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5 Professionals To Talk To Before Starting A Home Business
You could get up from bed immediately and start soliciting for clients and prospects on the internet to kick start your home business.
But going ahead with that means that you have already made a big mistake of doing business. That’s really not the best way to kickstart you new goals.
You are no longer a juvenile (or are you?) who can get away with stuff by claiming a lack of knowledge. When you start a business and become your own boss, you have to start behaving like a responsible adult who is acting with an intent.
Try claiming to a judge that you didn’t know that you were infringing on a trademark or patent. Let me know how that goes.
Now of course a lot of people start their own businesses in their garage or just a laptop. No one can stop you from doing that. But if you truly want to have all the gaps covered, these are the professionals you should speak to before embarking on your new unfamiliar journey.
Most people give out a cry of disgust as soon as they hear the word “lawyer”. This is not the time to let that instinct takeover you.
Anyway, most of the time when that reaction is aroused, it is because the lawyer is someone you are up against. This time, you are getting one on your side. That’s a big difference.
Against what we think we know, the job of lawyers is not to vacuum up all the cash sitting in our personal bank accounts.
No. Their job is to help us with legal advice and work. Only after that does the vacuum cleaning start.
Some of the things they can help you with are:
- Determining the most suitable legal structure for your company
- Prepare incorporation documentation so that you can start trading under the company name and open bank accounts
- Write up drafts and review legal agreements and contracts between you and vendors, suppliers, and customers
- Advise you on your obligations and legal rights as a business owner
You wouldn’t realize how big of a lifesaver accountants are until you meet up with them at the end of your financial year. This is also a reason why many business people don’t meet any accountants until it’s time to file for taxes.
That is the wrong way to go about it.
Because an accountant will be able to guide you along on how to do your documents including invoicing and proper bookkeeping.
If you don’t practice good bookkeeping, you might have to pay much more to do the filings at the end of the financial year because they have to charge you for sorting out your mess.
A good accountant should be able to advise you with:
- Good bookkeeping systems
- Accounting software that cater to your needs
- Taxes deductibles
- How to do your own filings
It’s never too early to make friends with bankers.
You might need a startup loan or maybe you don’t. But what you can be sure of is that you will need cash to keep your operations running when your business picks up.
Even if you are profitable, you might need money for working capital as clients stretch out their payment terms. And when your business catches fire with sales, you will also need more cash to pour some gasoline on it to scale up operations.
The common costs during business expansions include:
- Funding for new equipment
- Working capital
- New bigger location
- Technological upgrades
- Hiring more staff
- Enticing existing staff to stay
If you had built up a relationship with your banker early on, he might be able to advise you on the numbers he is looking for in order to approve a loan. That gives you ample time to work your company towards those goals to achieve.
Many times, reasons for lenders to refuse loans can be very small trivial matters. And those matters can be easily sorted out if you had known that they were issues before submitting your income statements for loan assessment…
Which is why it’s better to start building a relationship with bankers early on. It could save your business one day.
4) Insurance brokers and agents
By entering into business, you are entering a new world in terms of insurance. Suddenly you have so much more to think about. Especially potential liability.
Some types of businesses have specific types of insurance policies that are compulsory to buy. You cannot claim to not knowing about them. Agents will be able to inform you of these requirements and provide insurance advice, if any.
On top of that, you should talk to your agent on the amount of coverage you need. In extreme cases, just 1 liability claim can take your business under. And if you have a little foresight, your insurer will take care of that.
Just remember not to buy ready made policies from the shelf. Try asking your agent to come up with a custom plan that meets your specific requirements. Note that the higher the deductible, the lower you premiums will be.
Some of the types of policies to learn about include:
- Business interruption
- Workers compensation
- Basic fire
- Extended coverage for conditions not covered by fire
- Professional, product, and general liability
5) Business consultants
Some people absolutely loathe business consultants. The despise is due to the “if they know so well about my business, why are they not running one” mindset. It’s sort of like the types of businesses that teach others how to be entrepreneurs… when they have never been a great one.
Don’t get the wrong idea. Put your ego aside.
Business consultants can add a lot of value to what you do. Some of the best services they can provide you include:
- Consulting for available grants and how to obtain them
- Strategic partnerships they can tie up with other clients
- Specific advice on how similar clients have made their businesses thrive
- Refer you to experts in niche industries to help you in areas you are not good in (e.g. social media, video marketing, distribution, web development, marketing collateral design, etc)
Many businesses start off without consulting professionals to save expenses. That is being penny-wise and pound-foolish. There is a reason why they are still around after centuries – because they truly add value to individuals and business entities.
The relationship you build with professionals can be invaluable over the years. You will be grateful for the established relationship when you need them to pull you out of a tight spot in future.