The image of a business entrepreneur striking out all alone in the world might seem highly romantic, but try to do that in real life, and you will rapidly find yourself on the road to disaster.
A successful startup needs all sorts of skills, and anyone who claims they can do it all is either lying or deluded. Making smart use of business consultants doesn’t just bring in expertise, it also provides a second pair of eyes to see things from another perspective. Having consultants to call upon in the following areas will help your business get off to the best possible start.
Every business relies heavily on its IT, and these days, this is a function that is often outsourced to a third party provider or consultant. Get your IT support on team as early as possible, as he or she will be able to help craft your hardware and software infrastructure from the outset. This is also a good person to have with you when you are selecting your office. Choosing the perfect location is a more complex decision than you might think – click here to read an in depth discussion on the topic – and an IT consultant will be able to offer guidance on just how much work is going to be involved in getting the tech installed and operational.
Getting the numbers right, from those early business plan projections to guiding the company through its first months of operation is fundamental for survival. How strange, then, that many entrepreneurs claim not to have the time or interest for properly managing finances. For a small start up, the ideal solution is to appoint a local accountant who has experience in your sector and in working with small businesses. It is one of the most important partnerships you will strike up, so choose wisely.
People management is a specialist subject in itself. Consider making at least temporary use of a business consultant to prepare and help the company to establish its workforce and operating practices, as well as to work with your IT provider to prepare and implement the necessary software solutions. There are plenty or companies out there who are prepared to take full responsibility for personnel management, and if yours is a labour-intensive business, that is something well worth considering.
From creating terms and conditions of business to assessing contractual risk, any business will face legal questions and challenges from time to time. The larger corporates might have an in-house counsel, but here in the real world, one of the new business entrepreneur’s best friends needs to be his local lawyer. This is an area where personalities matter. In the event of running into legal problems, you will be sharing your deepest, darkest secrets with your lawyer, so he or she needs to be someone you trust, respect and can get along with.