Building A Team With Limited Resources.

It is quite common to associate successful start-ups and other business ventures only to their founders. For example, most people immediately associate Apple Inc. to the legendary tech-entrepreneur, Steve Jobs. However, many might not appreciate the efforts of the team comprising of Mike Markulla and Steve Wozniak in the success of Apple Inc. In the same vein, Bill Gates seems to be given all the credit of the highly successful company, Microsoft Inc. It is critical to acknowledge that Gordon Letwin and Paul Allen served as capable right hand men in the success of the company.

Equally, it is important for an entrepreneur and any other organizational vision bearer to form a strong team around him. The team helps the organizational leader to accomplish way more than basic idea execution. The team helps to induce creativity as well as promote a learning culture in the office. The current work-place environment is very dynamic and requires an open-minded perspective to flourish. Hence, a learning culture enables the company to be agile enough to take advantage of any changes in the industry.

Inasmuch as creating strong working teams often comes with hefty expenses, it is possible to set up a team without any cash on hand. The founder can employ certain out-of-the-box methods to entice great talent into the business venture. For instance, the founder can offer stock options to his team; employ unpaid interns and create remuneration agreements that defer compensation.

1. Offering of stock options

Stock options are a compensation package that offers individuals ownership interests in a company as opposed to monetary remuneration (Witt 2016). The financial incentives can be offered to various stakeholders affiliated to the business. For instance, employee stock options (ESOP) are special options that are offered to the management and working teams of a company upon achieving certain targets and milestones. Stock options can also be offered to certain individuals with specific skill sets to incentivize them to work with the company. The options serve as an alternative to immediate monetary compensation to the team members.

Stock options often prove more effective than ordinary monetary compensation in getting the best out of the team. Since the team members are co-owners in the business venture, they take personal responsibility for the success of the business. On the other hand, it is hard to entice potential team members into the business using stock options unless they truly believe in the vision and the business prospects of the start-up company. Moreover, stock options prove to be more expensive than the ordinary monetary compensation in the long-run. The employees are effectively shareholders in the business and are, as such, entitled to the profits of the business.

2. Employ Interns

The start-up can also secure great talent from the pool of college students and fresh college graduates. Therefore, the company can provide unpaid internship opportunities to the student. The internships offer value to both the employer and the employee. The employer is able to secure good talent and fresh minds from the students. Interns are often eager to learn and hone necessary skill sets in their line of work. They also provide fresh insights and new perspectives that serve to complement those of the experienced founders. On the other hand, interns are able to obtain valuable experience in their line of work that builds on their resume. The work interactions that the interns have help them to network with other experts that might provide future employment opportunities. However, the founders might have to bear with the interns especially when they are on-boarded to the firm since they are quite green on many aspects that pertain to their job descriptions (Marsick 2016).

3. Forming of strategic partnerships

The founder of the start-up might also enter into strategic partnerships with other individuals who are able to complement the skill sets that they have. For example, an entrepreneur might be adept at software programming but lack necessary administrative and financial skills for the running and eventual success of the business. In such a case, the start-up founder might form a partnership with an individual who possesses the missing skill sets. Partnerships are attractive since they help to blend different skill sets together. However, forming a partnership will cede a level of control from the founder. Therefore, the founder will have to always consult his/ her partner before making a business decision.

4. Drafting deferred compensation agreements

The founder can make offers to potential team members that contain well worded agreements on remuneration that is predicated upon the company achieving certain milestones such as a pre-defined level of profit. The company will then offer remuneration along with cash bonuses once the milestones are achieved. The agreements provide the company with the talent it requires for the operation on the business. On the flip side, the deferred compensation agreements are often more costly than normal remuneration agreements.

5. Exchange Services

The founder can source for people who require a skill he is able to provide in exchange for a skill that he needs from them. The founder can accomplish this by attending various networking events and expos. Moreover, the founder can take of various match making solutions such as Simbi that matches people with complementary skills.

6. Recruiting Family

The fonder can obtain the necessary talent required to get their company off the ground by approaching their immediate family members and friends. The social capital and trust that family fosters ensure that the founder will obtain the necessary skills with little or no pay.

Ike Bams is a co-founder of Bluelofts, INC. Our Startup’s mission is to establish a global network of affordable urban living spaces designed for the generation of tomorrow by converting vacant office floors into living units.

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