Startup Team Tips

Have you ever noticed that it’s not an easy task putting together a great team? That’s why we decided to ask some founders to hear their startup team tips.

All sorts of problems can arise in startups teams. That’s why it’s hard to prepare for these issues. Until you have to deal with these yourself.

And, we asked some founders about their startup team experiences.

They’ll be sharing six startup team tips to show you that startup teams can either make or break a startup.

Startup Team Tips No 1:

Complimentary Skills and Shared Values

According to Jason Kaye, Co-founder of WealthNation: “I think the two most important things that give a team a decent chance of making a dent are:

  1. Complimentary skills: It’s no good having two tech guys or girls with no commercial experience (or vice versa). Hard to see how that works out well.
  2. Shared values: And by that, I don’t mean your shared beliefs on how cool/big/profitable/game changing you’re going to be – those have gotta be considered a given. I mean your personal underlying values and ethics. They have to match up or things’ll blow up somewhere down the road.

If those two things are there or thereabouts in a founding team, I reckon you’re off to a great start.”

Startup Team Tips No 2:

Startup Teams and Locations

At different stages of a startup’s lifecycle from ideation to production to growth, startups may need to outsource some tasks – or hire people from different locations. This process is a lot more complicated than what it seems. It is not so simple to just ‘hire’ someone and expect them to match or exceed what you want to achieve.

Eric Azizian, Co-founder of shares great insight on hiring remote workers:

“The first two remote workers you hire will disappoint you. Typically, the third candidate you hire is the one you end up keeping over the long term. I’ve launched over 14 businesses, and this has been the case every single time. Over time, you just get quicker at the vetting process and go through the first two candidates  fast – rather than lingering on inefficiencies.”

The key lesson: If you’re hiring people online or outsourcing certain tasks – the first couple of hires will disappoint you. Expect to burn through a bit of money until you find the right candidate.

Startup Team Tips No 3:

Infuse Company Values

Kylea Waller shares how she looks to infuse company values with her startup MyMoneyZen.

“Even if you’re only a team of two, it’s so important to have a mission. To have rituals that keep them alive on a day-to-day basis, and to record them, so this continues as you grow. One of our favorite rituals is that when we start working with a new party, we tell them what’s important to us, how we like to work and our needs, and this opens up the conversation to learn the same about them too. Infusing our company values in everything we do is part of who we are.”

At the end of the day if the person you hire doesn’t share the same values, as you do – it’s not going to work out well. Startups should take a step back, define what their values are and infuse company values in their hiring process.

The key lesson: A startup can often overlook company values and instead focus on things like talent, and the cost associated with the hire – values are everything.

Startup Team Tips No 4:

The First Hire

Alex Power from Scentury shares his thoughts on recruiting. “If you never want to miss the bowl, you’ve gotta be prepared to get pee on your hands.”

Hiring is hard work, and you will make mistakes. Your first hires directly impact team culture.

The first hire will directly affect team culture. According to Chris Were, Founder of “Your company is determined by its culture. The first hire determines the company culture. Don’t rush. A bad hire takes more time and costs more than waiting for the right person.”

Camille Marcon, from Founder’s Guide, goes on to say that: “The first hire can make or break a company. Even just one person can cause so much chaos in a startup of 5 people. So when you hire people to join your team, make sure not just your skills – but also your personalities mesh well.”

The key lesson: Every person you hire may positively or negatively impact your culture. So, it makes sense not to rush it.

Startup Team Tips No 5:

Team Growth

Aulay Macaulay, CEO, and Founder of Ento shares his personal experiences on team growth:

“The most awkward stage of team growth was reaching seven employees. There’s too much going on for everyone to be in the same room BUT too few team members to implement levels of hierarchy or start splitting the group into separate physical areas; especially if you’ve been working closely for a long time. Even if it feels unnatural, you will need to start dividing the team up a bit at this stage, and by ten employees everyone will be thankful for it!”

Key lesson: Most startups cannot fathom what it’s like to grow from a small team to something a little larger. The larger a group grows, the more difficult it becomes to manage the team.

Startup Team Tips No 6:

Co-founders Can Be Stubborn

Brijesh Mangla from Switched On Kids shares insight on an issue that he has personally witnessed:

“One common mistake I see is a ‘founders’ keenness to do everything by himself. The reason could be saving money – or too much confidence. I have personally seen businesses avoiding to grow because the founder did not want to let go of control.”

The key lesson: Timing and being too keen to do everything by yourself may limit your growth – not only as a business but as a leader too. Founders can be stubborn and should be more open to bringing on more people at the correct time.

Jeremy Liddle, Co-founder of CapitalPitch sums it up perfectly:

“Great teams make or break a startup. A great team starts with a great co-founder that will be with you in the trenches through thick or thin.”  

Key Points to Consider:

  • Founders should share the same values and have complimentary skills.
  • If you hire remote workers, the first hire you make will likely disappoint you.
  • Infuse company values in your team.
  • The first hires you make, directly impact team culture.
  • When your team grows, it becomes more difficult to manage your team.
  • Co-founders often can be stubborn and want to do everything. Sometimes, you need to learn how to share responsibility so that you can get more things done.


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