By Dennis Croft

This month’s Advisor’s Desk looks at building a strong founding team. A well-rounded team will underpin any future success, and more often than not investors assess the team in parallel with the business opportunity. Despite founder’s often believing they can do it alone, this is a recipe for downfall.

Most experts are looking for these basic roles as indicators of a successful team:

  • Visionary – drives the strategy, can be either a introvert or extravert
  • Deal Maker – makes stuff happen, sells, closes
  • Public Promoter – charismatic, outgoing personality
  • Product Expert – knows the product in detail, passion is the product
  • Work Horse – endless, unselfish worker that delivers
  • Watch Dog – calm, cool, keeps the team in check and practical

You may find that one person has more than one attribute. For example, the Visionary may also be a Public Promoter and Deal Maker. Or the Watch Dog may also be the Visionary or Deal Maker. And of course, the Product Expert may very well be the Work Horse.

Founders should be honest with themselves early about what roles are missing on their teams. It is a matter of knowing their team’s strengths and weaknesses, striving to recognize or build these attributes into their team, and looking to augment team member attributes rather than building redundancy.

Need help with your team? Spark is always here!