A startup is a business venture which aims for high growth. It achieves this by providing a product or service which caters to some specific problem in technology or society. Because this problem is usually widespread, the startup aims to gain all those troubled by it as its customers.
The founders of the startup share the goal of turning that solution into a business, but this requires organization, perseverance, and a well-defined team. A good team divides duties and responsibilities clearly so that all the essential business functions are covered. These include research and development, finance and accounting, sales and marketing, etc., which gives the startup a professional and positive outlook.
A startup benefits immensely from an efficient management team, but at the same time, it also needs to employ the least number of staff. Too many staff positions make the organization cluttered and bogs down progress. A startup also must bring its burn rate to the minimum to ensure survival. Burn rate is the money the startup spends monthly to remain operational; this includes salaries.
The exact management setup depends on the startup’s intended role and the employees involved. For example, a physical service or delivery-oriented startup needs a large, on-the-ground team and middle and high management to oversee operations. On the other hand, a software house has few employees and may not require a dedicated operations manager. If you wish to develop the best organizational plan for your startup according to your business needs, a course such as Management MBA Pro can prove to be very helpful.
So, here is a list of positions that a startup generally needs as soon as possible for smooth functioning and progress:
1. Chief Executive Officer
This is the top management position in a business. In public companies, the CEO is appointed by the board of governors. In a startup, however, the founder is usually the CEO. When there are multiple founders or partners, they can mutually agree on appointing one person as the CEO.
The CEO is responsible for all the startup’s functions and its well-being. They make all the managerial level appointments, establish the roadmap for the startup’s future and enter into partnerships with businesses. Furthermore, they bridge the gaps between departments by supervising the department heads. The CEO is the ultimate authority for all decisions regarding the startup.
A startup needs to cover three crucial areas to do well, technology, business, and finance. The CEO is the lynchpin to all three, and it is by their vision that these components come together.
2. Chief Technology Officer
The CTO is responsible for the research and development (R&D) of the business’ products. This responsibility is very important because its optimum execution is essential for the startup’s growth.
When a startup leverages innovative technology to provide a simpler and more convenient solution to a problem, the CTO must ensure that this solution remains up to date. They ensure the right product match, i.e., a product with significant demand.
Many startups may still be in the development phase of their product. The CTO ensures that the functioning prototype develops as soon as possible so that the startup can move onto production.
The CTO decides the right product mix for businesses that have multiple products. In essence, they choose products to manufacture and determine their quantity.
3. Chief Financial Officer
The CFO is in charge of both finance and accounting. They decide the budget, make financial forecasts and are responsible for maintaining the accounts’ ledger. For this purpose, the CFO is usually a chartered accountant.
A startup aims to grow as quickly as possible. The CFO decides how to raise funds for this purpose. They are also heavily involved in allocating these funds to different departments.
A business needs to make profits, or it will fail. The CFO finds out which roadmaps and plans are financially viable and which are not. They are responsible for maximizing profits and minimizing the cost of business operations.
4. Chief Business Officer
The CBO is the head of marketing and sales. Even a product with great potential cannot sell itself without any marketing.
The CBO issues the marketing strategy and plan. These documents describe the startup’s marketing aims (to attract more customers, diversify, or specialize) and how to achieve them. A product’s marketing line tells potential customers why they need this product and why they should buy it from the startup.
Product launch and sales network growth are also on the list of the CBO’s duties. They make sure that the product will meet its potential in sales.
5. Human Resource Manager
This is an important post in a startup with many employees. The HR manager ensures a healthy workplace, handles employee complaints and resolves conflicts. These measures tend to increase productivity.
The HR manager is involved in recruiting newer employees and helping them adjust to the workplace.
In addition to these posts of critical importance, a startup can have a Chief Operations Officer (COO), but this position is not necessary for every startup.
As a founder or a CEO, you need to select the people for the rest of these positions wisely. Their conduct can make or break a startup. They need to be disciplined, dedicated and competent at the very least.