Guest post by Stacey Cooper, Business Consultant and contributor to www.bizzmarkblog.com
In the startup era, people rely on digital technologies while developing their businesses. That is the reason why there are so many solopreneurs out there. Still, not even an advanced BI software and a top-notch digital marketing strategy can’t replace an awesome team.
Choosing the right partners and employees is not an easy task. You can easily find talented professionals, by applying standard job selection procedures. But convincing them to join your team, to take part in the company ownership and operations and to invest their funds, is the hardest part of this process. In this article, we are going to share some the best tactics for finding potential partners and convincing them to join your startup venture.
Turn your employees into partners
If you’ve already formed an awesome employee team, it will be much easier for you to find partners. Your search should start with your employees. Pick the most agile and the most talented candidates and offer to replace their salaries with a percentage of the earnings. Most employees would agree to this because it will bring them more funds. From that point on, you should continue the selection process and pick the best earners. Offer them a part of the company ownership and the position on the management board.
Ask your friends
Asking your friends to join your startup has its benefits and disadvantages. They are much easier to convince, but you can lose both your friend and your startup if something goes wrong. You shouldn’t involve your friends in your business before your company starts to grow. When negotiating with your friends, offer them something tangible. That can be an ownership share or a fixed salary. In these negotiations, your friends’ decision will mainly depend on your reputation. If they think you are an agile and pragmatic businessperson, they will seriously consider your offer.
Find an investor
Most entrepreneurs are forced to find partners because they can’t fund or run the company by themselves. Finding an investor seems like a magical solution for these problems. Unfortunately, good investors are hard to find. They’re only attracted to business ideas that already have some financial backing or at least a very thorough plan. If you want to attract investors, you will need to improve your presentation skills, and create a comprehensive business plan and a professional PowerPoint presentation.
Find partners on the job market
Finding a partner on the job market is as hard as finding an investor, but it’s still possible. You need to find a person who is ready to invest a significant part of their career in your startup endeavor. Try to sell your dream to every candidate. Demonstrating the potential for future success is critical when convincing people to leave their highly-paid 9 to 5 job for a startup venture. Explain to them how you plan to grow your company and how will your business success improve their career.
These are the four most important aspects of your startup that you will need to present to the candidates you’re interviewing:
1. The opportunity to make a greater change – Big companies offer better salaries and benefits, but they also come with very narrow job descriptions, biased managers, and corporate ladders. In startups, employees and partners can make a significant contribution and run several departments at once. The path from low-level employee to manager and board director is much easier and shorter in newly founded companies.
2. The opportunity to build something new – Startups are usually building their business operation from scratch. Entrepreneurs often start companies to solve real world problems. The right candidate should understand company’s vision and have the wish to be the part of the solution. Even if company’s goals are much less altruistic, potential partners need to show their excitement about the business they are about to join.
3. The opportunity to form their team – Your startup partners, should have a chance to choose the people with whom they want to work. That is one of the best benefits of running a startup, and you should point that out to every candidate you are interviewing.
4. Possibility to earn a lot of money – On corporate jobs, employees’ earnings are limited by the agreed salary and bonuses, while in the startup world, the sky is the limit. If your startup proves to be successful, you and your partners might earn millions of dollars. This can be a very valuable argument for convincing people to join your business. Just don’t overstate the potential earnings because people might think that your startup is just another get-rich scheme.
5. Get stock options instead of salary – Many startups don’t have the payroll money in the first phases of their development. Instead, they offer stock options to the members of their team. You need to convince your potential partners that your startup will succeed and that these stock options will worth millions after the business starts to progress.
Most talented professionals won’t buy a pipe dream from you. That’s why startup owners need to provide something tangible to every candidate they’re interviewing. On these interviews, you are convincing potential employees and partners and selling your company at the same time. If you can convince potential partners, you’ll have no problem convincing investors and with making your company stand out from the competition.