As the end of the year approaches, a lot of interesting things are being discussed at holiday parties. I met with a pair of friends yesterday who had a fun happy hour earlier this week. It was a holiday party for one of their companies and the other friend was there with her husband. Apparently, after a few drinks, they both got to talking about a business idea. Lo and behold, they both had a very similar idea. As the night wore on, they fleshed out some more details. They even sketched some things out in a text message string between themselves (so they wouldn’t forget – sounds like many drinks were involved).

So now they were sitting with me, wondering what were the next steps. Neither of them had ever owned a business before. Their husbands work for large companies and didn’t know where to begin. And so they found myself in my conference room to figure out what to do next. I told them that I’ve been working with a few other businesses and we’d come up with an acronym for the people you need around you, CALM:

Computer

The first person you need on your team is someone who knows the tech you will need to run your business. It might not be on a traditional computer, it could all be run on your phone or tablet. But someone who understands the tech behind your business is integral to your team. You will be surprised how many tech issues arise as you start your business.

Accountant

Can you do your own taxes? Sure. Many people do their own personal taxes. But when it comes to business taxes, you are in a whole different universe. I’ve had business owners tell me that they planned on doing their business tax filings. And then six months later or so, they call me back to ask for a referral to an accountant. Even though you do your own taxes, that doesn’t mean you should try to do them for your business.

Lawyer

Yes, I’m biased on this one. Just like your taxes, you can do your business filings yourself. You can find a website to give you some forms and then try to navigate yourself through the various legal requirements. But at some point, you’ll come to a dead end. There will be something that you don’t understand in the agreement or a legal issue that you can’t find a simple answer to on the internet. In my experience, when that issue gets answered, there are often other unresolved legal issues that haven’t been addressed either, creating more legal work. It’s a lot easier to get your legal issues sorted out as you grow than try to go back and fix them after the fact.

Mentor

I’ve had the benefit of a few mentors over the years. They were there for me to talk to when I spent a pretty miserable eight years working for someone who I couldn’t respect, no matter how hard I tried. Even when things were at their worst, my mentors gave me someone to talk to. For those who are starting a new business, finding a mentor is an important step. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, no matter how unique your business idea is. There are plenty of people who have already faced many of the trials and tribulations you are about to face. Rather than go it alone, find someone who has already been down that road.

Someone Else?

Am I missing someone else for your team? These are the core-four that come to mind, but I’m always open to suggestions to add to my list. Email me if you have others that should be on this list.

Next Steps

If you are thinking of starting a business or already started your business and want to make sure your legal documents are in order, give me a call and we can sit down to discuss the process and what documents would be best tailored for your company – (877) AMAYERS.

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