For founders

Practical Strategies for Startups

We want to change, to adopt new things, and to be better all the time.

As I watched my business journey, from a different perspective, and my 24 years of hard work into startups, I was immediately drawn to other founders passion and drive. However, like many founders, I grappled with a daunting challenge—building a high-performance team on a shoestring budget

If you're sailing in the same boat as me, remember that assembling your Dream Team (actually, that is the name of my first startup, build 20 years ago), even with limited resources, isn't an impossible mission. Based on my experiences as a leadership coach and organizational consultant, here's a practical and strategic roadmap to building a dynamic, purpose-driven team for your startup:

1. Inspire with Purpose, Not Just Paychecks
While remuneration is a significant factor in employment decisions, it's often not the main driving force. Throughout my coaching career, I've met numerous leaders driven by the prospect of making a meaningful impact rather than merely earning a hefty paycheck.

Actionable Tip: To implement this strategy, clearly articulate your startup's mission, and show potential team members how their unique skills and expertise can contribute to achieving this vision.

2. Capitalize on the Advantages of Part-Time Employment
In the initial stages, your startup may not necessitate full-time roles for all positions. Hiring part-time professionals can effectively balance the workload without overstretching your budget. Moreover, even when there's enough work for a full-time role, consider maintaining two part-time positions for resilience against unforeseen disruptions. This approach buffers against unexpected disruptions like vacations, illnesses, or sudden departures. In essence, you lose only a part-time employee, not a full-time one, making your team more resilient. 
Actionable Tip: Begin by identifying roles that can be divided and find qualified part-time professionals who can handle these roles effectively

3. Develop a Cohort of Advisors
Building a network of advisors or mentors can be a catalyst for your startup's success. Advisors bring a wealth of industry knowledge, invaluable connections, and guidance. While advisors often volunteer their time, you can foster long-term commitment by offering small equity incentives or the opportunity to invest in future funding rounds. 
When I was supporting a B2C startup that was selling complex high-tech tracking solutions on cloud, we were a small team and did not have all the knowledge about all the markets. To help us with that, we built a network of advisors from local businesses to enter those markets.

Actionable Tip: Identify successful entrepreneurs or experienced industry professionals and reach out for mentorship or advice. Remember, most successful people are eager to give back.

Remember, your startup's trajectory is not defined by resource scarcity but by the strategic and innovative approaches you employ. The journey may be challenging, but with a shared vision and the right team, success is well within reach.

When I shared these strategies with my team, they added one more - deep founder involvement in the recruitment of your first team members.

Actionable Tip: As a founder, invest your time in hiring your first team members. Their early experiences with you will set the tone for your startup's culture.

Andrei Manolescu | CEO & Co-founder at | link