Do you want to start up a business but have no idea how to do it? Are you scared about the prospect of starting a business?
When you start up a business you need to get the right team of consultants in place to help you set the business up correctly. The exact consultants that you need will depend on the type of business that you are starting. As a guide these consultants should be an accountant, a lawyer, a mortgage broker if you are borrowing money, an insurance broker and a business mentor or coach. If you are unsure where to start a good point is a lawyer or accountant.
You need a lawyer to give you advice on the legal issues relating to your business. A lawyer’s job is to help protect you in a legal sense to make sure that the agreements that you enter into are fair and reasonable. They also need to help make sure that your business structure protects you and your other assets as much as possible.
An accountant will advise on you the best way to do business to save the most amount of tax. The advice from a good accountant is worth a lot more than you pay in their fees. Be careful in following their advice blindly, you should make sure that you understand the financial aspects of your business as you are ultimately responsible for the financial position of your business.
A mortgage broker is a professional who will find you the best deal for your business from a variety of lenders. A good mortgage broker will draw on multiple lenders to provide the best deal for you. If you need to borrow money to start your business then seeing a mortgage broker (as opposed to just going to your bank) is very important.
There are multiple risks in starting your own business. An insurance broker will provide you with advice in relation to the types of insurance that you need for your business. They will also help you if you need to make a claim on your insurance which can be a great help during the often complicated process.
Business Mentor or Coach
Many people don’t like the idea of having a business mentor or coach in their business. A business mentor is a person who has been in business before and you trust to provide you with advice. A business coach teaches you how to run a business. I believe that the truly great and successful businesses always have a coach or mentor behind the scenes. This does not have to be a formal relationship. If you know someone who has been there before, who you can pick up the phone to and discuss issues that you are facing then you talk to that person. Whenever I meet with other business owners to discuss issues in my business I am always surprised how issues with cash flow, staff etc transcend all business types. I am yet to see a unique problem to one type of business or business owner.
While starting a business may seem like a lot of fun it can be a lonely journey. You don’t know what you don’t know. Each of these consultants brings something different to the table, you need to listen to all of their advice. If they disagree on any point then you should ask them to talk and sort out their issues. Don’t let egos get in the way of the right advice. A common example is the structure for your start up business. Your lawyer will have ideas on what needs to be done to minimise your liability while your accountant wants to set you up in a structure that will have the best tax position. Both are right you have to determine which scenario is best for you so that you can sleep at night.
Having a team of that you can trust is critical and we all need to work with people that we can trust. You need to interview the consultants, and if you are unsure about your ability to work with that consultant you should interview multiple consultants until you are satisfied that you have the correct consultants for you. This is very important because you need to trust the consultants to follow their advice but also feel comfortable asking questions so that you can clarify any issues of which you are not aware.
While you may think that the advice from these consultants is costly, not getting the right advice will cost you a lot more in the future. I believe that success leaves clues, all of the successful business owners that I have worked with have always taken advice. They do not take advice blindly but they recognise that they do not know what they do not know and have sought advice from their trusted advisors and set themselves up for success.
Jeremy Streten is a lawyer and the author of the amazon bestseller The Business Legal Lifecycle, which is a guidebook designed to help business owners understand what they are doing in their business from a legal perspective and give them a plan for the future.