Starting a business can be daunting on its own. But knowing who to talk to for help and guidance can be equally as confusing if this is your first time starting a business. Family, partners, friends in that field, and more can ease your struggles as you establish your business and solve problems before you face them. Who would you turn to for aid while building your business? And are the ones we mention below some you might not have considered? Read on to learn more about who to talk when starting your business!

Who are Key People?

Typically, there are five categories of people many consider important to talk as you start your business: your partner/family, an accountant, a lawyer, a banker, a business coach or a mentor. Let’s breakdown why each are important.

  • Partner/family: Talking to your partner or spouse, or even a few close family members is important for a few reasons. Namely, if you are going to rely on their support (be it moral and/or financial) they need to understand what your business idea is. Your free time will be impacted and that could be difficult for some to adjust to. Having a conversation with your partner/family helps you all to know if your family is ready for the commitment that comes with starting a business from the ground up.
  • Accountant: Beyond offering advice during tax season, accountants can help in understanding financial statements, planning for your business’ upcoming tax needs, and the tax implications of your chosen business entity. They can connect you with financial resources. Your accountant is more than just someone to lean on during tax season – utilize all their financial knowledge as you form your business.
  • Lawyer: Like all businesses, small businesses have legal considerations you need to know about. Chatting with a lawyer – especially one who understands small business laws in your area/state – can give advice on how best to more forward in forming your business. Considering a S or C corporation as your business entity? Or maybe an LLC? A lawyer can help you with any legal paperwork required and help you understand the legal components of a business entity. A lawyer has the legal knowledge that you might not have and can work with you as you build your business.
  • Banker: Not everyone will need to talk with a banker – but it can be beneficial. If you are planning to finance your business with a bank loan it is key to have a banker to guide the way. Even if you’re not using a bank loan, having a banker can help you understand business checking account options, they can help you understand along with your accountant the finances of your business, and guide you in applications later if you apply for a business loan or line of credit. Reaching out to colleagues, your accountant, or business coach or mentor can be a good starting point to find a good bank and banker to be a resource as you start your business.
  • Business coach or mentor: Going alone in the business world can be unnerving. There are lots of unknowns that you’re unsure how to prepare for, and factors that you may not have considered. Having a business coach or mentor in your corner can be the reassuring presence and experiential knowledge that can make starting your business easier. A coach or mentor is there to offer advice – both as you start and over the years you run your business – to help you succeed. While you’ll still be doing the work of starting your business, a mentor or coach can help answer the questions you still have and be a resource to lean on for years.

Besides your spouse or partner, sometimes it can be hard to find these specific people if you’re uncertain where to start. There are lots of places to seek assistance, but it can be hard to be sure of people that can help provide trusted advice on small business matters. We’ve provided both local places to check as well as online resources below.

Local Resources

In an earlier blog we talked about local resources to find trusted help from. Local colleges can be a resource as many host small business development centers and these can be a jumping point to further connections in your field. Networking groups in the area can serve the dual purpose of connecting you to new clients and finding fellow business owners to offer advice on who they turn to for help. Typically, a quick search on your local government’s website can provide information on resources they offer as well as businesses and individuals in the community that are reputable.

Online Resources

Looking online first for help? The Small Business Administration has resources on their website as well as a tool to find resources closer to your community. Navigating their site you can find articles, worksheets, contacts to state resources, counseling resources, and even loan resources. State sites list everything for state-level resources to county-level that are accessible online or in person. Plus, the US Chamber of Commerce site has a detailed list of resources that are free to access and can help you get started moving ahead on your plans.

What are the Benefits?

These resources are great tools to have but knowing who to talk to when you need it is even better. They can lend insight on both a personal front – in the case of family or a partner – and give you sound business advice as you begin operating. Talking to the right people early on can make starting and running your business go smoother. It might feel like small businesses can be started by yourself but having people to talk to makes a world of difference in your success.

Looking to learn more?

We’ve mentioned several resources that you can access in our area, but we’re always here to help answer questions! You can give us a call at (703) 912-7862, send us an email at contact us, or use this link to set up a meeting with one of our staff members. We’ve been in your shoes, starting a small business, and can help guide you and provide insights tailored to your needs.