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What should you do when you have a good business idea but no team to make it happen?

I have been trying to develop a startup for over a year and during this period of time, me and my girlfriend have participated in several contests, such as the Startup Weekend and 3 Day Startup, among others. Even though we never won any of these contests, we have been receiving a very positive feedback for the idea itself from members of Venture Capital, professionals of the area (architects, engineers, etc) and other entrepreneurs.

Although it might involve lots of profit and it is a very scalable business, it will take a lot of bureaucratic and work "on the field". The thing is, I have been trying to push this idea to the next level for the past year and there were some people willing to join the team but, facing the amount of work ahead and not being a very technological startup (we will essentially work in the architecture area), they give up on the idea.

How do I manage to call people in to work with me on this business idea? I would appreciate some advices and your personal experiences.

15 Replies

Jordan Plosky
2
0
Jordan Plosky Entrepreneur
Co-Founder and CEO at ComicBlitz LLC
Well, first off, I am not an expert, but can share my experience. If you have an idea that is so clearly a winner, people who are passionate about the same thing as you will join your team because they truly see a real possibility of success. They have to believe in the product, AND you as a leader.
You also have to compensate them fairly, and value what they bring to the table. If you cannot afford to pay, since you are pre-revenue, you must be willing to part with equity as compensation. And of course, protect yourself by vesting the equity.
But, figure out what tasks you will be doing, and what you need other team members to handle. They should receive a title, and equity compensation, so they feel like they have part ownership of the company, which will make them work harder for it to succeed.
Again, I'm no expert, just drawing from my experience.
Benjamin Olding
6
0
Benjamin Olding Advisor
Co-founder, Board Member at Jana
It sounds like you are entering a field where you do not have a lot of experience, so perhaps people are nervous you could be mistaken about the business opportunity.

I had a friend who wanted to start a business in a field he had no experience with. I thought he did something very clever: he found an executive leader in the field who could have started a new company in the field easily. Everyone knew him as a real authority, and if he said it would work, everyone believed him.

My friend made him a "non-executive co-founder." This meant he was a cofounder, but did not have to work at the business day-to-day (he already had a full-time job). Together, they went out and raised a significant amount of capital. My friend ran the business, and his cofounder provided strategic input and - most importantly - legitimacy with customers and partners.

My friend got a great deal - it was going to be near impossible to raise money on his own or establish himself as an authority in the field, even though it really was a good business idea. His cofounder got a great deal too: even though he was capable of starting the business without my friend, he was not that entrepreneurial and likely never would have on his own. The business was a substantial success.

If this idea appeals to you, start making a list of people in the field you are entering you believe VCsand customers *already* know about. You may not be able to get any of them, but you need to be thinking about the most influential people to make an offer of "non-executive cofounder" too. This is only a good idea of they can make raising money and signing customers much easier for you.
Douglas Kuhn
1
0
Douglas Kuhn Entrepreneur
CTO, Strategic Development Engineer at Greenwitch Productions LLC
An idea is worthless without a plan for its implementation. In many cases you have to take the reins and do most of the initial foot work, to build a prototype to demonstrate the idea *before* you will receive serious in-query or proposition to be apart of it. From then on it is a matter of fine tuning who you let in and who just wants to say "me too" after the goods have grown and the idea gets to fruition levels where *everybody* wants to be apart of the party.

Initial stages are the slowest because, like the little red hen, nobody wants to help and often times you the originator are forced to resolve the technical issues you are not well versed in. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It will allow you to vet out the con-men that want to weasel their way into your idea and prototype...As your implementation gets more and more momentum more and more people will be from the "me too" crowd and less from the "me do" crowd.
Daniel Truran
1
0
Daniel Truran Entrepreneur
director general COO at ebbf, B Corp ambassador, professor at business schools, co-founder Impact Hub Madrid - @dtruran
You may also wish to look for new fresh networks of people, allowing you to perhaps connect with that special group of individuals that you can work with to make your idea fly.
The usual is "we met in college and decided to start a ..." but if you don't have that kind of group from your past years
then you can go and visit co-working spaces where you can find many like minded people. I am involved in the global Impact Hub network of co-working spaces and many ideas become start-ups and then develop into companies by people "bumping" into like minded future business partners there.
Another option is to join one of those online MOOC's dedicated to start ups, perhaps Udacity, Coursera etc and there you are also likely to meet other people who might form your team.
Rocky DeGuarda
2
0
Rocky DeGuarda Advisor
Turnaround CEO / Biz Dev & Sales Wizard / Jingle Composer
I found a new startup based in Santa Barbara, CA called Equity Directory. It's an incredible resource for those like myself who are seeking equity in exchange for expertise in needed areas. For myself, it's Biz Dev & Sales, mostly.

For startups needing cofounders or experts, it's a great resource to put your idea out there and "hire" into the areas in which you have need via your company's equity.

In 2 weeks, I've had 12 leads come my way, which means it's very promising for startups looking to fill voids. Good luck!
William Sarine
3
0
William Sarine Advisor
VP, Business Development
The first thing an entrepreneur should do is identify the skills and talent needed then build a team. Without this step you will never get to first base. Great business ideas are aplenty but without a solid functional plan and team, you are sunk before you leave the dock.
David Wegman
1
0
David Wegman Advisor
Competitive burrito eater and software entrepreneur/executive
If you're completely committed to it and working on it full-time, congratulations on taking the leap. If not, and you're working on your new venture on the side while keeping your day job, it may be difficult to convince others to pour that much hard work into it. Your work ethic, drive, and commitment to success will set the tone.

Startup founders have to be pretty stubborn and relentless in order to succeed -- a half-hearted effort won't get the job done.
Minor Arias
0
0
Minor Arias Advisor
Certified Leadership Coach, Trainer & Speaker at The John Maxwell Team. www.lideresdeterminados.com
Following the recommendation from William above, I strongly recommend to take a D.I.S.C or a Benziger analysis initially for yourself and then for any member of your team if you already have one. This will let you identify your strengths and realize about the other abilities you needin your team.
Very frequently it happens that people hires orasks people to join their team with similar personalities and abilities which eventually drive them to have conflicts among them and realize about some other areas needed.
There are mainly 4types of personalities and having too many people of the same type mayleadyou to have a very passive team or too many internal conflicts to take decisions which alsoslows you down.
We are very likely to hire people alike so we need to be very conscious when building a team. I can't emphasizethis enough!
David Wegman
0
0
David Wegman Advisor
Competitive burrito eater and software entrepreneur/executive
Another approach to consider is outsourcing your development to a contractor. You will need to be very detailed about what you want. This can work well if you have a very clear picture of what you need to build, but lack the technical skills to build it yourself. The advantage of this approach is that you don't have to give up any equity in the business. However, you would need to bear the upfront cost of development. For that reason, this model tends to work better if your development needs are limited in scope.
ALFREDO RODRIGUEZ
0
0
ALFREDO RODRIGUEZ Entrepreneur
ARQUITECTO
Hey, Miguel. Among all the very valuable comments posted above I found the suggestion by Benjamin Olding gold's worth. I intend to put in practice right away!
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