Once you have your business plan in place, it’s time to build the team that will help you put it into action. The team that you choose will help you start, operate and manage your business. Whether they are employees, contractors, interns or just experts to call in a crunch, there are some factors that you should consider when choosing your support structure.
Vision: Do they fully understand your company’s’s vision, mission and goals?
Experience: Do they have the skills and experience necessary to effectively implement the business plan?
Function: Do they bring value to your organization?
At minimum, you’ll need a team of professionals you can call on for advice or contract for startup activities.
This team may include….
A Business Consultant/Writer: OK…. this is a personal plug, but you’ll realistically need an expert who can help with building your business plan and achieving your goals. The amount of documents that need to be developed at startup can be overwhelming and a great writer can help mark off a bunch of those to-do items off your list.
Designer(s): A critical early expenditure that will assist you in building the brand image of your company. From development of the company logo, creation of marketing materials, and design of your website, a professional graphic and / or web designer will set you apart from the competition.
Attorney: Startup is the time to make sure all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. An attorney will guide you through the legalities of selecting the business structure, guidance on legal matters, and contract review.
Bookkeeper and / or Accountant: The financial aspect is often the most difficult portion of starting up for many new business owners. An accountant can assist you in establishing an initial operation budget and implementing the accounting system. They can also be invaluable in filing quarterly and annual tax statements. On a monthly basis, a bookkeeper can keep the books up to date on a weekly or monthly basis with minimal cost.
Administrative or Virtual Assistant: An administrative assistant can help keep the business organized and moving forward so you can focus on the bigger picture. Most startups can’t afford an in-house administrative professional right away, but there are a growing pool of virtual assistants that can be hired to take some of the noise off the line.
One of the first lessons that new entrepreneurs learn is that they can’t do everything themselves. It is often cheaper and faster to hire an expert to help you maneuver the hurdles of startup. Take the time to map out your team structure and find the resources available to help you implement your business plan and you’ll save yourself many headaches.
About the author: The Business Girl is Terri Sullivan Biehn. I have been a professional business writer and management consultant for more than fifteen years. As a management consultant, I work with entrepreneurs to develop business plans and other documents. Through my consulting practice, I coach entrepreneurs and small business owners on their general start-up, marketing, financial, operational and management issues.