Having the right people on your team can mean the difference between success and failure. Great founders know that they can’t bring about business success on their own; they need a group of high-performers behind them. Of course, knowing that you need a strong team is one thing. Building it—and finding the right candidates—is another thing entirely. To make it easier, here are eight of the different types of people you’ll want to hire to help facilitate quick growth.
The Industry Expert
Certainly, all of your employees should know your industry well, but this key team member is the true expert. This person may have specialized knowledge in areas such as market research, competitive positioning or trends in the industry. You’ll need someone who can keep you abreast of changes as they happen in order to help your company adapt quickly. Your expert should be a willing listener and a quick learner. He or she should be able to understand the marketplace, but also learn from others who have more experience in the business.
The tricky part is determining what specific job title this position falls under. Your COO could fill this role on your team, or it could be carried out by a developer or designer who’s particularly engaged in your industry. If paying salary and benefits to employ a standalone industry expert isn’t within reach for your company, you can take on the role yourself or add somebody to your advisory board who meets the necessary criteria.
The Financial Officer
Having someone on your team whose mission is to keep your financial records accurate and up-to-standard is essential. In addition, the financial officer should be comfortable keeping a budget and functioning as the “bad guy” who says no to frivolous expenditures, including yours. This person will need to be able to run cost-benefit analyses, and have a clear pulse on which product lines or services are most profitable so that your business can develop them further or increase marketing efforts.
Director of Marketing
Speaking of marketing, this team member is essential to your company’s growth. Your marketing director will understand and oversee all aspects of your marketing, whether it’s carried out online, in print or on television or radio ads.
This person will help you define the overall marketing voice, strategy and outreach initiatives your company intends to use, and then work with other specialists on the team to carry out these visions. Remember, though, this is the “big-picture vision” person on your marketing team. Leave the implementation to other workers.
The Media Guru
I don’t mean “media” in the sense of CNN and Newsweek. I mean digital media. You need someone who’s in charge of your social media profiles and other publishing outlets. Every company in business today is also a publisher; it’s simply a fact. If you want to be known, you’ll need a YouTube channel, an active social media presence, a company blog and more. Your media guru will be in charge of making sure it all runs smoothly.
The Technical Expert
Have you noticed that every important marketing tool and online development out there requires coding and technical knowledge? Yeah, me too. And if, like me, you don’t have these skills on your own, you’ll need to have a technical expert on your team to manage things like webinars, websites, social media publishing and customized email templates. In addition, this expert will keep an eye on emerging technologies and let you know when something new comes out that can help—or hurt—the company.
Hiring a technical expert can be one of the most challenging hires a young company makes. Not only do you need to determine the specific development languages candidates will need to know, you’ll also need to find ways to test their skill sets to ensure their abilities live up to their resumes. If you aren’t confident conducting these test projects on your own, ask a friend or colleague with development experience to help you out.
The Data Analyst
I’m a huge proponent of analyzing and testing everything, so this recommendation should come as no surprise. You need a key team member in charge of data analysis. This person should be a pro at analyzing, interpreting and presenting results based on all types of data. He or she should know what aspects of your marketing and outreach are working, which ones aren’t, and how you can make changes.
Over time, this team member should come to know your customer base inside and out, and provide you with further recommendations on how you can keep your customers engaged.
The Content Strategist
Content is extremely important for any business, as you have only seconds to get someone’s attention online. The content strategist will work to plan and create targeted blog posts, social media content and other content that’s in line with your overall marketing goals. This person knows where to publish content and how to promote it to give you the best possible results. He or she will also be responsible for meeting your content creation needs while effectively budgeting both time and money.
I’ve saved the best for last. Your mentor should be someone who’s done what you want to do: succeed in business over time, preferably in your industry. Your mentor could be a senior leader of another company or someone who’s currently retired. Regardless, your mentor should be someone who can bring many years of experience to help you avoid making foolish mistakes.
Whatever your end goal is—an exit strategy, passing the business down to family or selling the company when you plan to retire—find a mentor who’s successfully done it. He or she will ultimately help guide your business to similar success.
Having the right team is vital to your business’ future. By adding these eight people to your team, your company will be well-positioned for growth and long-term success.