Starting a small business or striking out on your own can have many important benefits, from the ability to chart your own path to the chance to escape the drudgery of 9-to-5 work. But starting a business is a complicated matter, one that must be taken very seriously. Rushing to get your business up and running could be a huge mistake, one that will haunt you for many years to come.
If you want your new business venture to succeed, you need to build a winning team. Some of those team members will be insiders: the mentor who will help guide you along the way, the partners who will work with you and the dedicated employees who will be instrumental to your success.
Others will be on the outside, but that does not mean their influence is any less important. In fact, the outsider influence can be even greater on a growing business, and building the right team of outsiders will be critical to your success. Here are four professionals who could make or break your new business.
#1. An Insurance Agent with the Right Expertise
It is important to protect your business, and that means identifying your insurance needs and acquiring the policies that are most essential. Without the right insurance protection in place, an accident or oversight at your business could bleed over into your personal finances, potentially putting your life savings at risk.
Before you open your doors and start serving clients, you need to meet with an insurance agent and not just any agent. It is important to work with an insurance agent who specializes in business matters, one who understands the unique complexities of legal liability and financial protection.
#2. A Great CPA
No matter how good those DIY accounting software packages may be, your small business still needs the advice and guidance of a great CPA. You need to stay focused on your business, and chances are you do not have the same level of expertise or financial acumen a good CPA brings to the table.
Once again, it is important to choose a CPA with experience helping small business owners. Small business accounting is a specialty all its own, and one that not all CPA firms possess. Be sure to check references, ask for recommendations and interview potential CPA candidates carefully.
#3. A Business Banker
Having a separate bank account is essential for your small business. You want to avoid comingling personal and business expenses, and a separate business bank account and credit card will let you do just that.
Many banks offer business savings and checking accounts, and you can start the search at your existing financial institution. The search should not end there, though; it is important to shop around for the lowest cost, highest interest rate, and best overall deal.
#4. An Attorney Who Understands Your Needs
You hope your new business will not create any legal hassles, but that does not mean you do not need the help of an experienced attorney. A good business attorney can help you with every aspect of your business, from getting the firm up and running to choosing the proper structure to minimize your tax hit.
Look for an attorney or legal firm with expertise in small business matters, one who understands the unique challenges of running a small business. Interview those attorneys carefully; the legal team you choose will have a profound impact on your business and its success.
#5. A Great Small Business Consultant
If you are a first-time business owner, whether you are a brand new start up or you are taking over an existing operation, you should consider binging on a really good consultant who specializes in small business. Especially seek out one who has personally started or operated a small business with an excellent track record. In addition to setting up your processes and business flow correctly, they can often immediately improve your profitability. These consultants will know a lot of the “tricks” or creative processes to reduce costs from the beginning and develop a very efficient business model for you. Never settle for the traditional way of doing things – creativity from past experience can be worth a lot of money, so don’t hesitate. Remember that in most cases, bringing on great small business consultant is not an expense – it is in investment – that can pay for itself many times over.
Running your own business can be very rewarding, both personally and professionally. But before you set up shop, you need to build the right team, and the steps you take now will have a huge impact later. The team members outlined above can help you get your new business off to the best possible start, so you can focus on serving your customers and boosting your profits. Knowing the pitfalls and dangers that may be around the corner in advance, is much more preferable to learning them the hard way – trial by fire.
If you are considering a small business or even already own one and need help, contact Portfolio Management Group, LLC today. We will provide you a no-cost consultation and guide you, leading down a path of great success!