Have You Built a Winning Team Structure for Your Startup?


You’d think that with a unique idea, sizeable capital, and an exquisite marketing approach, your startup would be unstoppable when it comes to achieving success. Yet, you would be wrong.

Not that those three vital elements don’t have any impact on your success—they most certainly do. But there are other, often overlooked, factors that will shape your startup’s ability to thrive in the modern world today, and one of them is your team structure.


What Is a Team Structure for Businesses?


A team structure is an organizational or company structure where teams are divided and assigned roles based on certain parameters like qualifications, skill levels, and experience to ensure smooth and efficient cross-departmental collaboration. It is essentially how tasks, roles, and responsibilities are assigned, controlled, and coordinated among team members to achieve common goals, emphasizing relationships between leaders, teams, and colleagues within the organization.

It makes sense that your startup team structure is critical for success because employees are the backbone of any business. They are the first ambassadors of your business, and the very first people to champion the values, vision, and mission that shape your brand. Your team are the ones communicating directly with your target customers and spreading the word about your brand.

Due to the incredibly important role your team plays in your business growth and success, it’s crucial to not only have the right people working for you who will represent your business and brand in the best possible light, but also to build a solid team structure that will facilitate the team to work and collaboration more effectively across all departments to meet company goals.


Key Tips, Factors, & Strategies to Build a Solid Team Structure


Here’re some key tips, factors, and strategies to work with the right people and build a winning team structure that will ensure your team works effectively to help your brand grow and thrive!


1. Flexibility in the workplace


Times have changed since the era of the cubicle. The nine-to-five still prevails in certain businesses, but it has become more or less replaced by a more flexible approach that enables employees to choose and adapt their work to their life, and not the other way around. This is the way it should be. We have talked about work-life balance for ages (or complained about it, is more like it), but we have done little to support it.

Today, employers have to put their employees’ needs first. That includes their personal needs and preferences, and not just whether or not to give them that corner office with the bay window, or a raise. Certain perks have become the new norm that now lets companies bloom and their employees thrive. The following are now considered must-haves in many workplaces:

  • Flexible hours – Letting your teams choose how and when they work will help them give you their best and most productive hours. If single parents need more leeway, why not give them a chance to work and enjoy their parenthood?
  • Remote work – Casual Fridays have turned into “optional” Fridays in a way, as more companies are now letting their employees work from home on certain days of the week, and each employee can get a different arrangement as long as their productivity doesn’t lag.
  • Transparency – Keep your employees in the loop of all relevant changes and events within your company. This helps build trust, honesty, and loyalty among all of your teams.

These are among the policies startups are embracing in the effort to build stronger team structures and more loyal employees.


2. Embrace diversity 


Many companies tend to stick to traditional channels of hiring. However, as the world changes and embraces a greater, more diverse spectrum of abilities in people, the workplace inevitably has had to change as well. Brands that want to build truly versatile teams that are able to adopt to the diverse needs of the market should look beyond their typical corporate hiring policies.

For example, some forward-looking startups use disability employment services to enrich their teams and company culture. This offers them access to diverse experiences, untapped talent, and builds the company's reputation as an equal opportunity employer. A Pew Research Center survey actually finds that most U.S. employees (56%) support more efforts toward diversity.

You can make the most of such diversity strategies to empower and enrich your team, as well as to organize your company's team structure.


3. Refresh your recruitment/hiring strategies


Are you still clutching onto those piles of CVs as if you were holding on to dear life itself?

Unfortunately, after years of poor hiring choices and missed opportunities, businesses have finally realized the fallacy behind relying solely on resumes. These summarized bits of information cannot possibly be the only or the best way to qualify someone for the position. In fact, there are so many other, more creative ways to look for talented individuals than to rely on CVs alone.

Have you considered hiring freelancers, remote workers, or part-time employees? How about getting in touch with certain highly qualified candidates before they’re actually looking for a position?

Asking more specific questions in the interview is another method to refine your hiring process, so make sure that your strategies suit your industry and help you select the right team members from the start. A successful team starts with hiring the right people.


4. Focus on soft skills over just experience


As impressive as someone’s education may be, a startup cannot be built only on expertise or knowledge. In fact, studies show that out of all new hires that fail in the first year and a half, almost 90% of them are a result of attitude issues.

As stellar as a team member's skills may be, many have failed to thrive in their work environment due to a mismatch of personality and inadequate soft skill to thrive within a team. So, pay attention to (and where possible develop) your team's soft skills.

How your team members prioritize issues; how they resolve conflict; how they collaborate; and how they communicate are all very important factors to consider when hiring and enforcing your team structure. 

Those traits, among many other soft skills, also determine how well the team can pass across your company’s values to your customers. All in all, your team's soft skills can ultimately help them succeed or fail in the workplace.


5. Promote effective and open communication throughout


While communication methods and channels may vary from company to company, and may depend on the specific team structure in place, open, honest, respectful, and effective communication is vital for a smooth running company.

Effective communication includes clearly defining company goals, expectations, and motivating your team to deliver their best work. Clear, effective, positive communication between the different departments and teams is what holds everything together and ensures performance.

So, promote effective and open communication where everyone feels safe to share their views, heard, and valued. This includes investing in appropriate tools and training programs to avoid common reasons for miscommunication.

Don't forge to set in place a reward mechanism to recognize your best people.




It’s high time you pay attention to your business' team structure to take your business to the next level. Make sure to use these tips to find the best candidates for your startup and build a winning team structure that’ll contribute to your brand’s success for years to come.


Keith Coppersmith is a business journalist with experience in numerous small businesses and startups. A regular contributor at Bizzmarkblog, he enjoys giving advice to both business owners, and fellow freelancers.