You have a great idea. You finally make the decision to start your business. The dilemma is that you don’t have caverns of cash to shovel out to attorneys, bankers, accountants, IT gurus and business planners. You know what you want to do, right? Herein lies the problem, you may not know what you don’t know. This is why you need to build your power team. The members of your power team are the best people you can find that have your best interest in mind. They are the gurus of their industries, and become somewhat of a mentor to you in guiding you on the best paths for your business. Like any service or business relationship, always ask people you know through networking, church or other group for a referral of someone that has dealt fairly, honestly and with professionalism.
“Wow, I can’t afford attorneys!” you exclaim, but are you familiar in all the finer legal aspects of business structures for your particular state? Are you willing to assume a given level of risk based solely on your business structure? There are horizon-wide liability issues between sole proprietorship and LLCs and corporations. If you are sued, are you willing to risk your home and personal possession or would you rather invest in a plan that protects you? This one area is exactly why you need to build a power team.
Like the attorneys, the first thought may be that one could not afford the services of such a highly trained professional. And like the attorney, this is another shining example of false savings if you hold off at least a conversation with a CPA. The accountant deals with many businesses and chances are they are very familiar with a vertical market like your situation and can recommend the best business structure from an economic standpoint, a tax strategy perspective and “basic bookkeeping.” With so many software programs that are available, the first inclination would be to save here to cover other expenses. However, the depth of experience and savings that will come from the knowledge of cost avoidance that an accountant brings more than offsets any costs associated with the fee or retainer that may be required.
Let’s face it, unless you are in a technical profession, the whole idea of computers can be a little intimidating. Another way to look at this would be to consider what is the best use of your time, fussing over the nuances of networking your home or office computer network or actually doing activities that produce income? Also don’t get caught up in the “cool factor” either, every dollar of technology needs to produce at least an equal (or better) return on investment or it simply isn’t worth the money spent. Does your IT professional offer support when YOU need it? Will you be just another ticket in the queue? Is there a premium charge for off-hours support? Is this a pay-as-you-go arrangement, or is there a monthly retainer or contract? If so, does it cover on-site support or do you have to take time out to drag your equipment somewhere? Are there a fixed number of issues that you can have addressed during a month? Again, there are times to ask for references, and this is clearly one of those times.
Now you may be asking yourself “Why in the world would I need a realtor?” Let’s assume that you are serious about your new business. Let’s further assume that you will build your business to the point where you will need employees (in many cases, this is the starting point). You probably wouldn’t want employees in your home (in a home-based business) and probably can’t due to zoning ordinances in many areas. This is where a Realtor® provides expertise and value. A Realtor®, particularly a commercial Realtor® is familiar with office space, zoning for a given area and is intimate with the rents structures in the area that you want to host your business. It is very easy to look up listings on realty websites, but do you really have any idea if the rent is high or not? Let the Realtor® earn their keep by doing the legwork for you, again freeing you up to more lucrative tasks to get your business soaring sooner!
This should be a “no-brainer,” but do you have a business account set up with a local branch of the bank you intend to work with? Although the banking industry is in turmoil lately, it is important to find one that is solid, convenient to where you are located and most importantly can help you achieve YOUR goals through a personal relationship with a banker. This relationship will go a long way with your personal situation when you need direction with specific products and services rather than dealing with an impersonal call center in another state. When you develop this relationship, there is also a face to the banking product or service, and that brings another level of accountability that you may not get with a website or a distant bank.
Hopefully this will get you thinking that you are in business for yourself, but not in business by yourself. There are many situations where you simply don’t know what you don’t know; this is why you rely on the experts to help guide you to the best solutions for your situation.
We want to help you be successful. When you succeed, everyone prospers: you, your employees and the economy…so get out there!
To Your Success,
William R. Wheeler
Hi! I’m Bill Wheeler
Master writer, storyteller and remote workstyle expert, I have worked remotely for over 17 years now. I can honestly say it is absolutely possible to work anywhere, anytime. It is my passion and mission to help others learn new skills and be more fulfilled and productive.