How do you figure out what advisors you need to help you create your business? You basically look at the structure of your business and then figure out what you don’t know and whom to ask. Some advisors are professionals, like lawyers. Some are consultants, like business experts, mentors, coaches, and teachers. And some are just peers with some experience.
Obviously, the simpler the structure of your business, the fewer the number of advisors you will need. However, even the simplest business model, like a solo business or a two-person partnership will need at least a legal advisor, a financial advisor, and a marketing advisor. A legal advisor is someone who will help you create the proper legal structure your business. A financial advisor will help you structure the fiscal side of your business operations. And a marketing advisor will help you figure out how to get leads by creating a marketing process.
In fact, if you are not selling your own merchandise, but selling affiliate products, you will not get very far without a good mentor in affiliate marketing training.
A Business Is a Complex Organization
Starting a business is a complex venture. You’re not just selling things: you’re building an infrastructure to support your right to sell something to a targeted audience called consumers.
Here, for instance, here are some areas you will probably need some professional advice on:
- · Legally, you need advice on meeting local and state government regulations. You need someone who knows about things like registering, licensing, and insuring your business.
- · Structurally, if you have a fairly large staff, you may need the guidance of investors, directors, and officers.
- · Economically, a human resource expert will help you comply with labor regulations when you fill a variety of staff position.
In addition, you may need to work with outside experts, like lawyers, accountants, and subject matter consultants.
In short, creating a legal entity is not something that you can do alone with much success; you need to work with a variety of advisors to make sure that every aspect of your business is properly organized and legally structured to serve your customers in the most ethical and responsible way.
How to Select the Best Advisors
Now that you understand how you need good advice on many aspects of setting up and running your business, you probably also recognize that if you get some bad advice, it could steer you in the wrong direction. If, for instance, you solicited free advice from a friend who was in law school who didn’t know much about how to set up a corporation, you might go about setting up the least suitable corporate structure for your business model.
Here, then, are some tips on how to select the right advisor for the information you need to know:
- 1. Ask about the advisors experience. You want to make sure that you are getting advice from someone who knows what they are talking about.
- 2. Talk about past successes and failures that they’ve experienced in the course of their work.
- 3. Pose a hypothetical question to see what kind of advice they come up with.
- 4. Find out if they have worked with someone who had a similar problem to the one you’re asking advice on.
Distinguish between Advisors
You may find yourself surrounded by people who are willing to offer you advice, but you have to learn to distinguish between good and bad advice.
Usually, you’re fairly safe if you need some basic information from someone who is a professional and whom you pay for their advice. For instance, an accountant would probably give you some good advice on understanding the difference between an income statement and a cash flow statement. He or she would explain that an income statement describes your assets and liabilities while a cash flow statement describes your company’s inflow and outflow of cash.
On the other hand, you should question advice you receive from a business colleague about how to market and sell your products. This person might be offering valuable insight based on their own business experience, or they could have failed to understand your particular business model and point you in the wrong direction.
Starting a business is analogous to organizing a team sport. In order to be successful, you may have to temper your rugged individualism and listen to some good advice. While the right advice will help you get ahead, the wrong advice could harm your business. So, the secret to success is figuring out what type of advice to get, whom to get it from, and how to distinguish between relevant and misleading advice.