Common Things to Consider When Starting a Business
Arf! Arf! It’s me, Breyer, the office curator. I’m back at Cook CPA, writing my blog to give the best advice a dog can.
My dog friends and I patrol around outside to keep our owners safe, but we don’t normally spend much time thinking about how to manage that business. Afterall, we are dogs and we are good at the business of barking, so the business comes easy to us! For you humans, though, starting a new business and managing it, may not come so easily. Here is my advice for you humans.
You new business owners really need to think about your team. We dogs rely on our teams everyday to get our jobs done and so should you. The professionals you need to support your new business include humans with the following expertise: bookkeeper, CPA, attorney, insurance professional, technology consultant, mentor (another business owner), recruiter.
Team Members Your New Business May Need
Research on new businesses and entrepreneurs all points to the need for support. New business owners can’t focus on the big picture if they are weighed down by trying to manage the day to day.The new owner needs help to create success and grow the business. Below is a list of typical professionals that can support small businesses and a brief summary of how they can help a new business owner:
Find a Bookkeeper:
A bookkeeper keeps track of the money earned and spent; they record daily financial transactions. Because no special training is needed for bookkeeping, many new business owners attempt to keep their own books with the help of software. Unfortunately, by the time they realize they need help, they are often delivering a mess to their accountant at tax time or finding out that because the books were not tracked well, they are unable to apply for loans or other funds. A bookkeeper tracks the financial transactions so that your business can stay on track! Our human can recommend knowledgeable and efficient bookkeepers for your business.
Hire an Accountant/CPA:
Your CPA will use the information compiled by your bookkeeper to produce financial reports. Your accountant can help you interpret your financial data and make decisions such as when and how to incorporate. They will help with filing your taxes and notifying you of changes in tax law. The tax rules change more frequently than they did in the past – ask how they help their clients navigate these changes. With their extensive training and financial expertise, they can help you see the big picture and create a plan for your business’ financial future.
Ask an Attorney:
A business attorney can provide advice on which legal entity is best to form business (LLC, etc.), about legal consequences of using employees versus independent contractors, on terminating a contract or an employee, or about merging or acquiring another business. Additionally, the attorney can draft and negotiate contracts for you. It is best to have a relationship with an attorney before you need legal advice to address a matter. An attorney who can develop a relationship with is a better fit than an online service.
Invest in Insurance:
An insurance agent can help you navigate which type of business insurance and endorsements you need to protect your assets and ensure that your liabilities are covered. Cyber Insurance is an item that should be discussed with your insurance agent.
Choose a Path for Information Technology (IT):
Having information technology specialists you and your employees can turn to for hardware and software issues can be an important time saver. There are three ways to go about IT support: use the support that is provided with each piece of software or hardware you purchase, hire a dedicated IT support person, or outsource IT support to a firm that handles IT for multiple businesses. Consider what you can afford and use an approach that works best for your business needs.
Consult a Mentor or Coach:
While some small business owners may pay for a coach to listen and give advice, others may be able to find a mentor to turn to for advice or a group of owners who can provide support. Meeting monthly with other owners can provide that mentoring and support. Look for others to connect with at professional organizations or other community events.
Consider a Recruiter/Employment Agency:
Recruiters or employment agencies can take some of the pressure off the owner for hiring. These professionals can screen applicants so you only interview the top candidates.
Use a Client Recruiter/Marketing:
Many businesses that are looking to grow might benefit from a client recruiter or marketing professional who can bring in new business or maintain existing client relationships.
My dog knowledge and human research all indicates that support is essential for new business owners to get the job done right. In addition to having support professionals, other studies suggest that planning (having a written business plan) leads to greater success. Planning your business strategy and planning for your support network go together to create your success. If you are thinking about starting a business or have recently started one, be sure that you have buried all your bones where you can find them when you need them. These bones are your plan and your support system.