“It Takes a Village”
episode #738 – June 26, 2022
HOST: Lorraine Ball
It takes a village to raise a child, and a business.
Every parent knows, It takes a village to raise a child. Each of the adults in the child’s life, relatives, teachers, coaches, brings a different perspective. The same is true for your business. No matter how smart you are or how much you know about your business, there are gaps in your skill-set.
Your business village should be filled with smart, talented subject matter experts to help you fill in the gaps. If you are running a small business your village won’t be comprised of employees, but an advisory board comprised of professionals, who provide information and guidance in their areas of expertise.
Who Do You Need in Your Business Village? (On your advisory board)
Your attorney’s primary objective is to protect you and your business from risk. As you start you business your attorney can advise you on the right structure for your business and submit appropriate state and federal documents. As you business grows turn to your attorney for a range of legal documents such as contracts, non-disclosure agreements, and non-compete agreements with employees. An attorney who is familiar with your business makes the process of creating new documents much more efficient because you won’t have to start each review by explaining what your business is about.
There are bookkeepers, financial accountants and tax accountants. Which do you need? Well that depends on your comfort level with the numbers of your business. A bookkeeper keeps your day to day operations on track, paying bills and invoicing clients. A financial accountant is someone who can provide guidance not just bookkeeping assistance.
Your accountant should prepare financial reports on a monthly basis and review key numbers with you. Your accountant should be able to help you predict if you have enough cash to meet future obligations and growth goals.
A tax accountant does more than just prepare your tax returns, understanding your business, he/she can help you make decisions about when to invest, when to pull back, and how to avoid paying more than you should in taxes each year.
The worst time to establish a banking relationship is when you need money. As you start your business get to know your local business banker. He/she will advise you on the types of accounts you will need, develop a cash management strategy, and secure funding when you need it.
Your Financial Planner
For many small business owners, the business is your retirement plan. The question is will this be enough? Don’t guess. A good financial planner will look at both your personal and business finances to make sure you have what you need when you are ready to walk away from the business.
Your IT and Marketing Support
Sure, you can manage your computers and software on your own. You can post content on social media and call it marketing, but just like every other element of your business, you need to stop and ask yourself, should you? Is this the best use of your time, and do you really have the expertise to manage those roles in house. If not, it is time to add these professionals to your team. In both cases, the industry is changing rapidly. You need people on your advisory board who understand both the trends and your business objectives. Lean on them to make the right suggestions about where and when to invest so you can focus on growing your business.
Build Your Business Village
Sure you may own your own business, but you don’t have to do it all on your own. Start building your village today. Don’t try to do it all at once. Find someone in one of these categories and enlist their aid in filling the other slots on your advisory board.
about the marketing minute
Each week, host Lorraine Ball shares just a few words on a marketing topic. She boils down creative ideas, practical tips, and decades of real-world experience into a mini podcast which is always less than two minutes.
Look for these mini bits of marketing inspiration every Sunday. Then come back and enjoy the longer interviews every Thursday.