6.3. How to Build a Powerful Team

Your staffing plan is the first step in building a powerful team. Your next challenge is to identify the individuals to fill the gaps. How do you identify the best candidates? The simple answer is to tap your personal network and the network of your advisors, but you'll want to go outside that network to broaden the pool of quality candidates. Work with your professors to make contacts with alumni. Search your college's alumni database to find people in the right industry and with the right kind of position. More often than not, alumni are willing to speak with current students. Even if the alumnus isn't willing or able to join your team, she may be able to recommend someone from her network. You should also check with your investors, accountant, lawyer, or other people affiliated with your efforts (if you have these people lined up already). Oftentimes, entrepreneurs will hire a lawyer or accountant earlier than they might need that individual just to tap into his network. Moreover, many law firms are willing to work for promising new ventures pro bono, at reduced rates, or for deferred compensation. Thus, it may make sense to hire your lawyer early in your launch process. The key to your success is continually building your network. This will help you meet challenges beyond filling out your team.

A natural place to find co-founders and other team members is your family and friends. A look at the Inc. 500 shows that 58% of entrepreneurs teamed ...

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