• Neha Agarwal

Professionals you need to run your new startup

You created a product or service, you started your business, and you finally began making a little money. Now it's time to hire your first employees. Figuring out who those people will be is easier said than done. Money is typically tight for startups, so it is important not to rush through the process.

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Let's look at some of the quintessential start-up roles:

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

44% of startups fail because there isn't a market need for their product, so finding a pain point and fixing it is a crucial part of a CEO's job. A CEO needs to be a jack of all trades. They need to be good at wearing several hats and solving a lot of different problems. Finally, the CEO needs to be a great leader. Some roles and responsibilities include:

  • Setting strategy and direction

  • Creating, living and breathing the startup's culture, values, and behavior

  • Hiring and leading the company's executive team

  • Implementing short and long term plans

  • Making important managerial and operational decisions

  • Focusing on the needs of everybody from investors to employees, customers, and the board of directors

Chief Technial Officer (CTO)

In the first stages of the startup, the CTO will be working on the IT/development side of the company, helping to invent the product before the company progresses out of its early stages. Coding is not the main function of a CTO, but he must know how to do that. A CTO's responsibilities include but, are not limited to:

  • In the early stages, coding and developing the company's product

  • Developing and fine-tuning the startup's strategy for using tech resources

  • Making sure the tech team is hitting deadlines, and using their time productively and efficiently

  • Focusing on ways the backend team can increase product revenue 

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

At an early stage startup, the Operations role is all about boosting team productivity to ensure a product idea becomes a reality as quickly as possible. Basically, an operations manager holds the startup together. It's a broad role, and an operations manager needs to be flexible every day to problem solve and keep their team on track. A COO oversees:

  • Structure and overall processes at the company

  • Planning and reviewing logistics, HR, and overall service

  • Contingency management

  • Execution of jobs/tasks (from creating policies to making sure HR are paying people on time)

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

A CMO is responsible for marketing and driving demand and growth of a company's product. They are responsible for creating and building the startup's customer base, bringing in revenue, and most importantly, making the company profitable. A CMO's responsibilities include:

  • User acquisition, lead generation, and retention/engagement

  • All marketing communications

  • Brand positioning/identity

  • Research and analytics

  • Product marketing and positioning

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

They help a startup to optimize the cash they already have and build a plan for when the company is ready to scale. A CFO holds a startup accountable with figures. If too much money is being spent in a certain area, or it's not being utilized correctly, the CFO can highlight it and come up with a solution. CFO's core responsibilities include:

  • Preparing budgets

  • Monitoring expenditures, costs, and P&L

  • Reviewing, analyzing, and reporting on the company's financial data and performance

  • Taking control of the startup's financial planning and risks associated with future goals

Product Manager

They're in charge of directing who the product will be sold to and how it will be positioned to buyers. In simple terms, it's their job to show a startup's target audience that the product is valuable. They are responsible for:

  • Product Positioning, i.e., what problem will the product solve?

  • Buyer Persona i.e., who is going to buy the product?

  • User Persona i.e., who is going to use the product?

  • Product Pricing based on production cost, user acquisition cost and market need

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Now that you have formed your board, go out there and conquer the world!

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