Tag Archives: tech startup

  • Startup

    How to scale your startup with the best talent

    How to scale your startup with the best talent

    The age of startups is still mature and strong. It has been estimated by Worldwide Business Startups that each year, 50 million startups are started; this translates to an average of 137,000 startups per day. The perception that they are a paradise alternative to blue collar jobs is fading by the day. Currently, MBA holders are now ready to work for companies that have over 10,000 employees and also startups that have less than 100 employees.

    This means that startups have to build a talent management capability early enough if they have to attract and retain talent to secure funding and grow their business. The sad fact is that most startups don’t take this road. Most startups are focused on getting more bodies through their doors and hope for the best down the road.

    Now, for startups to secure top talent in their businesses, the six timeless best practices we are going to look at are used for entrepreneurial leaders to grow their business.

    Hire for long-term purposes

    Hiring with short-term thinking is a wrong way to approach talent recruitment. Most startups hire for the urgent tasks that are needed, instead of the talent they need down the road. Startups should focus on the level of skill needed in a leader or from a technical person, and not the immediate needs. It is important to know that every hire you make will contribute to your brand and in the attraction of more talent later on.

    Startups should focus on critical time horizons. When you carefully plan for the next six, twelve and eighteen months windows, it can reveal important skills that may be required later. If you hire people who can learn the skills you need later and still deliver on the immediate needs, that is a great investment.

    Identify the skills you are selecting for

    This is a basic point, but vital. If you identify the attributes and skills you need, and how you can cultivate upon them, you are on the right track; a resume can’t tell you that. When you identify your own strategy and the needed capabilities, you are at an advantage. It is recommended for an entrepreneur to look at three critical areas when hiring the right talent. Leadership skills, the technical path, and the emotional maturity to deal with the unknown.

    Candidates need to demonstrate their level of proficiency in the areas stated above through simulations, work product demos, behavioral interviews and other approaches that cement their confidence in what you are looking for, besides their career histories.

    Hire remote employees

    It can be tough to hire the talent you are looking for in your local area; if you find yourself in this situation, consider hiring remote employees. The advantages of remote hiring are that you have a wide range of talent to can pick from, you can get services from professional talent, and you also avoid incurring huge expenses on a monthly basis because you only pay them for services rendered. In case you don’t opt for remote employees, you can allow flexible working hours for your employees, such that, a few days a week employees work from the office while the rest of the week employees work from home. This can help keep your talent or attract new talent to your business.

    Create roles that are scalable for people who are growing

    Developing a futuristic organization is something that should be done with certainty. It is important for a company to shift from doing every kind of business to a more specialized business. An entrepreneur needs to design the future of the organization especially at key milestones that require funding.

    What a startup needs when you need an MVP funding is different from the initial round of investment from VC’s in what is called Series A funding. Many startups are run by inexperienced people who are not aware of how to scale their businesses. If clear roles are not formed with clear expectations, the right people might not know what to do unless they are told on a constant basis. When a business establishes learning processes and routine coaching practices, it helps to ensure that getting the right knowledge to the team help when the business scales and specialized work becomes the norm.

    Don’t delay releasing some talent.

    It is not easy to avoid early business turnover which most leaders are not prepared. During the development testing phase, preparing for pitches, and executing short-term objective, leaders can lose skills just like that. It might be due to the wrong hire, need for different skills, or failure to provide coaching. Whatever the case, don’t ignore the need to upgrade your talent, if you delay it, it can cause pain to your business later.

    Great practices for talent management are not for mature organizations only; every startup can instill the disciplines needed to attract the right talent, and develop the talent for long-term viability. It will cost you dearly if you fail to invest now.

  • successful startup founder

    The most important quality a successful startup founder must have

    The Most Important Quality a Successful Startup Founder Must Have

    While there’s no one specific quality that defines successful startup founder, like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, there’s enough successful founders in the world today that you can just group them together, put them under the microscope, and be able to extract and identify a collective set of traits that could be attributed to their success. If you’re an aspiring startup founder, knowing what these qualities are can be as equally important, if not more, as knowing the technicals of your startup. Here’s five qualities that may foreshadow a successful startup founder in the making.

    Appetite For Risk

    Successful startup founders did not rise up to such feats by playing it safe. They risked everything they had in order to get their startup off the ground, missing out on a lot of sleep, meals, and parties in the process. Entrepreneurs who are comfortable with taking on risk tend to do much better when it comes to making high-stakes decisions under pressure compared to those who are risk-averse. Entrepreneurs who have the guts to stay in the path they’ve initially charted even when it starts to turn awry have better odds of making it than those who abandon ship and tuck tail every time there’s a setback.

    Assertiveness

    The ability to make snap decisions is an overlooked trait in entrepreneurship, but can certainly determine the success or failure of a business. The most successful tech startup founders know that they don’t have the luxury of time to digest every piece of data to make the dozens of decisions they need to make. Instead, they learn what information to listen to, make an informed decision based on that, and then move forward without any regrets. There’s simply no time to dwell on what you could’ve possibly done better, especially in the startup world where your first few months grants a very short financial runway.

    Vision

    Having a vision of what your company should stand for and what it should look like 10, 20, 30 years from now is perhaps THE TRAIT that defines a strong startup founder. If you don’t believe in your vision, how do you expect other people to believe in it? As a founder, you’ll need to instill the vision onto other people and you’ll have to make them believe that your brand is a cause worth supporting. Entrepreneurs with a strong and unyielding vision will be able to propagate a consistent brand message to their customers.

    Smiles in the Face of Failure

    People who don’t like losing or being wrong will never be able to build great startups. Failure is a key part of building any kind of business. Regardless of how meticulously you plan everything out, there are variables that you simply cannot control. Rejection is a common form of failure that you should get used to when you start a company. If you’re lucky and your business has real potential value, you’ll get one “YES” in a sea of “NOs” from investor meetups and bank loan applications. In a weird way, entrepreneurs who are slightly crazy and unorthodox can thrive as a startup founder since they care more about proving and validating their ideas than what other people think about them.

    Work Ethic

    Your work ethic is what gets tasks done, piece by piece. Without a responsible and razor-focus work ethic, your business’ momentum and growth will suffer. There are simply no shortcuts when building a startup. You’ll need to grind night and day and clock in more than 40 hours a week if you have any chance of succeeding. Elon Musk, the founder of multiple successful companies including Tesla, PayPal, and SpaceX, attributes a huge part of his success to his 80-hour work week, which is basically like working two full-time jobs. In fact, while he was creating his first company, Zip2, he was working during the day and coding the scripts for Zip2 at night.

    Final Thoughts

    There is no one scientific formula for succeeding as a startup CEO. Each entrepreneur starts out with a different set of circumstances that they must traverse around. The five qualities mentioned above are what allows these people to thrive and overcome the personal and professional barriers that would naturally discourage regular folks from even trying.

  • tech startup

    5 top things to keep in mind when scaling your tech startup?

    Top five things to keep in mind when scaling your tech startup

    Scaling your tech startup is an exciting phase of the whole entrepreneurial venture. The option to do so serves as validation that your product/service has value. In a cutthroat industry wherein 9 out of 10 tech startup fail, being able to scale should be greeted with a pat in the back for the good work. However, before celebrating the fact that you’ve been able to survive this long, one must first consider if scaling is the best possible direction for your tech startup to take. Here are five things to keep in mind if you’re at this particular crossroad of whether to scale or not:

    Determine Your Workforce’s Readiness

    Scaling means higher volumes of work and more data to process. Is your team ready to take on this workload? Can they work under the stress and pressures that come with expanding to new market niches or new audiences? Sit down with other high-level staff, such as senior software development engineers and product managers, to figure out if your current team has enough collective brain power to handle the new technical challenges that scaling brings.

    Start with the Small Things

    It’s a preconceived notion that successful startups, such as Uber or AirBnB, were already high-functioning companies right from the start. However, these companies weren’t born superstars overnight. They began on the hard route, which is by working on tasks manually. Take Zappos as a good example. When the company started, its founder, Nick Swinmurn, visited local shoe stores and took photos of everything that was on display. He then posted those photos on a website. When someone clicks the photo and buys it online, he returns to the shoe store, buys it, and them mails it to the customer.

    Figure Out the Tech First

    A tech startup relies on technology to be able to move forward. If you haven’t figured out how to specifically scale your IT systems and product’s tech startup capabilities, it’s best to hold off any plans to scale. Figure out how to set up your cloud storage and organization, how to set up your hiring and training processes, how to automate your marketing campaigns, and how to improve on your product’s or service’s current technology to be able to offer future updates and features. The underlying tech startup behind these operations are vital for your company to keep up with new market demand without collapsing under the weight of increased costs.

    Work on a Mobile App

    A mobile app is an expected feature for any serious tech startup. App development and maintenance, however, can be expensive. You can choose to either have an app built in-house or by an outside app development firm. It depends on your budget as well as the technical expertise and specializations of your employees and teams. Look for someone experienced in Ruby, Swift, Java, and other mobile-friendly and agile languages. Before expanding to new markets, it helps to have a mobile app to represent your brand on consumers’ mobile devices. Without one, it’ll be difficult to get your brand out there.

    Consider Outside Investment

    Startups in general burn through cash quicker than traditional businesses. It’s one of the many reasons why investors treat startups as a high-risk investment. Before scaling, think about your runway. How much time do you have until you eventually run out of operating capital and require an injection of cash from outside parties? Six months? A year? Perhaps your startup is only afloat until the end of the month in which case it makes fiscal sense to focus more on how to bring in more investors and how to bring down the costs of software development and less on scaling.

    Final Thoughts

    Scaling a startup is a very tricky objective to say the least. There are a lot of moving parts, some of which are very fragile and reactive to change. Use the five things mentioned above as a template or checklist before making any final decisions and setting anything in motion.

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