You’ve stumbled upon a fantastic idea for a tech start-up business, completed all the formalities, drawn up a business plan, bought a website domain name, and even scouted premises; congratulations, you’re well on your way to making this company happen. One thing you may not have considered yet however, is who you will need to bring on board in order to make this dream a reality. Do you have a co-founder to share the burden with you, or a pre-assembled team of boffins? If not, it’s time to start thinking about your development’s staffing requirements.
Selecting staff: getting started
The first thing you need to think about when staffing any venture is the roles that need to be filled; what operations will your development company perform, and how imperative is each one? Since you’ve decided to start your own tech development company it’s likely that you’re familiar with the tech you’ll be using, as well as the community that you’ll be selling to. How much of the responsibility are you happy to shoulder yourself? The great news is that your team doesn’t necessarily need to be a big one; it simply has to have enough shared experience and knowledge to make your start-up work as a viable business.
A first step should be to consider hiring an expert, an IT manager perhaps, in your chosen field of technology – essentially somebody that can micromanage tasks so that you can focus on your business, fix programs when they go wrong, and install the very best software to help your business to flourish. Indeed, your IT team may consist of more than one person depending on the needs of your company, so be aware that one member of a team may not fit all jobs. Next up is a forecaster, or somebody that has a good understanding of the market you’re entering into, an administrator to handle paperwork, payroll and finances, a marketing or advertising expert that can maintain your website and social media feeds to keep you current. An app developer is perhaps an essential because apps are huge business right now, and you must consider the benefits of getting your business into the palms of your customers’ hands – quite literally. As the demands on your business change, so may your staffing requirements; as owner and manager it’s up to you to ensure there are enough people to handle the workload, and in the right ways.
Staffing in the early stages: What options are available?
In an ideal world every member of staff would be trained to PhD level, have ten year’s worth of experience in their chosen field yet would be happy to accept the minimum wage rate. The world simply doesn’t work like that, so it’s important to decide what’s important to you. While education and qualifications are excellent things to have in tech development, so too is experience. Indeed, somebody with several years’ worth of experience could be far more valuable to your business than a recent graduate; you merely need to weigh up the pros and cons of each candidate. What can they offer your business, and do they understand your vision?
Of course, one of the first things you’ll be looking at when it comes to staffing your new venture is the available budget. How many team members can you afford, and would they be happy with the wage you’re intending to pay? The chances are, as a start-up, you’re limited as to how many full time staff you can afford to take on, but have you considered using contractors? Contractors offer fantastic flexibility, and they can come on board for single projects or repeat jobs as required. They’ll also ensure that your full time workforce can concentrate on specific tasks and will cover temporary vacancies, and you will have no PAYE or national insurance administration to deal with. Indeed, working with a contractor often means you’ll be liaising with an umbrella company; they’ll be able to sort out paperwork, offer help with IR35, and make sure that all legalities are fulfilled. This will come as good news to any start-up owner, and leave you free to focus your priorities.
You’re well on your way to becoming a successful tech development manager, but there are still a few responsibilities left to fulfil; tread carefully, consider your options, and always put the needs of your business and clients first.