Can you guess why startups fail most of the time? Lack of traction. Yes. Too much competition? Also true.But according to a report by CBInsights, 23% of startups also fail to become viable because they believe they started with the wrong startup team.
We’ve previously covered how surrounding yourself with the wrong collaborators could negatively impact your funding. Today, we’ll go over the important step of defining team roles, giving concrete examples of startup structures with proven results.
No startup is built on the exact same structure. This is because startups are, by definition, agile, lean, and adept at evolving based on the company need. However, some general role categories seem to recur everywhere. These include:
Startup roles are heavily dependent on what the company does. They also change great based on their size. This is why it is often useful to understand roles in the context of personalities, rather than job positions.
One of the biggest challenges for small startups is to define clear roles that can be taken on. This is because startup teams often have to start small a small and one person will have to wear many hats. CEOs are often the ones doing the marketing, HR, legal and sales. CTOs manage projects, operations and developers.This can cause numerous problems in the long term. Roles that aren’t clearly defined can create frustrations for every party involved. Communication failures, authority issues and work overloads are all common problems found in young startups.In short, while wearing different hats is inevitable at first, it becomes important to promote delegation and the division of tasks as the startup evolves.
For most startup teams, it starts with a whiteboard. They will gather to answer a number of questions that make role definition easier:
This may take some back and forth. As always with teamwork, it’s important to be clear-headed.This is where finding the personalities that work best together can have a tremendously positive knock-on effect. Strong, clashing egos could attempt to take on too much, while stepping on other people’s toes.Similarly, those who lack assertiveness may see key responsibilities taken from them, when they are in fact best suited for the role.
In conclusion, it’s useful to remember that no organization, big or small, is built on the same structure. Amazon, Google and Facebook all operate on drastically different org charts. Similarly, no startup launches with the exact same roles.Regardless, no matter how small your venture is, it will still require structure. While it must be agile and adaptable, this means clearly defined roles that match the personalities of the employees. It’s not only a safe way to ensure smooth long-term operations, but clearly a business advantage.👉 Want more tips like this? - Subscribe to our Entrepreneur Self-Growth Guide.