“You only have to do a few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” ~ Warren Buffett
Timely advice makes a great difference!
Most startups avoid professionals because, they consider them to be awfully expensive but those who engage them often laugh at the end. Having said that, it is important to state that, some of these professionals offer pro bono services for startups while others do so at highly discounted fees.
Advice given and taken at the right time can make a difference in one’s business. The most successful entrepreneurs have learnt to seek for advice before, during and after they got their businesses off the ground. In business, there is no level you get to when one can say he or she does not need advice.
Every startup must consult the following people before, during and after launching the business:
- A Legal Practitioner
The type of business you run determines the legal implication that comes with it and the requirements. It is therefore important to consult a legal practitioner as a startup. Remember that a lawyer can give you advice and draw up the legal paperwork to make sure your business structure meets your goals and limits liability.
- A Professional Accountant
The value of accounting advice cannot be overemphasized in business. It is even more important for a startup which is often run by people who lack formal training on how to manage a business. When you are just starting out, you will need some accounting advice. It is sad to note that a lot of new startups assume an accountant is just someone you call to handle taxes.
But as your new business grows, you will need a professional accountant to help you make sense of your financial statements, cash flow, and to strategically think through opportunities and challenges that may confront you.
As you start bringing in more customers and doing more business, you will probably find yourself wondering whether it’s the right time to buy a new car, rent a new office space or even buy a new machinery, finance expansion, or hire your first employee. At this stage, an accountant can help you make the right financial decision that can save your business and help you to grow.
- A Business Coach or Mentor
Another professional you will need as a startup is a business coach. A business coach can also be an accountant or even a lawyer depending on the person’s qualifications. A business coach or mentor must be an entrepreneur and understands the rudiments of business and entrepreneurship.
Getting a little advice from someone in the business world is also a good idea. Whether you’re opening your first business or your fifth, talking with someone who can give you independent business advice will go a long way, Arney says.
“You need someone who has been where you are and knows what there is to lose, as well as to win. Business owners need someone who knows them and their business and is independent enough to keep the vision tied to the real world,” she says. Most startups fail because of a lack of a mentor in their lives.
- A Professional Banker
By a professional banker, we mean a trained and certified banker. This is important because there are people who work within the banking sector who may not have certifications as bankers and may not be in the best form to offer sound banking advice.
Honestly, most of the financial and money mistakes that startups commit could have been avoided if they had engaged a professional banker in their business. It is unfortunate that most entrepreneurs only think of bankers when they must apply for a loan but that should not be the case. Professional bankers are there to help you take certain financial decisions that can save your business from collapsing.