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Startups are not that different from any kind of business. They don’t necessarily share the same values and have different innovation levels. They both, however, aim to grow and prosper and that requires well-defined team roles.

The structure of a startup is the real baseline for being successful and maintaining appropriate growth. Defining the roles within the new company will not only help create better harmony but is also a very important beginning. It helps to understand the roles on a deeper level, not only understanding the “title” but being more familiar with day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Since it is common within a startup to do more than just one person's job, employees must possess many different skills and understand many different roles within the startup. Ultimately, a lot of time and effort is always invested in this process, but it helps get the startup off the ground.

But what happens if the co-founders have no specific knowledge or background to run a startup? What if they only have an idea, but don’t have any knowledge of how to bring it to fruition? Usually, the person who came up with the idea ends up being the CEO of the startup because he brought the vision, but is necessarily the correct choice? Does vision cover for lack of experience and management skills?

So, why is defining your title so important? In a startup, like any business, defining titles is important to understand responsibilities and to avoid future conflicts between employees. For example, a start-up can’t have two CEOs. Planning for the future of the startup includes this important step at the beginning of the process.

One such way of defining titles is to have a founder agreement for your startup, which lists each founder, the responsibilities they have, and their skills/abilities.

You can also follow the most common startup titles and responsibilities, which are listed below.

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) - Does not control the startup, but rather manages. This individual has the responsibility to give and track other employee’s tasks. They should remain involved by communicating with everyone involved while continuing to transfer the vision of the startup to each member of the team.
  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO) - Understands the product requirements and helps to find solutions to technical barriers. This does not mean that they only need to code and be on the computer side of things, but rather they are also involved in the architecture of the product and manage its development.
  • Chief Operating Officer (COO) - This is the person who is responsible for recruiting clients. They need to think of new and innovative ways to implement the product into new markets and expand its reach.
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO) - This person fills in the blanks in the business model while managing the business plan and considering all investment opportunities.
  • Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) - This person is responsible for the marketing and socializing within the startup and beyond. Each startup has a need to control its own media channels and distribution, often responsible for lead generation.
  • Chief Product Officer (CPO) - This person is responsible for the product vision, design, and understands what can convert the attractiveness of the product while maintaining your active clients.

It is essential to have a strong structure for your firm that will ensure that you bring your ideas to life. We understand the struggle and we have plenty of experience with our startups in this subject, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist you!