When establishing your business, the question that runs through your mind is "which personnel do I need to employ?" It is hard for you to perform all the duties in the company and that is why you need employees. However, you do not hire all the personnel you think your business needs at once; hiring will be a continuous process, and the growth of your enterprise will dictate when to hire whom.
When do you need one: From day one, you need someone you can trust with ideas, to run them past your start-up’s first days. That person is an advisor.
What value does an advisor add to the company? It is always safe to have someone by your side with personal experiences to help you make decisions and prevent mistakes. If they come with expertise, connections, and financial resources, they could be your business partner. A business partner helps you as a start-up founder manage your operational costs and they are there with you to make tough decisions on daily activities. You might make him part of the board of directors at a later stage.
When do you need it? When you need people to brainstorm ideas with, these are the individuals to turn to. If you get the right people, they will be willing to join the advisory team with no expectations of wages, a snack and a drink at a local restaurant will be good for them.
What value does it add to your company? They should meet with you after a particular time interval to do reviews on how your business is fairing and suggest how to grow the enterprise. The advisory board comprises of people who believe in your product and want to help you to get it off the ground. They might be hoping to be shareholders in the company later, but that notwithstanding, their wealth of knowledge could prove invaluable when starting the enterprise.
When to hire one: When the product is ready for sale, it is time to hire a sales manager who will create leads to monetize your business.
Why should you hire a sales manager? A sales manager creates leads that get your commodities known in the market, bringing in customers. When hiring a sales manager, you must decide if you want someone to work for you or with you.
When to hire one: To ensure that the salespersons concentrate on generating revenue, you need to invest in someone who will make sure that the market knows your product or brand well, i.e., a marketing manager.
Why does your start-up need one? The marketing manager identifies the proper marketing channels for your niche and the strategies to apply in the context of those channels. They will have an understanding of the cost associated with marketing activities, and they will be of help in understanding the return on marketing investment. It is advisable that you employ one who is well conversant with online/digital marketing.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
When to hire a CFO: In the early days of your business, you only need an accounts clerk to manage your accounts, raise invoices and follow up on debts. Now that your business has grown, you need to invest in a chief financial officer (CFO) or a finance director to guide your finances.
Of what value will the CFO be to your business? The finance director should be trustworthy and guide you in the investment process. If your company numbers do not stuck up, your company cannot succeed. We are all aware of that. The CFO brings his expertise and experience to ensure that your company’s figures are right and safe. With the assurance that the figures are right, you can concentrate on other aspects of the company.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
When to hire a CEO: You have run all the sections of your start-up and they have now grown into departments. Just before things start going south in some departments, you need to hire a chief executive officer (CEO) to manage the business.
What the CEO brings to the company: The CEO has the knowledge and experience to know the employees your company needs. He will, therefore, decide the employees to hire and how to use them to achieve your company’s goals. Running the company on your own can bog you down to the extent of being difficult to look at where the company is heading next. With the CEO in place, you will have the liberty to focus on the future of the enterprise.
Chief Operations Officer (COO)
When do you need a COO? If you are having issues fulfilling orders and losing tracks of logistics, it is an indication that you need a chief operations officer (COO).
Why hire one? A COO who is the action director keeps the records of the business activities and is aware when something goes wrong. They implement structures and resources needed to fulfill your orders on a daily basis. A COO tracks down and measures your business activities, and they can instantly tell when things are going south. At this stage, your work is to formulate strategies for your business. You then forward them to your CEO for implementation by putting the right processes in place. The COO then makes sure that the processes put in place are operating correctly to achieve the set strategy.
Board of Directors
When to have one: With time, you will have gained a network of advisors who you can consolidate to form a board of directors.
What value do they add to the company? They guide you in the expansion and growth of your business. They could also be fully mandated and have responsibilities in your enterprise. They provide expertise that you might not have among your staff. If you have experts in various areas such as law, finance, and marketing, they are valuable resources. They provide guidance and offer advice on handling policy issues, developing business plans and handling critical areas of the business. For more advice on director roles and responsibility, download our founder's guide on how to be an effective director.
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