What Are Startup Operations?

by Sachin

Having a great idea and the required funds to bring that it to life is not all there is to starting a business. You may be shocked to know that even having the right people might still not help you achieve your business goals.

There is more; you have to ensure that you have the right people filling the right positions.

To make things pretty simple, the basics you need to launch a startup include:

  • A viable business idea
  • The funds needed to kick start the business
  • The right people filling up the right positions

A combination of all these, alongside effective management will help to improve your chances of success for your startup.  Regarding the right people for your startup, some people may look good on paper but cannot deliver on the demands of the assigned tasks. As such, you have to be sure these individuals can take on the startup roles for which they will be hired.

To hire the right people, you have to know a thing or two about startup operations. Your knowledge of startup operations helps you understand what roles are vital and find the best people to fill these roles.

The Components of a Startup Operation

It appears that there is no straightforward definition for startup operations because even those who have called it ‘simple’ don’t have a definition for it.

However, looking at it from a general framework, startup operations have to do with how people in a business are led, how problems are solved, and how resources are managed.

These operations also include policies, systems, and processes that are in place to ensure efficiency, quality service delivery, and business growth. It covers the various departments needed by a startup for effectiveness and the roles these departments should play.

At the initial stage of a startup, you may find one person carrying out all these roles, but that can only go a short time. As things begin to change and the business starts growing, there will be a need to set up these departments and individual roles; more employees or contractors will need to be added.

Major startup operations that you should consider setting up include:

Human Resources (HR)

Human resources for a startup is in charge of drafting employment contracts. They oversee the management of employees in the startup, including the recruitment, promotion, and sometimes termination of the contract of these employees.

Human resources also cover training of employees in the startup through programs like workshops and seminars. Generally, there are five core functions that human resources activities fall under, and they are:

  • Staffing
  • Training
  • Compensation
  • Safety and health
  • Employee and labor relations


As a business owner, you must know that every decision you take in the day-to-day running of your business has financial implications. To ensure you are making the best financial decisions, you have to pay attention to the financial operations of your startup.

The finance department will oversee the recording and disbursement of funds for any activity around the startup. This operation or role requires individuals who are skilled in financial accounting or economics and those who have personal integrity and accountability.

This means that when hiring individuals to fill this role for your startup, you have to look beyond what their resume says. You have to look at their experience and what people they have worked with are saying about them.

Regulatory/Legal Ops

Legal operation is a vital component of every startup, and it is usually made up of people who have a law degree (also consider taking up an online law degree). The essence of this operation is to carry out any legal function related to the activities of the business. Legal functions here include but is not limited to:

  • Drafting and reviewing agreements on behalf of the startup
  • Creating a regulatory framework for the startup in terms of internal and external relationships
  • Representing the startup in any court of law where there is a legal dispute

This operation ensures quality legal service is made available at every level of the startup’s operation, making it an essential department for every business.


Every startup is required to pay taxes, and the amount payable depends on the type of business you are operating and its location. Calculating and ensuring the continuous payment of taxes is essential to keeping your business out of trouble and guaranteeing its success.

Tax issues are always very serious and can sometimes result in lingering court cases that can damage your startup’s reputation. Considering that you won’t want this for your startup, you need to find the right individual(s) to fill this role. These individuals must be people with a track record of excellence in tax management.


The quality of your marketing operations largely determines the success or otherwise of your business. The business space is a very competitive one that gives prospects several options to choose from. How then do you position your startup as the right option for these prospects? The simple answer is to develop a defined marketing strategy that gives you a competitive edge over others in the market.

Marketing operations are vital for startups, and the quality of these operations is always determined by the quality of individuals who are tasked with overseeing marketing.

With the continuous advancement of technology, there are several ways to go about marketing today.

In finding the right persons to fill marketing roles for your startup, you have to go for individuals with knowledge of changing trends. Marketing evolves with society, and you must be sure the strategy you are employing is in line with the realities of modern times.

Customer Care

The customer care unit is another vital startup operation because it is how a business interacts with prospects and existing customers.

The need for building a quality customer care team that is responsive at all times cannot be overemphasized for startups. As your business grows, there will always be a need to improve this operation to accommodate such growth.


There is a need for every startup to take these operations seriously because they give structure to your business and ensure a better flow of activities. When talking about how systems and processes are essential to every startup’s success, these operations are what creates that system of accountability, effectiveness, and productivity.

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