Learn From Other’s Mistakes: 3 Practical Ways to Avoid Startup Failure – Part 2

In the first post of our current series, “learning from other’s mistakes,” we examined the first of 3 common mistakes that successful entrepreneurs avoid when starting up their businesses.  Next, we focus on choosing your core team wisely.

Don’t found your business with the wrong people.  

One of the first decisions you will make when starting a business is whether you will be doing it on your own or founding with partners.    If you pursue the latter route and decide to include additional founders, choose wisely.  Be cautious and deliberate when selecting your business partners.  The decision should be based on a variety of factors.  Being friends with each other or finding one another easy to work with should not be the only reasons you’re partnering with each other (though getting along with your partners is crucial to the success of your business).  Instead, ask yourself what each partner has to offer the business.  Assess your own skills.  What can you bring to the table: the idea?  The implementation of the idea? The business know-how? Access to a group of vital investors or business channels?  While you’re at it, assess your weaknesses.  If you know where you’ll need assistance in order to get your business running successfully, you can often narrow your pool of potential founding partners.  Working with those whose skills and assets complement yours will achieve a well-rounded team.

Surround yourself with the right teammates after founding the business.

Once your business has been founded and begins operating, thinking that you (and your founding partners) can do it all yourselves is a very common, but misguided operational approach.  Not only does that type of attitude lead to burnout, but it can actually hinder your success.  We touched on this thought in our last post: the idea of trying to save money by performing certain tasks or business functions on your own.  However, these tasks or functions are often important to the success of your business and should be done properly.

There are a lot of components to running a business.  A few examples are bookkeeping, technology set-up and maintenance, legal needs and risk management, intellectual property, human resources, and sales.  Surrounding yourself with the right team to execute these (and other) components not only makes your life easier, but it ensures that things are done properly.  We continue to stress that it is always better to have something done right – from the beginning and at a reasonable cost – than to have to bring someone in to clean up a mess (usually at a higher cost).

This post is not intended to be legal or tax advice.  Formeller & Formeller LLP’s Chicago startup attorneys have helped numerous clients form and operate their businesses.  Our skilled Chicago attorneys can help counsel you with employment issues and assist you with establishing proper employment hiring and employee management procedures.  Please contact our law firm today for a free legal consultation if you would like to discuss forming a startup or existing business operational issues.

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