be on your team?

People with complementary skills should be on a team. You don’t want two marketing guys and zero web developers. It’s best to have a representative from each key function who is skilled at their craft. Here’s an example of a great mix:

  • A graphic designer – good with editing photos, videos, creating marketing material, etc.
  • A product developer – if creating software or a website, this person should be capable of creating an SEO optimized website and customize areas as necessary. If creating a physical product, this person should help design, prototype, and test products.
  • A sales lead – responsible for finding new customers, distributing marketing materials, etc.

Chances are that the functions will overlap in some areas. The sales guy may be involved in video editing or filming. The web guy may have to use Canva and do some free, easy edits when the graphic designer is tied up. Be flexible, but always reach out for clarification from the subject matter expert when in doubt.

Complementary skills

Experience Pooling

Make sure that members have experience in their areas. One cannot simply decide to be a graphic designer. He or she should have previous experience, have gone to school for it preferably, and have a proven track record and portfolio. Once you pool all this talent together, you’ll be able to achieve things quickly and effectively.

Assigning Equity 

Before getting excited, assigning equity, and drafting up business papers, you should do one thing: work together. Try working together for a few weeks at minimum. Heck, even a few months. Gauge everyone’s work ethic. Are there slackers? Are there “talkers” that don’t get to the “doing” part? If so, really see if those individuals are necessary. If anyone does not add value or consistently lets the team down, avoid them like the plague. That’s some solid advice I wish I had myself on my first LLC, so I could have avoided some issues down the road.

A recent podcast I listened to, “How To Start A Startup” by Y Combinator, recommended having vested equity. You can either check out the podcast or feel free to see the recorded videos here on YouTube. Vested equity means that founders earn certain percentages over time. This way, they can be in it for the long haul. If a founder leaves early, they won’t take a huge chunk of the company with them.

Are you trying to pick a team now? Or do you have a team member currently that isn’t contributing? Feel free to ask any questions or post any comments below.


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Chris Bello

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