October 6, 2016

The Fundraising Guide – Chapter 2 – Team

Planning and building the right team is a very important part of your funding process.  It shows investors you’ve identified areas that are beyond your skill set and what your company needs to progress.


Remember: money doesn’t grow a business, people do.


There are two things to think of before you start planning and hiring:



Your skills

You do not need to have every skill necessary for your business yourself but ensure you find yourself someone you can trust either externally or by hiring an employee or contractor.  For instance: investors will want to know you can manage their funds properly, so you need a plan that will fill any skill gaps including someone who can handle finances if you cannot.


Reading the basics of fundraising terminology will help a lot in preparing yourself for these conversations.



What you need

Investors are typically more interested in backing a good team rather than just an idea.  After all, the execution is the crucial part of any idea.  Therefore make sure you layout the strengths of the existing or planned team and why they will help you achieve the goals targeted by the funding.


If you don’t have a team, at least have a clear idea of what the team will look like and what your hiring/remuneration policy will be – This is your hiring plan.



Hiring Plan

Getting a hiring plan correctly mapped out is crucial for business growth – including employed staff and contracted resources.  Your hiring plan holds the key to the success of your business and the resources you have at your disposal will make or break it!


Key departments you need to be planning for:


  • Product team
  • Engineering
  • Business development / partnerships / marketing
  • Sales team
  • Operations


All are responsible for the growth of your business and getting this mix right, at the right time, is an important skill.  Know who you need, when you’ll need them and the market rate.


What you don’t want is to over hire and burn cash, but you need the skills from your hires to get you to X and beyond.


Be warned, it does become a bit of a full time job!


Contractors VS Employees

Which do you pick?  Well there are strengths and weaknesses to both, but an overall way to look at it is: contractors to deliver, employees to manage and grow the business.


You wouldn’t hire a full time designer just to build a website, but you may hire a marketing manager to build your brand and keep a constant level of growth to your company’s exposure.


We will go into incentives another time, but you’ll need them to hire top-tier talent.  Just remember: you don’t pay Employer’s National Insurance Contributions for contractors but they do have higher day rates; employees have better benefits and you can incentivise with EMI schemes.




There is some great software to help you hire, manage and access your team.  We highly recommend these platforms:




Next Step – Strategy

In the next chapter we’ll be going through your financial strategy.  This is the next fundamental element of your fundraising process.  You need to show you have a grip with your finances and have an understanding of your market.




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