Let’s say you have this great working prototype assembled with a few early paying customers and just raised $250,000 in seed money. Now, assuming things go well, and you’re thinking big, you’re on a path to raise money every 12-18 months and (hopefully) build a huge company.
Here’s an example of how things might go at each stage:
- Idea Stage – Two co-founders (one with domain expertise and one technical) come up with an idea, scrape some money together, and get a prototype built
- Seed Stage – Hire a lead developer and employ some contractors to help polish a few elements as part of the search for product/market fit
- Series A – With product/market fit in place and 100 paying customers, the multi-million dollar Series A is secured and it’s time to hire two more engineers, a marketing manager, customer success manager, sales manager, and two sales reps (always hire sales reps in pairs, if possible)
- Series B – Now that a repeatable customer acquisition process with solid metrics is in place, it’s time to maximize growth and scale out sales, marketing, services, support, engineering, and operations
- Series C and D – Grow, grow, grow — achieve enough scale to go public and raise money from the public markets to fund more growth as well as provide liquidity and a return to shareholders
Of course, this follows The Four Stages of a B2B SaaS Startup, but has application to a wide variety of startups. Hiring plans vary from startup to startup with sales and marketing expenses often rising faster than everything else.
What else? What are some thoughts on this example hiring plan at different startup stages?