By Abdo Riani
Experience and wisdom combined with personal savings are just a few of the reasons behind the success of entrepreneurs in this age group.
As an early-stage startup founder, doing anything and everything is the only way to find the right thing.
Sometimes, while you may recognize the importance of a team, limited resources can leave you with limited options especially now that the funding bar for early-stage startups is getting higher every year.
Having worked with and mentored many entrepreneurs in the past decade, what I found unique about experienced professionals and small business owners launching a new startup is the true meaning of time is money.
Younger founders may decide to stay up late and work two jobs to bootstrap their venture, older entrepreneurs have a much higher opportunity cost, therefore, decide to hire the right people with complementary skills to focus on specific tasks with predefined goals.
Given that startup teams, on average, outperform solo founders by 163%, it makes sense that older founders are more likely to build a successful startup. If you are launching a startup venture, here are the key people you want on your team as soon as possible.
1. The builder
Most non-technical startup founders spend most of their time looking for the right team that can help them turn their ideas into an app. This is one of the first big mistakes founders make.
Unlike hiring a construction company to build and design a small business location like a restaurant, coffee shop or car wash station, building a product (app) in a startup that can be used for years is not how startup ventures are created. Constant iterations are frequently needed to move the business forward.
Therefore, spending months and over a hundred thousand dollars translating a hundred-page business plan into an app will most likely lead to failure unless the founder has the personal funds to rebuild a few times.
Instead, unless you have the technical expertise to build the first versions of the product, it is wiser to hire someone who can be fully committed to the venture whereby product development is divided into smaller stages that allow you to release quickly, learn and apply customer feedback with higher success predictability.
This way, not only will you be able to minimize product development costs but also build in response to demand and feedback which means lower risk and a higher success rate.
Finally, it is a great way to test and build a relationship with a potential co-founder or a CTO who you will eventually need to have to grow your venture.
2. The marketer
In a startup, marketing is one of those departments that you can leverage even if you have no clue what to build. Writing engaging content, interviewing experts, building relationships with influencers in your field, and building a community of likeminded people and potential customers are just a few of the things you can do since day one.
All of those initiatives should have one goal: building an audience. Whether you’re looking to presell the idea, gather honest feedback, acquire the first paying users or even get PR exposure, it’s wiser to start marketing sooner than later. Who can help you in this area?
First, in terms of hiring effectively and cost-efficiently, follow the same advice as in hiring a product developer.
Marketing agencies may not be the best fit for early-stage startups.
Instead, look for an inbound marketer who can design and execute on a plan with predefined goals.
Inbound marketing is all about creating content that makes readers want to learn more about you and what you’re working on. Hire an entrepreneurial marketer whose sole responsibility is to build traction and a pool of leads.
3. The mentor
A startup needs time and money to thrive. In most cases, by investing more time you can invest less money. However, the time invested doesn’t always directly create value.
Most of the time, mistakes lead to insights which, if executed right, create value.
The truth is, mistakes can sometimes cost a lot of money and a lot more time. If time is money, it should also be treated as a financial investment.
A mentor will help you boost your return on time and money through tested plans with higher success predictability so you can focus on the things that will add value since day one.
Above all, in my opinion, the strongest indicator of success in entrepreneurship is longevity. Most startups frequently encounter near-death experiences but only those that work towards their ten-year overnight success get to thrive and make the strongest impact on people’s lives.