When you’re taking your start-up from the development stage into a fuller life on the corporate stage, it’s important to get some experienced executives involved. Your specialism is in the unique service you’re developing, managing your team of developers and technicians who are getting a minimum viable version of your product ready for the market and for investors. You need specialists in navigating the world of business, using their insight and contacts to maintain a reliable and plentiful stream of revenue, and reassure your investors that the business is getting advice from experienced professionals.
You need to make sure you get the right people though. If you make hasty hiring choices you might find that you’re losing your grip on the company you founded, and pushed to make decisions you may not agree with. On the other hand, if you don’t have an executive team who will challenge you and ask difficult questions, you run the risk of falling victim to a problem your limited perspective couldn’t foresee – being surrounded by yes-men is rarely a recipe for success.
Hiring the right people to see your business through these tricky growing pains is a challenge. A good place to begin is with your professional network –founders, entrepreneurs and other peers that you respect and have established contact with over the course of your career so far. They may well be able to recommend people who’d be a good fit for you, and a personal recommendation from someone who’s opinion you trust is worth a great deal, especially in the early stages when your hiring experience is limited.
It’s also worth consulting with specialist executive recruitment firms. Savannah Group is one such recruiter, that specialises in executive appointments, so you know they’ve spent years collectively cultivating a network of contacts from which they can draw the best possible candidates for your business.
When you’re making executive appointments, it’s important to find a recruiter who specialises in your niche, and make your needs very clear. They want to find the right candidates for you, to get a quick result, and possibly bring you back to them in future, so you should take the time and discussion necessary to make sure they have a full understanding of your situation. Think of this as a collaboration: you could be working with this firm over the course of years so building an understanding early on is vital and will help them find you the people you need to take your start-up to the next level.