If you are running a business for yourself, you have at least one member on your team – and that's YOU, the entrepreneur. But if you are looking to grow and build a sustainable business that will last for the long haul, you should take a lesson from the Pro's, and build a team of professionals that you can seek guidance from and rely on for assistance when the need arises.
Who are these professionals? Great question. Let's take them one-by-one.
Are you still doing your own taxes? Unless you have the letters “CPA” after your name, you should stop that right now. And I'm not just talking about doing your taxes… what about managing your bookkeeping each month? Keeping track of the money coming in and paying the bills going out? If you are still managing this on your own you are wasting valuable time that you should be spending working on your business.
I recently came across the book “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz (Affiliate link). I'm so upset that I didn't find this book 15 years ago, I might be retired by now if I had. 😉 Or at least be a lot closer than I am! Essentially, Mike teaches you that instead of using your revenue to pay all your bills and keep what is left, he says that you should pay yourself first and then pay the bills with whatever is left over. It's a simple switch, but extremely powerful. And it will change your entrepreneurial world… trust me on this.
But back to the original point – get an accountant on your team ASAP. Preferably, find one that is familiar with the Profit First System. It will make all of your finances a whole lot easier.
A Business Coach
This one may come as a bit of a surprise. But have you noticed that all the pros have a coach? Tiger Woods has a coach. Tom Brady has a coach. Even Lebron James, the best basketball player on the planet (sorry all you Warrior fan's, it's true), has a coach.
So why in the world would you be so smug to thing that you can do this whole entrepreneurship thing on your own?
I'll let you in on a little secret….
There are going to be times when business is tough. Money will be tight. You'll feel like you are a failure. And those are the times when a coach will pull you up and force you to face another day.
Not only that, but a coach will hold you accountable. They will tell you when you aren't doing what you are supposed to be doing, and they will get you back on track.
I know we live in a world where everything is done online. And for your personal bank accounts, that is fine. But for a business account, chances are you will actually need to go into a bank and sign some paperwork. This is a good opportunity to get to know your banker.
I realize that the days of being chummy with your banker and getting a loan are long gone, but we still live in a society where personal relationships matter. So even if your banker can't guarantee you a special interest rate or line of credit, they might be able to refer you business or assist you with your account when you get charged an errant fee.
And on the flip side – if your banker is an a-hole, then run like the wind to the next bank where they treat you like an actual human being.
I put this lower on the list because depending on the type of work you are in, this may or may not be a need for your business. If you are selling children's toys or some sort of consumable (something you put on or in your body), then you will most definitely want product liability insurance. And if you are giving advice online that people will act on, legal disclaimers will help you out, but insurance gives you peace of mind in knowing that you will always be covered.
So developing a good relationship with your insurance agent is never a bad idea.
You know this was coming, right? No matter how big or small your business, whether you are just getting started or have been in business for 10 years, getting a lawyer involved and on retainer is a smart move. A smart small business lawyer can help you with everything to getting your business formed to filing your trademarks and copyrights to drafting your essential contracts.
Thinking about franchising or selling your business? You will need a lawyer to help you with this. Having a good relationship with a lawyer that you can call anytime you have a quick question is a smart and wise investment.
And I guarantee that all the Pro's have a lawyer on their speed-dial.
So there you have it. Five rock-star professionals you need on your team. Want to get started with the lawyer part? We're here anytime you need us.
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