Should I hire all-rounders in the early days of my new business or do I need to find specialist sales, marketing and operations people from day one?
You have to act like a good captain and select the right players in the right places in the team at the best time to beat your competition.
You have borrowed the cricketing construct that refers generally to bat and ball skills rather than someone who can keep wicket, field ferociously and bat well enough to win a place for both batting and bowling skills.
We can think of Garfield Sobers, Jacques Kallis, Walter Hammond and Imran Khan, and our own Steve Waugh, Andrew Symonds and Shane Watson when if comes to the few general all-rounders in the game. It is the team, not the individual player, which makes the great winning scores.
The key to your situation is the level of experience in your start-up days where the purchasing, sales, marketing and customer service responsibilities are key elements of day-to-day business practice compared to the increasing specialisation and development of the expanding business or the franchise promotion and training process.
As your business gets to know its pitch and has a diversified range of customers, you will find that response to the demands of clients and consumers shapes your selection of key staff that maintains your business development.
Another way to look at this is to ask what it costs to bring in a hotshot who has a been-there-done-that attitude who costs an arm and a leg. They may in fact increase your risk and vulnerability if they do not stay the distance.
If you have very deep pockets and an extreme sense of urgency, this may be justified, but if you are building a brand, creating customers, and learning from your own business processes, the key all-rounder in the end has to be you.