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Build A Dream Team For Your Startup

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startup team

Building a great start-up team is the biggest challenge for an entrepreneur. No matter how great your idea, its success or failure depends on the team which executes it. It is essential that you choose your team carefully and selectively. The first few members of the team along with the founders are critical in shaping the future of the start-up. This initial team would be instrumental in hiring further co-workers as the business grows. So, how do you build a startup team? Here are some steps to build a dream team for your new venture:

Identify the roles

Founders are the most important members of the team. They have to mutually agree on the decision-making process. So for example, if one is an expert in marketing and other in technology, then the structure of the startup can be determined accordingly. Once that has been settled, the next step is to identify the roles which you need to fill up to complete your team. So whether it is for PR, social media, or SEO, you need to decide mutually and hire the right talent. It is essential to hire the required talent according to your priorities, because there is no point hiring two project managers when there is a need for one programmer. Also keep in mind that you will have to pay them lucrative salaries in order to attract the best talent to the startup ecosystem.

Full timers’ vs Contractors

Hiring a full-time employee is a commitment which you make to pay that person irrespective of the work, whereas contractual employees are paid according to the work done. Contractual employees can be converted as full-timers as and when there is a need. You need to have a vision and hire accordingly. You should have the ability to forecast demand and match the supply.

Identifying the candidates

This is the most challenging step when building an ideal team. While identifying the candidate, one should ensure that the candidate has an experience in the field that other team members do not. It is always beneficial to hire a candidate who has been referred by someone known to you.  Apart from that, the most important factor while hiring is the candidate should be willing to work in a fast paced startup ecosystem and should believe in your start up business.

Hiring process

Once the candidates are identified, the process of hiring begins. The hiring process starts with an interview. It is always beneficial to be prepared in advance when you are about to conduct an interview. Keep your questions ready in categories such as creative thinking, problem-solving, fact checking, and behavioral. Post interview, if you find the candidate eligible, do a background check and then hire the employee.

Post-hire

The process of team building does not end when the candidate is hired, it goes beyond that. A post hire assessment needs to be done with the employee. This includes developing methods for training, path for career development and promotions. All these will serve as an incentive for your employees.

 

Business

How to Ask For a Favor

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how to ask for a favor

Do you know how to ask for a favor? Asking for a favor might be hard especially if you’re the independent type. Like it or not, we need to ask favors now and then if we want to succeed. Favors have varying degrees from the very easy: “please come to the conference call tomorrow” to the onerous “please introduce me to your contact at Apple”. Lucky for you, people like doing favors. Studies show that people comply with requests to avoid awkwardness and it also suggests that favors are less of a burden than we think.

But regardless of studies, asking for favors can still feel strange. Therefore being deliberate in the way you ask a favor can make a big difference in the outcome. When asking for a favor, remember the following:

  • Set the stage: “I need to ask a favor”
  • Provide reason
  • Provide means of escape

The phrase, “I need to ask a favor” is a very powerful verbal contract. It also implies reciprocity. If you help me now, you can ask a favor from me in the future. This two way relationship of give and take acknowledges that the favor is not totally one-sided. But aside from this, it also makes the other switch gears into receiving mode. This will give your friend time to have an “uh-oh” or “happy to do so” moment. Consider these:

“Friend, can you cover my shift tonight? I’m not going to make it due to an emergency” or

“Friend, I have a favor to ask. Is it possible for you to cover my shift tonight? I have an emergency”.

In the first scenario, the friend is off guard and might feel that he has to do the favor. In the second scenario, setting up the stage to ask the favor gives your friend a second or two to decline or accept the favor.

The Reason

According to Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence; giving a reason to your favor increases the chances of a positive response. If you know how to ask for a favor be sure you’re providing a reason makes people react positively even if the reason is makes no sense to the request. People like to know that they are being asked something. If you’re asking a millennial for a favor, consider reading this article  about 5 things you need to know about Millennials. It’ll give some insights on what makes millennials tick.

The Escape Clause

When learning how to ask for a favor, it’s good to keep in mind an Escape Clause. People are inherently good especially when they are asked to comply with a request. This is because giving is better than receiving. However, when you ask a favor your goal is two-fold: getting what you want and making the giver feel good about helping. The best way to do this is to provide and escape clause so that your friend can graciously decline in the event that they cannot do you the favor. Remember you are giving them the choice to comply. You are not commanding them.

Good Escape Clauses Include:

  • “I understand if you can’t help. But I thought I’d ask”.
  • “I understand if you can’t come because you’re busy”.
  • “I would like an introduction to your friend from Apple but I understand if it makes you uncomfortable”.

Friends and colleagues cannot always come through when you ask them a favor due to a variety of reasons. However, you can always ask them favors with grace and gratitude so that you maximize your chances of getting what you want. Hopefully you will be able to pay back the favor once they ask something from you.

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5 Things You Need To Know About Millennials

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Millennials (aka: Generation Y) are an interesting breed.  We’ve experienced quite a drastic change within our lifetime and the way we communicate with one another is very different than the generation before us.  Unfortunately we’re not that easily understood and people tend to categorize us without knowing all the facts.  Below are 7 things you MUST know about millennials before you begin to make judgement.

It’s harder for us to get a job

Contrary to what others may think, our generation aren’t fortunate enough to get a job with just our high school degree.  For most of us, a Bachelors is barely enough to get accepted.  Our parents and grandparents had it much easier than we did in this department.  Demands for our education is increasing, our cost of living is higher, our student loans are piling higher than we’d like…and job opportunities are scarcer than before.

We’re not buying Houses

We’re considering many other alternatives as most of us still prefer to be in the cities where our job opportunities are highest.  And unfortunately that also comes with a very high rent, so we prefer to room with others to save on living expenses.  And we’re also marrying much later as well, so the need to have our own american dream house doesn’t need to be realize so early.

We’re not driving anymore

Again…back to the whole idea of cost of living rising.  It cost on average anywhere from $500-$800 a month to own a car in most cities, and that’s not even including the cost of parking and tickets you’re likely to rack up.  With Uber and Lyft in most major cities nowadays, we’re looking at other alternatives to driving.

Not all of us are Entrepreneurs

Yes…it’s true.  With the boom of entrepreneurs in the recent years, it’s easy to assume that most millennials are following similar footsteps as Zuckerberg and Jobs.  The truth is, although the idea of running your own startup is very appealing, most of us are actually straight up trying to create a profitable company.  We’re still for the same dream, except without the early-stage hustling and grinding.

We want to work for a cause

The work we do does define us, and as Millennials we’re NOT okay with settling for a meaningless job that simply pays the bill.  The job doesn’t have to be high paying, as long as the work we do is meaningful and we are apart of something that’s making waves.

 

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How to Build Your Own Startup

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build your own startup

Ever wonder how to build your own startup? The startup world is full of entrepreneurs who want to take their dream business from Point A to point B. Getting your business off its feet can be hard because many people are not equipped with basic business skills. In the startup culture, getting your idea to become profitable is the dream, and it’s always a race to set it up. If you’re thinking about starting a business, here are some tips to consider to get yourself going.

Network to build your own startup

Look for people who have “been there and done that”. These people know what they are doing and can provide you with practical tips and advice on how to start. Also ask about mistakes to avoid and things to watch out for so you don’t have to learn the hard way.

Research Your Market

Market research can tell you if your idea is worth pursuing. Start your research by stating the problem and see if your business idea is the solution. Figure out how many people have this problem, and talk to them to see what they can say through a survey. Check out the competition to see how you are different and figure out how you can beat them.

Find A Mentor to help build your own startup

One of the best ways to start a startup is by finding a mentor that can guide you along the way.  Your mentor can be somebody whom you can bounce ideas off of. Mentors are some of the most important and valuable resource you can tap into. They can help you take your business from idea to success through their guidance and coaching.

Brand Your Business

Branding is not only about choosing a name for your business. It is about your business identity. Choose a name that conveys the idea of your startup or the problem it solves. By this time you should also have a domain name and have marketing materials ready.

Business Plan

A business plan is like a blueprint for your business that tells you what you are going to do and how you’re going to do it. Your business plan should also have an “attack” on how you can “battle” the competition. Determine what you want to accomplish with your business and steps on how you can get there.

Your Workplace

Where you decide to work has an impact on your startup. Some people choose to work at home to save money, while others rent space or share an office with other businesses. Don’t be afraid to experiment on locations for your workplace.

Accelerator Program to help build your own startup

Think about applying for an accelerator program. These are programs that provide startups with coaching, network or small investment to help the business take off quickly.  Take accelerator programs with a  grain of salt, because some of them will require you to part with equity.

Raise Capital

Capital for startups usually comes from the founders. Other startups get capital from venture capitalists, angel investors or loans. These investments can be a big help to startups. However, you should only take capital from sources that they understand. If you are raising capital from outside sources, figure out how much you need to raise and how it will affect your business.

Having an idea for a start up is easy. The hard part is in-between the idea and success. For startups, it is crucial that their idea become reality as quickly as possible, since delays can kill the idea. While there is no wrong or right way to start a startup, following the above steps can help save time.  

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