So you’ve gone and chased your dreams. You’ve left behind the dreariness of the Corporate Environs to step up and finally start your own fledgling venture. More power to you!
And, just so we’re clear, who can blame you? Big Business has failed us, not just in the USA but across the global economy as a whole. From the Greek bailouts to the Chinese manufacturing downturn, big business has finally started to reel under the excesses of the past few decades.
Startups on the other hand seem to be thriving, shifting shape to reflect market conditions and demands, packing lean organizational; structures that help them synergize the firm and its audience wants, as well as providing a brilliant atmosphere to work in. But.
See? There’s always somebody like me, a harbinger of doom that pulls out the B word just when the going is good.
Are startups all that? And more pressing, are startups as laid back and industrious as all the success chronicles have us believe? The answer, we all know, is a resounding, no way. For every successful startup there are scores of ventures that never made it past the incubation period because the decided to denounce everything about business and corporate governance that they thought was the antithesis of small, fresh and relevant organizations.
What are talking about? The most common mistakes made by startup founders that they really should have noticed, and heck, forget notice, just incorporate into their strategies. There’s a host of issues, but you need to be aware of them anyway, and for this specific module, how’s about we delve into the Human Resource mistakes that Startups really ought to take care off?
1. Emotional Hires
A lot of storied, celebrated startups have been founded, nurtured and driven to exponential success by its founding teams. Look at Apple, Microsoft, Google, Oracle and a seemingly endless barrage of firms were a venture between individuals who bought to the table completely varying but complementary skills to the firm.
A lot of people I know think this means a synergy that is derived from professional and personal respect, and they inevitably hire their best friend, brother, or somebody they bumped into at a conference. Unfortunately, that isn’t strictly true.
While Jobs and Wozniak may have been friends when they started, they aren’t as integral to Apple now as lore would have you believe. In fact Wozniak even left the firm after a few years. That just goes to show you, that even 2 men of their stature don’t continue on Journeys. Facebook and its founders have been immortalized on the silver screen by ‘The Social Network’, and if anything the movie showcases the business side of Zuckerberg. Which I think deserves a high spirited salute.
In essence, don’t hire people just because you like them or trust them. Hire them or partner with them because they bring actual synthesis and synergy to your venture
2. Too many hires
I run a fledging firm as well. And while I would love to dream about making it to the top echelons of business, I have my doubts. One of the reasons I fell flat in the initial months was my tendency to make hires for short terms projects which I felt would grow, thereby contributing to my bottom line. Big mistake. They never managed to do work like I expected and clients demanded, and worse, it left me (I am the face of the startup) having to apologize to my clients for jobs badly done. To make matters worse, to rectify these mistakes, I ended up hiring external contractors, who I then had to pay out my own pocket just to numb the criticism from them. Word of Mouth is powerful, keep that in mind.
3. Low Cost Hires
We all love it when something comes in under budget don’t we? I know its wicked cool finding something really nice for throwaway prices, but don’t ever do that when it comes to staffing. And here’s why. Cheap labor is cheap precisely because it’s not too highly skilled or experienced. They will not be able to help salvage your bottom line, and worse, the lack of experience means most low cost, lesser equipped hires, will not be able to perform tasks at a startup since most of us need cross specialty staff. I know my Business development head leads my client prospecting teams, but he can also double as an advisor when we do financials. A limited budget means you need to get the most out of your money in terms of skill, not in terms of human resource hires.