At the very beginning, a startup project or growing small business usually absorbs all time and effort of the project owner. In these situations, you may end up working 80-100 hours a week. However, there are tasks you can delegate, and if so this is the right moment to start creating your team.
It may sound a bit easier than it is in reality as you may not have spare money to invest in growing the project crew. Below we describe 5 ways to create your team with no or on a very small budget.
Hire friends and relatives
First, think of what specialists you need to hire — analyze what you are bad at or what you don’t like doing and look for the partners in these spheres. After you have made up your mind about whom you need to employ look around your close friends and relatives. Usually, your family and your close circle are the most motivated people to support us. So if there are specialists among them, why not asking them to help.
However, some people are uncomfortable with the idea of taking help from relatives. It happens when it is important for us to show that we can cope ourselves, even if that meant a potential failure. Besides, hiring friends with no clear perspectives would cause problems if things with your startup get tough.
Another important thing is that working with someone you love, can put your relationships at risk. You need to realize that if things go badly, this may leave your friendship in ruins.
Here is what one startup advisor noticed:
“If you go into business with money or help from friends and family, then you will either lose the business or lose your family, and have a very good chance of losing both.”
In many ways, it depends on you, whether or not working with friends and family members goes well. The important thing here is not to confuse a professional relationship with a personal one. And always treat your friends and family members in a fair and respectful manner. If you hire someone for personal reasons and do not hold them to professional standards, you’re being unfair and will likely create bad feelings.
Сonsider these factors before you hire a loved one. If you are honest with yourself and that person throughout the hiring process, you can avoid problems and create and maintain a great professional relationship with your friend or family member. Remember, that some big ventures started as a family business, for example, Walmart.
Offer stock options
Find co-founders, you can state from the start that you are looking for people who share your views and that you don’t offer money, but offer equity. But every time you do it you lose a bit of control under your venture.
It’s up to you to decide how to share your revenues, but before you promise anything, make your partners prove yourself. As once you’ve signed off a 50% share in your startup it’s gone forever. Agree that the longer they work for you and the more results they show, the bigger share they get.
Though this won’t cost you anything at the beginning, bear in mind this is an expensive long-term solution as it will cost you a chunk of your company.
Another solution is finding a college or a high-school student to work under you. You can say you want to build a team so they could build themselves as well. You need to sound like a person ready to give back and help others to do better. High-school interns are typically free and the university intern can be free or paid depending on the program. But still, it is much more affordable than hiring someone for a full-time job. Check out your local schools and see if there can be a potential fit.
Consider attracting youngsters who are doing their gap year into the project. Use your education as leverage. If you can boast of a degree from one of the top schools, promise them to give insights on how to get there and graduate. Typically their parents are still providing their living and they will be happy to get the perks of your experience while working for you. Besides, you can stress that if their graduates in search of a job they are building their resume with you. Employment with you can increase their chances to find a well-paid job in the future.
Hiring someone parttime is one more option. You can look for a specialist to solve your tasks even for 1 hour a day. It will give you extra time and freedom to do other important things.
Contractors are great because you can decide on the terms of the contract and set yourself the limits of how long the working relationship will last depending on the budget you can afford. Besides, you do not need to take care of paid leave and other benefits that permanent employees receive. You can search and hire contractors corresponding to your needs at Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, and oDeskWork.
Find an angel investor
This option especially suits artistic and creative startups. There are people who treat arts or innovations as hobbies and if they see you are committed to what you are doing and passionate about it, they can invest in your project considering its perspective and interesting. For this type of investor, it is crucial that you are all into the project. As they should see that you seriously invest all your time, money, and funds into it, to be able to trust you.
An angel investor or as it is sometimes called a business angel is usually a person who provides money for business in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. So you can invest this money into hiring the team you need and growing your potential.
Angel investors usually give support to startups at the initial stages (where risks of the start-ups failing are relatively high) and when most investors are not prepared to back them.
You can look for angel investors among someone you know, again do not exclude your friends, relatives, revise your business contacts. Use crowdfunding opportunities to collect the money you need. Crowdfunding is a way to raise money for an individual or organization by collecting donations through family, friends, friends of friends, strangers, businesses, and more. By using social media to spread awareness, people can reach more potential donors than traditional forms of fundraising. Before you start crowdfunding find the best platform for your needs at https://www.crowdfunding.com/.
This is a rather promising option as in the last 50 years, the number of angel investors has greatly increased.
Create a friendly collaboration
In case you have some unique professional skills you can exchange them for the services you need. You can get consultants in a certain sphere of business providing them with some valuable knowledge or products you have. And this collaboration can be a long-term one.
Look for someone with skills that you need at networking events. In a while, you are sure to find people who have similar work values as you do. For example, if you are looking for someone who can do design for you, you can suggest in exchange that you are ready to take care of their site SEO. Always make it clear what you are ready to do for them and what you expect to get in return. You can always keep this agreement informal, but it is much better if you put it on paper. It will help you to avoid any misunderstanding in the future and keep friendly relations with your partner.
In case you are looking for places for networking, check out professional events in your area, expos, and workshops. Meetup groups is a great place to get to know new people united by the same interests and meet them online and in person.
You can also trade services with other people from all over the world. On Simbi, you can exchange services with other members or offer to “pay” them for their time using your credits. This is really convenient as you can convert your skills into the services you need. For example, you can help someone to translate a text from English into French and in return get someone to create a logo for your site. Simbi is a platform free to use for all who need it. Moreover, it’s a completely cashless marketplace. The Symbiotic Economy is designed for exchanging skills and services without having to spend cash.
The list of services that you can exchange on Simbi includes the below and more:
- Design & illustrations
- Web development
- Business consultancy
- Writing & editing
- Physical therapy
- Crafts & arts
In many ways finding teammates is like finding a partner to date with. If you are sitting at home and not even browsing dating sites, your one and only will hardly show up and knock at your door.
So what you need to do is be socially active, meet people, create openings on the job boards, and motivate others to join you. The more people know about you, the more chances you will find the right ones. Be prepared to talk publicly about your ideas, values, your vision of the projected future. Every new team member will give you extra resources for doing other important things.