If you want to build your startup past the 1 year mark, you need to make sure that you correctly delegate startup roles and responsibilities between you and your cofounding team.

Few are the people that can do it all alone and being organized in the first six months of starting your business is critical. Read this column to learn about how you can delegate your startups roles and responsibilities to create a foundation for growth.

The Most Comnon Roles of the Startup Team in the First 6 Months

All startups are different. Different markets. Different products. Different timing. Different founders.

One aspect that stays fixed throughout each startup are the initial roles and responsibilities that the founding team performs in order to bring their product to market and begin initial growth.

  1. Sales
  2. Product building – technology
  3. Financial management
  4. Marketing
  5. Operations – systems and processes
  6. Research and development

Delegating your Startup Roles

In the first 6 months, your title matters much less than the areas of the business that you are able to contribute to. For all new startups, there are more hours of work than there are hours in the day and the work load continues to get bigger and bigger. A good problem to have.

In order to operate your startup at optimal efficiency, you have to put people in charge of making progress in certain areas of the business. Trying to work on each aspect as a collective unit can lead to disorganization and slowed growth.

I’m not saying that you can’t work on projects and tasks together. Rather, teamwork should be encouraged. The difference is that by assigning responsibility to one person for a specific area, they can better be held accountable for their actions. You can measure success, create strategic goals, and specialize in your expertise.

How To Split Up your Startup Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Start by setting a meeting with your cofounders solely focused on roles and responsibilities
  2. Using a whiteboard, write down every area of the business then break each down into a sub level.
  3. Perform a strengths and weaknesses activity to best understand where people on your team will perform best.
  4. Working with your team, place responsibilities into each other’s buckets based off of your strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Publish the roles for everyone to see so that it can be constantly referred to.

What to Do After

Once comfortable with your startup roles, assign everyone’s first task within their new role.

  • Create 3 major goals for each aspect of your role that you will achieve in the next quarter.
  • Schedule another meeting to review the goals that each team member creates to give feedback and make changes.
  • Prioritize which goals are most important and work on achieving those first.

My Experience with FreeeUp and eCommetize

When I first started working on FreeeUp and eCommetize, my cofounders and I performed these activities. I’ve been working with both individuals for over 5 years so we already know how we work together best, but the process of divvying up roles is still key. We just happen to have a leg up on other cofounders who have never worked together before.

Here’s an example of the major aspects of running eCommetize and how we eventually split it up.

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Connor and Zack Roles and ResponsibilitiesConnor and Zack Roles and Responsibilities 2

We’ve now been practicing these roles for the past 45 days and it has made a tremendous impact on our ability to grow the company strategically. Instead of stepping on each other’s toes where we both have the ability to perform certain tasks, we’ve empowered each other to make significant progress in the most important areas of the company.

After splitting up our roles and responsibilities, we gave each other the task of creating goals for the remainder of the quarter with defining action steps. Each week or so, we return to our role goals and evaluate our progress. When we need help, we ask each other. And as we make progress, we keep each other in the loop.

Not only will this keep you and your cofounder organized in the first year that you are building your business, but it will also set a superb precedent for the next person that you add to your company. Setting up an organizational structure from the day that you begin working on the company will put you in a better position to scale quickly with sound hiring.


Share your Thoughts

I’d love to hear your feedback on startup roles and responsibilities. Leave it in the comments section!

How do you approach creating roles and responsibilities within your business?

Agree or disagree with splitting roles and responsibilities as early as possible…