If several entrepreneurs come together to start a company together, they are called a startup team. In the current online and startup culture, their number is on the rise.
Importance for your Business Plan
The business plan is a great way to communicate the goals and challenges of the business idea, inside a team. Working on your business plan is a test run, to see if the cooperation will work later on in the business life. It also prevents unnecessary miscommunications.
To find out if you are the type for a startup team, you will have to take a close look at the advantages and disadvantages for you and your business idea – preferably with the help of a business coach.
Some of those advantages are:
- You have access to a big portfolio of personal, professional and business skills. This benefits not only your internal processes, but also allows you to offer an all-in-one package to your customer.
- Big workloads can be divided between the team members. This will especially help with ambitious projects.
- Motivation and inspiration will be higher in a team compared to working alone.
- You will have access to a bigger network, which results in more leads for your startup.
- You can step in for each other in case of illness.
There are also some challenges:
- You will have to find team members, who are compatible both in a personal and in a professional sense.
- Working in a team results in bigger risk – aside from personal conflict, you are also liable as a unit.
- There has to be a lot of communication to prevent the casual “someone will take care of it”.
If you have good reasons to start your enterprise as a team, you should say so in your business plan. Investors appreciate good startup teams. It is vital to your ongoing success. In your business plan you should write about your team in all the appropriate chapters:
- In the chapter “Entrepreneur” you should list the individual entrepreneurship skills and how they complement those of the others. This is also a vital point of bank negotiations.
- As entrepreneurs you and your team want to make a living. Calculate all private expenses for all the founders. Keep them in mind when planning salaries and private drawings.
- If the revenue is directly linked to a team member, say so. This would be the case for a counselling business with several specialisations.
- In case one of you has a special skill (marketing, sales etc.) that would be beneficial to the startup, don’t forget to point it out – both in your business plan and in negotiations with the bank.
- The annex should contain CV’s and if available graduation papers for all the startup entrepreneurs.
- In case you are unsure if starting up with others is the right path for you, start a company as a lone founder. Acquire missing knowledges through hiring freelancers. They could become a candidate for an entrepreneurship team in the long run. You can always create a team, even after you already started. This way, there is no need to rush and you can search for good candidates without stressing out.
- To find the right partner you should make a list of your skills and of what you lack. This way you know what kind of person you are looking for. There are communities all over the Internet that help you find the right business partner.
- Hire a business coach: before and after you founded. The potential for conflict is big in startups that were founded by multiple people. Talk about problems openly before they escalate. Coaches use HR-techniques to analyse personalities.
- Make a goal contract early on. Write down the objectives, consider worst and best case situations and plan set actions you will take if they come to pass. You don’t need a lawyer for that. There is time for a professional contract once your startup is up and running. Define exit-paragraphs, positions and duties. Keep this contract up to date.
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