Bure Valley Group is an investment introducer platform which links successful investors with exciting, innovative UK startups seeking funding. This content is for information purposes only and should not be taken as financial or investment advice.
A startup needs a solid business plan, seed capital and minimum viable product (MVP) to have a strong chance of success. Yet the company will, ultimately, be built upon the quality of its staff and key people. Directors, salespeople, account managers, marketers, administrators and other professionals will all be pivotal in helping to ensure that the business grows and moves towards its goals. As an investor, you have an interest in ensuring that the right individuals are brought into the company at the right time. Yet how can you facilitate this process and help give your startup investment the best possible chance of success.
Here, our investment team here at Bure Valley Group offers this short guide both to investors and business owners to promote effective recruitment within startup environments. We hope you find this content helpful. Find out more about our EIS and other investment opportunities by visiting our portfolio page here.
To enquire regarding our latest projects and funding, you can reach us via:
+44 160 334 0827
Core values & vision
It might sound strange to start by talking about core values. Yet the reality is that a startup has a bold vision which needs full commitment from its staff to help it succeed. Perhaps you intend to disrupt the market with an innovative, environmentally-friendly solution which uses technology to solve the customer’s problem(s) more cheaply, effectively and quickly.
Do the people in the startup reflect that vision and get excited about seeing it realised? If so, then they are more likely to stick with the startup through its inevitable hiccups and challenges as it gathers momentum. If not, then the startup could be plagued with retention problems which eat into its growth potential.
Required vs. desirable roles
A startup, by its nature, will have limited resources which need to be allocated carefully. Salaries are typically one of the biggest expenses which need to be covered, so it’s crucial that a startup can demonstrate clear discernment between “required” and “desirable” roles given its stage of development. Clear justifications will also need to be given to the investors in the startup, too.
For instance, do you really need a Social Media Manager at the beginning of the business? Perhaps such a role is needed if the marketing strategy rests heavily on social media to reach, engage and convert the target market. Yet if sales will primarily be achieved through multiple channels such as email marketing, search engines and offline promotions (e.g. trade shows), then it might make more sense for the startup to employ an experienced Marketing Manager with industry experience across the channels involved.
It’s important to remember that there can be flexible options too, regarding the more “desirable” roles. Whilst it may not be necessary to employ someone in-house to manage the social media channels of the business, for instance, this could be outsourced to a trusted freelancer for a lower monthly cost to the startup.
Skills, qualifications & experience
Some startups may be in the more fortunate position of having more initial investment and more personal connections with high-quality people, allowing them to employ staff with considerable expertise and credentials. Yet these impressive individuals tend to require higher salaries, and so most startups will need to strike a wise balance between quality and affordability.
Fortunately, it is possible to find brilliant people for startup roles who show great passion and potential. The challenge is looking in the right places to find such people, which is not usually easy. Here, it might make sense to use an experienced recruiter. Alternatively, perhaps one of the startup’s investors can leverage their network(s) or offer a personal recommendation.
Character & chemistry
Whilst experience and skills and undoubtedly crucial for a startup’s success, this is not the end of the matter. It is possible, for instance, to have a team filled with high-calibre people yet which cannot function effectively due to personal issues/conflicts. Here, investors need to be wary of the business owner’s skills when it comes to attaining references and conducting interviews (as well as other pre-interview screening). After all, it isn’t uncommon for some business owners to be brilliant at most other areas of running their business – except when it comes to hiring!
Here, this is often when a seed investor can bring valuable advice and experience to the table. Perhaps you notice an unpleasant character trait during the interviewing process, for instance, which the business owner fails to detect. If you feel strongly that this could undermine the team (should this person be otherwise hired), then you can use your influence to help ensure that the role is filled appropriately.
Conclusion & invitation
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that a startup lives or dies by its people. Choosing the right employees will be critical to helping ensure growth and success. This is where both investors and business owners can benefit from the experience of a professional network such as the one offered here at Bure Valley Group.
Get in touch today to start a conversation with our team and discuss some of the great investment memorandums we have available here:
+44 160 334 0827