Hi, We have our product in testing and we have recently started cold calling and email campaign to get some early adopters. I am looking for co-founders who are interested in partnering mainly from Sales and Marketing background. My question is do we have a pre-defined checklist of items one should consider before adding new co-founders into team?
Write your business plan, evaluate the gaps and weak areas, bring co-founders in who can fill those voids and who are good team members.
The applicant(s) MUST be able to answer questions related with corresponding department.
Conversation with applicant(s) should go smoothly. If not, probably it's not a suitable person to join-in.
Shareholder agreement already have to be in place. Applicants must be able to review it, to understand how many responsibilities they will holding.
May help you to get ready for co-founder recruiting
It doesn't sound like you want co-founders. Your business is already decided and product established. What it sounds like you're looking for is a salesperson who is willing to work for free (commission only). It's going to smell like that to any salesperson you're not paying salary. So, unless you're willing to pay 50-60% commissions, think about the risk you're asking to shift.
Yes, all businesses require six skills to be mastered: marketing, sales, organization, efficiency, people, and leadership. We know that no one person ever masters more than two of these skills, so you will always need other people to fill skill gaps masterfully. That doesn't make them a co-founder.
Sales and marketing are two very different skills. Why are you thinking co-founder instead of employee? You will not find one person that does both of these equally well. They will always favor one. If you have to choose one, choose carefully because they're very interdependent. There are two schools of thought: marketing is everything (and over sales), and marketing is a service provider to sales. In both scenarios you still can't survive without marketing, so it comes down to whether you lead with your nose or your brain.
Also, recognize that marketing has eight sub-divisions. So don't think that someone with marketing "experience" can do all the marketing things you might need. Any one marketing person won't be talented in more than two of the eight areas.
These facts are why many companies turn to agency help until they grow enough to warrant internal full-time positions for marketing. Although you need someone to manage agency help, your first internal hire should probably be sales over marketing when you as the owner step back from the amount you are the primary salesperson.