By | Craig Middleton
Starting your own business is a giant leap of faith, and according to Forbes, 20% of small businesses fail their first year. That’s a scary statistic, but it’s also a helpful one: It allows you to look for resources that can help you succeed. You might be wondering where those resources are and how you can tap into them. Who are the five people that you need to talk to while your small business is still just an idea?
An Existing Entrepreneur
Who better to learn the ropes than from someone who has been there before? Small businesses are all around you: The coffee stand that serves you your morning mocha, the mechanic up the road, even the lady who sells you your springtime fuchsias. With all these people right there in your community, you have all kinds of different levels of experience at your disposal. Ask one of these self-starters if you can meet them for a few minutes to discuss the technicalities of running a business. They can give you great tips including:
- Document management strategies, including a government document management system for things like tax information and HR stuff.
- Where to begin when you want to register with the department of labor.
- The best tricks of the trade when you’re trying to navigate or expedite certain processes.
You might be surprised at how many entrepreneurs are willing to talk to you about their experiences. Use the very valuable information that you learn and take copious notes, asking as many questions along the way as you can.
A Marketing Consultant
Deciding on a strategy to market your business is no small feat, especially in these digital days with seemingly endless options. A marketing consultant’s livelihood is getting small businesses like yours off the ground and running at full speed. Marketing consultants help with any number of advertising-related tasks, including but not limited to:
- Best practices for branding a logo creation, including how to brand all your products so that they look cohesive
- How to get the public’s attention through the use of keywords and search engine optimization (SEO)
- Tips for how best to set up your website and what aspects of it will drive the most traffic your way
As far as hiring a marketing consultant for your company, remember that your success is their success. They want to see your business doing well and thriving because it means that they have done their job to help you, thus allowing them to expand their portfolio. The expertise of one such professional is worth it to a business that is just starting out especially.
A Financial Specialist
Money, money, money. It’s a tricky thing to manage and to get a firm grasp on, and the truth is that not everybody has the discipline to handle that responsibility. Whether you’re the kind of person or not, discussing your options with a financial specialist can be a great way to pave the road for good monetary decisions down the road. This can be someone at your bank, an accountant or even a friend of yours who happens to be in the industry, but getting advice on how to manage your business’s money is a good idea. They can give you words of wisdom on things like:
- Money management: Where you should be spending the bulk of your cash as you go about building your business, how to apply and qualify loans as well as hacks for cutting costs.
- Employees: How much you can afford to pay your employees, how many you can expect to hire and whether or not you have room for things like benefits.
- Keeping a strict budget: Your debt-to-income ratio is picked apart as the financial specialist shows you ways to keep and save your money.
Making money is one of the main reasons you want to go into business for yourself, so it’s important to manage it wisely. Speaking to an expert before you move forward can give you a better idea of what kind of business you can afford to run and how you can expect to maintain it in the years to come.
Starting a small business is more than registering a domain name and slapping a logo on an empty webpage. Doing research and understanding the world of small business is one of the smartest steps that you can make as a budding entrepreneur. Don’t forget to take advantage of the people in your community who can help you thrive and succeed as a small business owner.