We have often talked on here about the importance of the team you put around you and your idea. These individuals can either add to your success of failure. I remember hearing Scott Case, founder of Priceline, speak at an event. Case gave credit to the team he had around him in starting Priceline for the success of the company that reach a billion dollars in annual sales in less than 24 months.
Your “team” though is more than the people you work with on a daily basis. Your team includes everyone from investors and advisers to legal and accounting support to even those connections in your network.
Vetting your investors and those that you take on as advisers is much more then “What kind of deal can we agree to.” Your investors and advisers have skin in the game and need your startup to succeed in order to turn the profit they need to survive. With that skin in the game those investors and advisers will leverage their experience and work their connections to help push your business to success. So why choose an investor that is technology savvy to join your team that is trying to launch a food product?
Business 101 tells you that when you start a new business you need get a banker, a lawyer and an accountant. These individuals have gone to school and have years of experience in very technical matters that can help your startup avoid big problems down the road. There are also some of these professionals that are a fit for your team and those that don’t. An accountant that views you as a paycheck and not as a long term client might not fit with what you want. You might be better served paying a little more to get someone that will go a little further and help you down the road.
Even your network connections are part of your team. While investors, advisers, lawyers, accountants, etc. can bring their connections to your aid, at the end of the day there is no guarantee that they will have the right contact. Expanding your network to other contacts in the industry you are trying to break into can make or break your startup. If you are writing a new software program that is going to revolutionize the how lawyers practice the law, your network of software developers and information technology professionals is not going to lead to a lot of sales.
When you start your Grand Rapids startup, you need to move quickly. You don’t want to miss your window of opportunity for your product or service and you definitely do not want a competitor to beat you to the punch either. Your team can greatly accelerate your startups presence and growth. You just want to think of the big picture of your team and not just your co-founders and employees, who are vital in their own way.