Diversity of skills is essential to success. It’s a bit like starting a rock band; you can’t have everyone playing the same instrument and you need to be able to balance the egos!

Entrepreneurial success is rarely the result of just a brilliant idea. It comes from the founding team’s never-say-die attitude and relentless execution. They are the people who build the business and shape its character. They establish the DNA – the values, culture and ethos of the business – that will run through everything that follows.

What Makes a Great Founding Team

  1. You need a great front man(CEO)  someone who can create the buzz and blast out the vocals to sell the story and create the vision. This role should be performed by a core founder, usually the individual with the strongest vision and the highest aspirations for the company.
  2. Then, the quiet one. Your bassist(CFO). Financial Management is so crucial in the early stages when funding is tight or as your business scales and you’re pitching for more. Cash flow is king so you need someone to keep a steady rhythm of financial management to ensure that you don’t burn through the cash before the next funding round is secured. It’s essential to be able to assess the viability and profitability of the organisation to create meaningful engagement with investors.
  3. You then need to find your drummer(Commercial Director). It’s crucial to have a baseline of sales or at least an idea of who your customer might be so you need someone to carry the beat and ensure you’re selling from the start. They will also ensure the tempo of your sales funnel ramps up to match the various stages of the business. Having someone attuned to user (or potential user) feedback allows for continual improvement based on market needs and means that you are developing a product or service that someone actually wants to buy. So many companies fail because the product or service is developed in isolation without consideration to the customer.
  4. Finally on the mixing desk you need a technical (CTO) whizz… constantly fine tuning and refining the proposition based on feedback and input from the other team members.

Everyone needs to be focused, aligned and clear about who’s filling which role to meet targets and stay ahead of the competition. You definitely can’t carry passengers and you may wear several hats in the early stages. It doesn’t matter how many people make up the founding team, what matters is that you have all the key roles covered – technical, sales and finance – and that you are able to challenge and complement each other to work towards a common goal.