A strong team is a dream team! It is often hard to build a business alone, it requires a team in 100% of the cases, no matter if you are a solo founder. A dream team equals a high-performing environment and increased confidence, which often guarantees success. Our online courses discuss in lengthy detail about acquiring funds and speaking with investors. It prepares you for your funding journey from A to Z. An important aspect of bridging the funding gap is building a strong team within your business or venture. Having a strong team also means you can build a good relationship with an investor. FEM-START is taking you step by step through building your team with some important advice: why your team will make or break your business! If you’d like to see a more in-depth version, visit our membership courses, where having a strong and diverse team represents two entire modules.
The composition of the team is important, however, a complimentary team and share of passion and strategic vision is essential. It is evident that teams who share a common vision and have strong views of their business for the future, can be more successful than mismatched teams.
Your team should contain the following:
Be complementary and diverse, it’s more than just a collection of people
Have a complete skill set that represents all required competencies
Share the same vision, values and norms
Be eager to cooperate
Be committed to its mission and success
Characteristics of a strong team
A strong team has specific characteristics that will attract investors and your target audience alike!
An enthusiastic and passionate team. Research finds founders with a positive attitude, a positive outlook and the ability to turn challenges into quests for growth are likely to succeed and lead a great business. This is also a bonus point for investors, who will immediately test if you are capable of staying positive in the face of failure or rejection.
Execution power. Strong execution power is often what investors look for; meaning passion and vision go hand in hand with determination and efficiency to implement. Strategic execution will demonstrate you understand how to set and implement clear goals. You can also keep track of progress, determine future growth prospects and overcome failure!
Mindset. Mindset and mental resilience when working in a startup is essential for progress and longevity. Failure is a very crucial part of entrepreneurship, and only when you shift your mindset to failure is a positive advancement, you will skyrocket! Paired with a positive mindset, you can make big moves!
Honest space. You should trust your team implicitly. You need to make sure all team members know what goes on behind the scenes and the operations! Not only that, but you should select your team based on if you can trust them and if they can trust you. Do not withhold information or omit details. Trust issues can blow up a company.
A strong company culture. A strong company culture sets your team for success and subsequently sets your business for high-performing results! A strong established vision, core values, and code of conduct will establish a long-running and loyal team. A strong company culture also leads to a High-performance environment.
Creating a team for the long run. It will take time and effort to find your team and build a shared vision and values. Select team members who have prior experience in entrepreneurship or startups, product knowledge and industry skills. An important marking is also people-skill, you really need to find someone who identifies themselves with your own values but who can also address the client, targeted audience or investor with the company’s etiquette. Experience and vision will make or break your company culture!
Meeting the investors
Meeting investors can be a daunting step, luckily FEM-START fully prepares you with our ‘meeting the investors’ course, so you don’t have to worry about anything other than preparing and knowing your vision by heart! Here are some tips to prepare from Eval de Mol:
Transparency will get you a long way. Investors have seen many founders like you, they do not invest unless they think you have potential, and you can’t lie about it. Be transparent about your vision, achievements, and goals to impress and convince the investor you are capable of carrying this venture. Be honest with investors, or they won’t be able to help you. Be honest about your experience, do not be modest and sell your business!
Make sure you impress. To impress, count on answering clearly why did you start this business, why are you the one who can make it succeed, why are you essential to your team, who is your team, be passionate and persistent! Show why you are building this, why they should be interested, why they should join the train and why only you can bring the vision to life! Know your plan well and prepare for your first meeting, you might not get a second chance at impressing.
Being clear and concise in communication. It will be a lot of repetition, which is a plus since practice makes perfect. Being consistent in how you communicate with investors and your audience is key. This means evidently to be yourself, if you start putting an act, investors and your audience will soon catch you not being faithful when confronted with questions you did not plan to answer as your acting persona!
Think of a CTO. Companies do look at a technical CTO, however successful companies do not necessarily have a CTO from the start. It is not one size fits all. Some successful 2-founders companies tend to outsource tech within the first year to build a good product to then get product-market fit. They then hire a CTO. You can be a commercial founder and have a clear vision of what the product and tech will look like and still be very successful!
Diversity is a crucial topic and a crucial aspect of building your team. A single founder rarely has all the components a founding experienced team has and can offer. Multiple members encompass multiple qualities. It takes a lot of work, qualities and skills to build traction. In the early stages of a start-up, you cannot afford to slack on essential components. Who will do your administration, design, product marketing, and build your website, track your sales? If you do it all yourself with no help, you will rush through the steps.
- Authenticity is also a key player in diversifying your team. What are you good at and not so great at? Can you recognize what you do not like to do within your business? Hire people that can do just that. Diverse teams perform better; people have a preference for someone they can identify themselves with… and usually, this means physical traits first and foremost. This results in what has been observed for years now: little diverse and inclusive teams. While diversity and inclusion are not the same thing, both are co-factors resulting from one another.
If you would like to see more about building a diverse team, our ‘Types of Funding’ course experts Heleen Dura-Van Hoord and Roos Aduagyei offer valuable advice on diversity. Van Hoord offers the investor’s perspective, while Aduagyei looks at it from an entrepreneur’s perspective!
Having a strong team pays off
Your team will either make or break your startup. A great team makes a world’s difference in success rate, including in terms of investments. Investors hold team members as one of their factors, the quality of your team will be a strong contributing factor in investments.
If you would like to learn more about building a team and dive deeper into finding the right fit, visit our courses, which will prepare you well to get to the basics of funding and get you ready to impress investors!