Starting a Business

Choosing Your Core Team

Written by Adam Roy for Gaebler Ventures

Studies show that startups with multiple partners do better than startups with just one founder. As you start your new venture, who will be on your core team?

Startups don't just happen.

Choosing Your Core Team

We all know that every successful business is pushed to completion by a talented team of individuals including entrepreneurs, financiers, contractors, and investors.

However, while a profitable and stable business is a collaboration between all of these diverse individuals, it is one small subset of this group that provides the direction and vision for the project: the core team.

The core team is exactly what it sounds like: the central team of entrepreneurs and other professionals that manages and coordinates the project on a large scale.

Having a well-rounded and flexible core team for your startup is a must if you want to be able to develop a competitive enterprise while anticipating and handling possible problems along the way.

When it comes time to choose the core team for your entrepreneurial project, there are a few key guidelines that can help you build your inner circle.

Trust is a must

Because your core team will be advising you and, in some cases, directly managing part of the project, you should be on the lookout for disreputable individuals. For experienced entrepreneurs, this is an opportunity to use your business network. Look to recruit team members who have already proven their skills in past entrepreneurial projects or businesses.

Many entrepreneurs will first go to their friends and family to find possible partners for their businesses. While this is frequently a very successful strategy, there are two caveats that interested entrepreneurs should carefully consider.

First, the stress of developing and running a business may put a strain on your relationship. Not only could this ruin your friendship, but it could cause you or your partners to make rash decisions that might harm you financially.

Second, someone who is honest as a friend or relative may not be as trustworthy when it comes to money. Entrepreneurs who are looking at recruiting a friend or relative for their core team should not only consider the possible ramifications of their decision, but would be well-advised to ask their tried-and-true business associates for their opinions of the potential partner.

It takes all kinds

Having a team with diverse experience is an absolute necessity. One of the most important responsibilities of your team will be to help cue you in on areas which may not be within your ken.

The best strategy is to try to cover all sides of whatever industry you are entering. For example, a startup sports marketing agency might want team members with experience in fields such as marketing, copywriting, coaching, statistics, and psychology, while a new French restaurant might be the work of a team with a head chef, a designer, an accountant, and a nutritionist, among others.

Look for business-minded individuals

Despite the need for diversity, all of your recruits should have one thing in common: they should all understand the basic principles of business. This doesn't mean that each of your partners has to have an MBA and a resume boasting years of management experience. All that it means is that each person that you bring into the fold must understand that everything they do must be done with the aim of eventually constructing a profitable business. They should be creative enough to reconcile the needs of their particular role with the "bottom-line" goals of the company, an oft-demanding task.

Strong teams reap strong rewards

While putting careful planning into the structure of your company's core team may seem unnecessary, it will pay off in the end. A business is only as good as the men and women who run it, and entrepreneurs who build a strong team are building a stronger business as well.

Adam Roy is an accomplished writer specializing in business writing and topics of interest to entrepreneurs and small business owners. His own fast-growing small business, Roy Writing, is based in Northbrook, Illinois.

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  • Kauser posted on 1/5/2010
    Regarding startup leadership teams, I agree. The core management team should have diverse people with high risk taking capability and all people who are higly motivated to satisfy the common goal.

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