No matter how prepared you are when building your startup, you can’t go at it alone. You’ll need outside advisors and strategic experts with the knowledge and experience to back your emerging business.
Here are the five types of invaluable people for startups, according to The Business Owner’s Playbook.
1. Essential Advisors
Finding mentors who understand the ins-and-outs of your business and the industry you’re working in are key to launching a successful startup. If your business is in its initial stages of growth, high-profile advisors are probably not necessary. Choose local advisors who have relevant expertise in your industry, as well as a reasonable amount of time to devote to your startup.
It’s unwise to venture into the world of business without a lawyer. Having access to the proper attorney will help you:
- Choose the right business structure
- Protect your intellectual property
- Draw up contracts and agreements
- Keep up with important regulations
A supportive, business-savvy lawyer can also help you manage risk and focus your strategic vision to keep your growth on track. Learn more about attorney relationships with business owners.
To manage your financing, a great local banker is a valuable advisor for your business. Look for a banker who is supportive of your vision and offers the kind of financing you need. Interest rates and fees are not the only important factors in deciding which bank you choose. Quality of service and attention to your unique needs as a business owner are also equally vital in maintaining a strong relationship. A great banker should provide quality advice about how much credit you can afford to incur, how to best manage cash flow, and how to build a long-term financing strategy that works with your vision for growth.
Finding an accountant who is familiar with your industry makes it easier for you to handle cash flow tracking, tax deductions, and inventory down to the very last detail. Your other advisors will be helpful referral sources when you’re trying to find a suitable CPA. An accountant can attend to important financial aspects of your business, such as:
- Finding and documenting tax deductions
- Preparing loan applications
- Helping you set prices
- Creating accurate, targeted growth projections
- Performing cost-benefit analysis
5. Insurance Professional
Team up with an insurance professional who will make the effort to build a long-term relationship with you that adds value to your business. There are numerous insurance products on the market, designed to protect your business from a variety risks. Find an insurance agent who has experience with your industry and can recommend the types of insurance your business should have. A good insurance advisor will likely work closely with your CPA and attorney to assess your business’s particular risk exposures and identify specific insurance coverages to address them.
Building a strong team of outside advisors and professionals will provide you with experience and practical knowledge that complement your skillset and entrepreneurial drive. A startup team balanced with the wisdom of experts and your entrepreneurial spirit is a recipe for success.
by Jackie Weber
Contributing Writer at The Hartford
Jackie is a veteran online business writer, editor and content professional. She is an expert in the area of digital marketing across a variety of brands/industries, working with the Business Owner’s Playbook to provide an online resource for those seeking business expertise.