America. Where anyone, from anywhere, with any background, can start their own business and be the next billionaire tycoon. The reality is that most start-ups aren’t born in a boardroom, but around some friends at a bar or maybe in a garage or basement. And while these great ideas gain momentum and the businesses that result begin to flourish, the owner is typically in the driver’s seat suffering from TUNNEL VISION. Instead of proper Business Planning, owners are worried about keeping the doors open. This result can be a huge mistake or even failure. Do it right from the start and don’t overlook many crucial considerations…Taxes, Liabilities, Security, Branding, Insurance, Succession Planning, Leases, Business Formation, Professionals, Human Resources, CRMs, Zoning, Employees, Buy-Sell Agreements, Intellectual Property, Non-Competes, Asset vs. Stock Sales & Purchases, Equipment Leases, Quickbooks, Interest, Retirement Plans, Exit Strategies, Financial Leverage…. Too many entrepreneurs miss out on success by commonly overlooking these issues every day. In an effort to put some of the issues on the Small Business radar, AlerStallings is going to touch on one of these Business Planning topics every month. This month we will discuss putting together your team of PROFESSIONALS (#1).
It is imperative that every business owner surrounds him/herself with the right team of Professionals. Unfortunately, this is something that is not included in the budget (from a time or monetary perspective) at the onset of most business endeavors. Many of these seemingly preliminary decisions end up being the most important and determine the success or failure of the new business.
- Accountant. Make sure you get an accountant involved from day one. This is certainly one of the most important pieces of the start-up puzzle. By providing advice regarding entity selection, business formation or simply helping you set up your Quickbooks account, getting a good CPA involved from the inception will save you time, money and headaches in the long run.
- Attorneys. Whether it is forming your business, reviewing your first contract, registering your intellectual property or negotiating a commercial lease, all business owners should have an attorney they trust looking over their shoulder.
- Insurance Agent. Having the right insurance specialist can ensure that both you and your company are properly shielded from liability when the unexpected occurs.
- Financial Planner. As your business grows you will need experts in your corner to advise on how to properly structure and fund your company’s benefit plans.
As you have read, proper assembly of your team of professionals will be a HUGE factor in increasing your likelihood of success. Utilizing your professionals as a resource going forward will further increase your likelihood of sustainability. Chances are that someone in your network has seen your questions before and can give you immediate and effective advice. The time saved by using your professionals can be redirected to the more important stuff, like GROWING THE BUSINESS.
Check in next month when we will tackle another business planning topic that slips through the cracks…