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Start up success isn’t just defined by having a great idea. Everyone has a great idea for a business, just like everyone has a novel inside them. What makes people successful isn’t having the idea, it’s doing the work to write the book or actually set the business up. It takes a lot of work to see if your idea actually works, and part of that is making sure you have the skills available you need to translate the contents of your head into the real world. Writers need editors and publishers, people who know how to turn a manuscript into a readable book. Entrepreneurs are just as much in need of help for skilled specialists.

Today we’re taking a look at some of the skills that you need to make your start up successful, so you can make sure you get them into your company as soon as possible.

Data and Analytics

Good decision making is at the heart of any successful business, and the best decisionmaking is driven by evidence. You can’t argue with hard data, anything else is simply luck and opinion masquerading as business acumen.

If you’re not experienced at working with data, you need someone with that expertise from as close to day one as possible: even if you work with outside companies like market research firms for insights into your consumers, having someone internal to cross-check and interpret their results means you can have real confidence in their insights, as well as developing your internal capacity to handle data.


HR is a much neglected discipline by start up companies. They prize freedom and flexibility, and see HR specialists as people who’d impose rules on the protean state that leads to success and financial returns.

This is a mistaken conclusion. HR fulfil vital functions in any company – not merely putting a leash on some of the more individual practices of start ups, but boosting their performance. An important part of success is retaining key talents in your business and if your best people aren’t listened to, valued and developed, you’ll lose them. HR are responsible for the appraisal schemes that are vital to the development of your key staff, and without them you could find yourself hurting for experienced people.

If you’re running a small team it might seem wasteful or counterproductive to hire specialists like this full time, and temps don’t have the skills you’re looking for. You need to look for an interim management company. Interim Managers are experienced executives, who can come into your business, establishing systems and teaching you and your staff best practices that will see you set for success until you scale to a level that supports more specialists.