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What Are the Roles in a Startup Company?

What Are the Roles in a Startup Company?

An article in FastCompany reported that 75% of all startups fail. Not establishing the right team is third on the list of reasons. The responsibility of the leaders or owners is to build a strong team to drive business. This requires leadership, determination, discipline, and focus. It also requires excellent communication and personal skills. 

There are a lot of roles in a startup company, but only a few will make or break the company as it launches. The leadership team needs to effectively create and build relationships to grow the company and build brand loyalty.

Here are nine critical roles in a startup company

  • The Visionary – Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO is the leader of the pack. Their passion drives the company; thus, their leadership skills must be exemplary. The CEO must be someone that people will follow, and that people want to work for. People work for people, not a company. 


  • The Organizer – Chief Operations Officer (COO). The COO works on the team – boosting team productivity by ensuring everyone is doing what they’re hired to do. The COO is the glue holding the startup together. The COO also raises funds, prepares market analysis, and assists with product management. 

  • The Director – Product Manager. The product manager knows the product inside and out. They are able to direct who and how the project will be sold. The product manager makes sure the product is market ready and that the market is ready for the product. The product manager handles the non-technical aspects of the product including positioning, ideal customers/client, and pricing. 

  • The Innovator – Chief Technology Officer (CTO). A CTO is a must-have for any tech or tech-related startup. The CTO is your efficient and effective problem solver for all things technical. This role is often responsible for hiring web developers, software engineers, or other positions within the technology realm. 

  • The Architect – Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). This person works their magic to take an ordinary idea and transform it into something extraordinary that your customers are dying to have. Or helps people realize they need your service the way you deliver it. The CMO is adept at spreading the news, using targeted marketing, working within a marketing budget, and managing marketing trends within your industry. 

  • The Hustler – Sales Manager (CMO). Without a sales team, your idea won’t go anywhere. The CMO is critical for success from the onset. This person will also be responsible for hiring and leading a sales team, forecasting sales, and driving the product or service forward. 

  • The Money Manager – Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The CFO may be one of the most important roles in a startup company. The CFO is responsible for the company’s growth. This role creates the financial processes and reporting requirements used by the company. They also keep the company on tract within the financial limitations of the startup. 

  • The Doer – Business Development Manager. The business development manager is responsible for identifying new business opportunities within the company and with other companies. They are looking at new markets and areas for expansion and growth. A good business development manager will grow the startup, making it successful. 


  • The Customer Champion – Customer Service Representative. There is absolutely nothing more disastrous than to get your product or service out there only to have a glitch. That is where the customer service rep earns their keep. This role is critical for keeping customers happy and buying. 

Another tip – don’t hire too soon. Use outsourcing for things like accounting, human resources, web developers, administrative positions, and legal advisors. With your leadership team in place, fill in the roles necessary for product development, sales, and customer service.   

A company is always driven from the top down, so it is essential to establish a strong leadership team from the get-go. Most startups have a vision, mission, and an idea of the company culture they want to create. Knowing these is invaluable to finding your leadership team. 

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