Just like a snowflake, everyone’s business is unique. Even when you are systemizing a business or franchising locations, there’s only so much you can replicate. At the end of the day, the business owner needs to be able to put their individual stamp on the business. Based on a couple of meetings I had last week, there’s going to be some interesting businesses opening up this fall. Each of the business owners is in different industries, but there were plenty of things in common when we sat down to plan out their fall launches.
Both clients are setting up office-based businesses (as opposed to a retail shop). One of their first major decisions was what kind of office space to have. For both of them, the advice was the same – don’t take on too much overhead before you need it. Rather than signing that long-term office lease, they are both going to look at “virtual” and “co-working” options. These types of arrangements allow you to grow into your space, rather than get caught in an obligation for years of rent.
When I first began representing businesses, this piece was often the most complex one to sort out. But these days, this is often the easiest step to figure out. Most people already have a computer that can handle what they need for their business. When you add in their cell phone and a tablet, the technology options are often the easiest piece of the puzzle.
In one of the meetings, the client’s business plan had detailed systems for accounting. But there was one missing piece: an accountant. While the client had designed the system, there had been no input from an accountant. What might work for you and your personal style might not work for an accountant who is working with your business. Especially if you are looking at a specific piece of accounting software, check with your accountant before you sign that long-term software contract.
The type of marketing for your business will be what is comfortable for you. Sometimes, a lot of direct mail marketing is in store. Other times, you’ll find that online marketing is a great way to generate business and get customers. Some businesses may need to hire a marketing director right off the bat, while others can use independent contractors to get the ball rolling. Look at your competitors. What are they doing? Is it successful? Regardless, the more important question is:
Is it right for you???
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.
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.
If your ready to get your business idea off the ground, give me a call and mention that you are starting a business. I hold open special appointment slots for new business owners and we can sit down to discuss the process and some next steps to get you up and running – (877) AMAYERS.