B2B · International business

I'm launching a B2B marketplace platform. We are hiring an agency to do the web development. Apart from that which employees do we need to hire in-house?

Anonymous

June 30th, 2020

What kind of employees do we need to hire in-house in order to run all the operations?

Dave Krysl Cofounder and CEO of Spec

Last updated on June 30th, 2020

I'd look into getting a technical co-founder ASAP. Even though outsourcing development is extremely cost-efficient and can produce great results, you still need someone who can help with top-level strategy stuff, to be able to communicate priorities and manage the technical team (ESPECIALLY if outsourced). Additionally, it helps to have the proper internal documentation in case you need to scale development (which would be a very good thing) and iterate a lot of features at once. In this situation you need to bring in a lot of dev talent quickly, and if you don't have your tech well-documented then you will probably face some pain points onboarding new developers. The last thing you want is to be at the mercy of whatever agency you hire to do the web development. This is just my two cents after having outsourced our MVP and then having run into a lot of problems scaling our platform after our MVP got into the market.

Jay Mathew Owner & Founder of Arch Bend

June 30th, 2020

I agree with Dave, no matter what agency you go with, you will need a in-house technical person. This person will help guide your outsourced efforts and be ready if you ever hire in-house devs.

GigsList.info Magazine Founder and Researcher GigsList.info, Department manager and producer for events, film, music.

July 4th, 2020

I think it depends on what your marketing platform does. There are a few different kinds. I am also working on a new kind of B2B marketing platform... for a niched industry. Thank you for your question. It makes me think about it for myself. Answering the questions for others means I have to get real real.

I research B2B markets and marketing apps. My field work management experience is in festivals. All festivals are fast paced marketing companies. Over the past 20 years business and B2B tech has changed a lot. It is changing again and needs more different kinds of skills. And it doesn’t stop changing.

Generic basics that I’d hire or hire for a startup:

Office - Administration: bookkeeping, business reception, data entry, legal, contracts, permits, admin management, business planning (that never ends, due to market evolvement), executive assistants = the multitaskers.

Sales - Cold calling, sales reception, customer service, audience retention. Real person sociology experts.

Marketing - Social media, print, paid web, live promo, events, strategic partners, analysts, public relations. Just because you built, it does not mean they will come. Marketing apps have some strange and unusual competition from the left field. I test them for research. (Fun, but dangerous - miner malware etc.)

Content Creation - This a new in-house need. Many skills = videography and photography and editing, motion graphics, foley, studio audio and editing, hosting, voice over, makeup, hair, lighting, equipment etc, etc. It has its own sub departments. I’ve worked on a few productions, including network TV and FM Radio, as well as Youtube docs and still photo. And MTV once.

Streaming - Somebody to manage the online meetings and presentations. This comes under Content Creation, but with specific extra skills.

Causes - Mix of PR, content development, strategic partnering and staff motivation.

Merch - This is part of marketing and is individual and a science and requires a whole department.

Scamware ID - A lot of social media influencer and blog followers and video views are paid bots. You’d be surprised, shocked actually, what companies sell these services. I’ve tested some from big names and semi dark web.

Software Security In-house - This isn’t just for your app. You are going to get hacked, mined, lied to and malware. You need somebody who knows what they are looking at and what to do with it. The fun I mentioned about testing apps.

Research and Analytics - Empirical evidence is your best shot at knowing where you are at and where to go.

Recruiting - This is not an easy job. Not only because good teams are real work to find. The way recruiting is done on the web sucks. Social media and search algorithms diluting voices. I ran a small niche recruiting site for a while and have a niche job board on my website.

Legal - Thanks to social media, malware, and content creation there are a lot more legal parameters. All festival planners read at least some law and can read contracts and fine print. My fav is the law of tort, because it teaches lateral thinking. One gig I worked for a big EDM street faire I’ve worked with in Francisco, California. They have a court judge for their legal rep and counsel… and one of their founders. It saves a lot of law suits and unforeseen legal holdups. All staff must read at least some law according to their departments.

Accounting - This is individual to business structure. But it now ties in with fintech. Check for specific skills needed.

Department Directors - Best people have at least 20 years field experience. Their observations on the way tech and markets change, how people work/think/emote, and reasons for business downfalls within and without... is invaluable. Like good software, the best have the longest development.

Staff Problems - In the USA the main problem I've found in the field is bad education at college level. Lack of math, cognitive thinking, geography, lateral thinking and problem solving. Cannot answer questions with the information asked for, instead give fillers, FOMO. Some don’t know the difference between marxism and democracy without PHDs in sociology and civil rights law. Sociology and problem solving are top business skills for success. Another top skill is diplomacy, all lives and cultures and voices matter. Success on the web and mobile is global.

Time Problems - This is individual. But the biggie staff suck, as you’ve gathered from my staff list, is social media. The app I’m developing bypasses that. I have base scripts and specialized hosting ready. The next round is to build and test prototypes. I have a niche starter audience for testers.

Wanna hookup? :)

The reason I’ve not been on this site every day is the time sucks I mentioned.

Friends and I saved a Native Australian sacred site as a reserve and community outdoor event space. Events are what Native Australians do for ceremony. They love to dance and sing. Same as Native Americans.


Deborah

Raluca M. Alexandra CEO IbsellNET

June 30th, 2020

Hello,


I'll start by answering to your question:

What kind of employees do we need to hire in-house in order to run all the operations?


Depending on how big your project is and how fast do you need it the team can be different organised but the minimal basic team is:

- two backend developers

- one frontend developer

- one tester


Optional (depending on more variables):

- one designer


Regards,

Raluca Manea

Laila Marzall Cofounder product manager

June 30th, 2020

Someone to manage the content, that knows the products in-depth, as well as those applications. This person can be your future internal customer support. He/she will make the bridge between your clients and your supply chain. Good luck.

Willem-Jan Jansen Launching GoChampio.com

July 1st, 2020

Key challenge in bootstrapping any marketplace is getting the flywheel going: you need sellers to attract buyers and buyers to attract sellers. A typical first step when you have neither is approaching potential sellers with high volume and/or great quality listings and working with them to bring their inventory online. Given the fact that there is no audience they likely won't be willing to spend much effort on money on that, so that falls on your team: sales/business development and seller support. As soon as you have some inventory it starts making sense to also start focusing on marketing and community management/customer support, to attract buyers and more sellers. Given that trust & safety is the #1 concern of people transacting on online marketplaces these folks will also need to focus on moderation, etc.


By the way: not sure if you need to build a platform from scratch - there are quite a few off-the-shelf solutions available that should suffice for the initial phases of getting your marketplace up and running.

(I've got 15 years experience running online marketplaces, please feel free to reach out if you'd like to discuss more in-depth)

Mustafa Ata CEO

July 1st, 2020

B2B marketplaces can have different levels of requirements which are specific to the industry and sector. You will need an in house developer but this can be expensive, so it really depends on your budget. You can start with an agency and if the MVP works out it will yeh manly sense to make a larger investment in building in-house capabilities.


which country is your marketplace targeting and what sector is it focusing on?


thanks

M


Edin Zolj Networker, Strategist and Explorer

July 2nd, 2020

In what stage is your marketplace? MVP? Have you test your niche? How big is the traction? etc. Maybe that’ll give you a bit inside how many people you should consider to hire. And... What are your skills? Where are your knowledge lacks for the next steps? That should give you also some thoughts about who you might consider to hire... Regards.

SANY Rashid Advertising/Media Specialist, Startup/Social Entrepreneur, ESG/SDGs sustainable business advocate

June 30th, 2020

A Marketplace is not a typical website. If you have a plan then I hope you thread it carefully. If not then I would suggest:

1) Launch with a readily available marketplace template like on shopify or magento, even wordpress

2) Have a OKR targeted plan ie. no of transactions, merchants, users, etc. You should target at 10 x growth within 6 months from your current product-market-test-fit group

3) Hire minimum 3 experienced people, A web designer preferably familiar with wordpress, shopify or magento, a database administrator familiar with all the current tools and either google cloud or aws whichever you are using, a full stack developer to start drafting and building a beta own built marketplace engine

4) Hire a management team for merchant acquisition, user acquisition, marketing, etc.

5) You as founder and your CFO (ideally) Co-Founder should start focusing on PR with stakeholders (meaning building relationships with corporates, logistic partners, fintech and payment partners, accelerators and VCs especially while monitoring the OKR targets and metrics weekly.


A marketplace platform needs a custom built engine in-house once you break a certain threshold in terms of merchants, skus, users, and especially transactions and traffic depending on the product. You are asking for trouble by letting an agency built your initial platform. Issue of development control and cost. You need to own and run the core of the platform so you control the core of the business process while digital marketing and analytics even AI engine can be sub out to agencies and other vendors to keep your team lean and focused.


Not sure where you are based, if you are looking at hiring a management team Im open to discussion.