7 Keys to Building a Winning Startup Team

The one way to have a successful startup business is to have a successful startup team behind you. You need a great set of people working for you and alongside you to ensure that your startup can enter the realms of success. By choosing the right people, you’ll have a team filled with passion, enthusiasm, dedication and enough drive to execute your strategies. Today, we’ll explore seven key techniques that you can start using immediately, helping you to create this ideal well-rounded team to maximise your opportunities.

Karl Shelton, the Founder of Paper Fellows, exclaims, “Creating your initial team for your startup is the most important aspect of your startup. When I started Paper Fellows, I had a big idea and began by thinking I wanted everything to be carried out how I wanted it to be carried out. I didn’t trust anyone else to share my dream. However, when I reached by the first obstacle, I knew it was time to start searching for the beginning of my team. Hands-down, it was the best decision I ever made.”

Research the Top Talent

Being a jack-of-all-trades is not going to lead you to success. You need in invest in the best people you possibly can. For example, if you’re not a social media expert, but need someone to manage your social media accounts, hire an expert. This way, you can take the stress off managing these areas while leaving your employees to get on with the job they do best. Always remember that you’re hiring an expert. This means not telling them how to do their jobs. As a rule of thumb, ask more questions than you tell them what to do. Give them the freedom to thrive.

A CB Insights study found that 23% of startups failed due to not having the right team in place to bring it to success.

Be a Lead Role

Once you have gathered your team, it’s important to you maintain the drive and passion that you have. The attitude you have around your team will rub off on them, and it’ll affect their attitudes to their work. Present yourself with an excellent character, and you’ll be a leading figure for your team to look to during this extremely exciting time. With respect and determination, you and your team can achieve great things.

According to Forbes, there are three main qualities that startup CEO’s should possess to ensure success.

Do Your Research

When building your team, if you don’t conduct any research into your potential candidates, you could be wasting a whole lot of money and time, and you could be putting your startup into severe jeopardy. When you’re in the process of employing someone, you’re not so much employing a person; you’re employing a pillar of foundation for your startup to stand on. Listen to your instincts and check references as your business depends on it.

“High performing teams need a whole range of skills, so build that unique collection of people who, together, can be awesome.”Rod Drury, Xero

Be Ruthless but Fair

Likewise, if you do end up hiring someone who turns out to not be right for the job, you need to cut them out, fast. Not every decision you make will be right, but when it comes to employees, they could pose a serious risk to your startup and the rest of your team. Be smart with your decisions, even if it seems difficult. Trust your instincts.

500.co lists some interesting concepts you should consider; the most important of which states you should be evaluating your employees on whether you are investing in their time or wasting your time.


Once your team starts to come together, it’s important that any future recruits get a chance to meet the existing team before you hire them. Your team, at this stage, will be relatively small so it shouldn’t be too difficult to bring everyone together. This will give you an insight into how the team will get on together and ensures that everyone’s goals are aligned.

As well as working together, give your employees the freedom to choose their working hours. They know better than anyone when they are most productive and they’ll appreciate their freedom. A Harvard study found that businesses that allowed the workers to choose their own working hours were the most productive and the most successful.

Incentives are Vital

You might have the next million-dollar idea but, as a startup, you’re not going to be able to pay big wages until you start becoming profitable. Alternatively, instead of large wages, you can offer your team realistic incentives such as shares, experiences or even a plan on how the wages will increase in-line in profits. Likewise, you can also create an outstanding company culture that your employees will love to be a part of.

Allison Steele, the psychologist for Academized, explains, “By creating a winning culture, your startup team will love to be a part of your company. Consider this. Low-income factories are renowned for having a poor company culture where individuals come in, clock in and work jobs they dislike with little incentive to achieve. However, companies, such as Google, have huge incentives for working for them, offer experiences, days out, meditation sessions and other aspects of the company that keep employees happy and a lot productive. This is a culture they can be proud of.”

Drive Passion

Being honest and yourself with your future you need is the most important aspect of creating a winning team. By being passionate about your idea for a startup and sharing your enthusiasm with your members of staff, you can create an eager and positive work environment that your startup project will thrive in. Make it easy for your employees to give you honest feedback on your performance and work together to address issues, creating a genuine team ethic.

Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years experience in business management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs. She believes that constant learning is the only way to success.