Question: What are some tips for successfully scaling your tiny startup team, while still keeping the creative environment fresh? Does it matter?
Question by: Ashley
Can I Buy You a Drink?
"Look for a strong cultural fit when hiring for your start-up -- and not just their resume and experience. If you don't get along with a person -- wouldn't enjoy having Friday beers with them -- then don't bring them onto your team. The negative impact on morale from making a wrong hire can be tremendous, so be careful. Fire quickly if things don't work out."
Spread the Recognition
"To scale a startup and keep work interesting, you'll want to frequently announce milestones reached, but also press your team for constant improvement and personal development. When your team starts to realize they're really contributing to a business that's making real progress, and are learning a lot more than they have at any other work environment, they'll never leave."
Start a Chain Reaction
"Best piece of advice I ever heard was only hire those you would trust to hire others without consulting you. If you start off with an amazing team of creative people and follow that rule, your team should continue to have the same creative touch."
Share the Business Vision
"When you're leading your company, no matter how employees you have or want to bring on, it helps to share the business vision. If you have new projects or different tasks that need to get done, your team is a lot more likely to get on board when they know where you're going. That in itself will keep the environment humming."
Only as Strong as Your Weakest Link
"Find areas where you are weakest and hire passionate experts in those areas. Keep in mind you can teach skills very easily, but teaching personality and attitude is next to impossible. Find people with passion and personality which fit your organization and teach them skills in the areas where you are lacking. The goal is to get passionate people working on every business operation. "
Trial Runs With the Team
"Keeping the creative environment and culture strong are critical for a startup. Great candidates on paper may not fit with your current team. Hire everyone as a contractor at first -- take four to ten weeks to make sure that they fit within your culture, and give the new employee the same courtesy to make sure that she or he is happy with your team!"
Let the Team Grow Too!
"Delegate and trust your team. It's the only way to grow effectively. A startup owner can't do everything, and trying to simply stifles your team. One of the appeals of a startup is how much growth it affords its people; delegate so you don't deny them that."
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.