Who could blame them? We all love a good place to work: a place that makes us feel visible, worthy, meaningful. But ensuring this kind environment requires a great deal of commitment, including positioning leaders in every crucial level of the business. If this the case for big companies, shouldn’t it also be the case for startup founders?
According to co-founding expert Jana Nevrlka, the majority of startups fail because of team misalignment. In fact, one of the common mistakes business founders make is starting a business with friends and family while a strategic vision of the company should come first.
Fueled with good intentions, we are tricked into believing that money, competences or affection alone can be good enough foundations to start a business partnership. Unfortunately, this is not true for most cases. Something stronger is needed to hold the founding team together to help them lead the ship through a turbulent journey.
Business magazine Forbes also highlights how startups need to address culture to thrive. Failing to do so will result in the replication of toxic working environments so many of us were running away from: de-motivating, frustrating, and with limited impact.
So what are the elements founders should take into account when starting a team for their business?
Here are some best practices we have gathered in order to build a successful startup culture:
1. Look for values, not just skills
Founding teams are like married couples: they need to look in the same direction, with the same commitment level and the same passion. Imagine you are in a relationship with someone who doesn’t love you, think of you nor want the same things in life. Would you still want to put the greatest investment of your life at risk: your future? Business partnerships are very similar if not the same: there’s a lot at stake, and a lot to argue over. So you’d better be ready for that with the right person!
2. Build gardens, not teams
According to The Invincible Company by Osterwalder, as a business leader you should “design culture like you would cultivate a garden”. Creating positive working relations has an impact on how people perform and therefore on how companies can survive in the market. Nurturing the people around you through inclusive efforts is fundamental in building a fertile ground for successful business relations. If this is the case for any established brands, it shouldn’t be any different for startups as well.
3. Be a leader, not just another boss
From partners to employees, individuals will make your business either thrive or die. Collaboration is key in this context, most especially when a business starts out of nothing. Everyone will be looking for a reason to stick around, and money will not be enough. As a business founder, you need to make sure these people show up for you and work towards the overall good of the company. Lead by example by ensuring mechanisms of trust, empowering them to speak and to test things out. No one wants to work for yet another old fashioned boss.
If you too are an aspiring business founder, we dare you to try these things out.
Still looking for motivation?
Join LikeMinded, the acceleration program offered by Bluelion starting next September 2020. During the program, you will be trained, coached and mentored on how to build a strong team and validate your idea. Applications close on July 15th – wait no longer and build something great!
For more info, follow the link below and learn more about the program on Evrlearn.