While small business owners often interact with customers and vendors throughout the day as they launch, run, and grow their business, business ownership can still be isolating – something that feels particularly true now due to pandemic-related uncertainties. Having a supportive team that gives sound, helpful advice can greatly benefit small business owners as they get back on the path to success.
Who should be on your team? To start, you’ll want an accounting professional, a business attorney, a mentor, and a coach.
These team members are likely to be outside consultants that you’ll call on for specific services, such as taxes and tax planning with your accounting professional or business formation with your attorney.
Together, we’ll look at how each team member can support your business as you navigate current and future challenges.
Why your business team is crucial now
Your business-based circle of support includes people that have expertise in areas that you may not. So, each member is essential in completing your business-management skill set.
Your team shares your goals and are there to help you achieve success. You can bounce ideas off them as well as talk over your fears and concerns. Chances are they’ll have great insights that can help you find the right solutions for your business. They can help you overcome immediate challenges, see the bigger picture, and reset long-term goals and strategies – all of which are essential as we navigate our “new normal.”
Who you need and how each team member helps
This is a critical time to develop a recovery plan with short-term and mid-range goals, and your team members can help you clarify and strategize. Turn to them for their expertise to better inform your recovery and growth plans.
Going through this process, you may need to review almost every part of your business. This could include revising financial projections, brainstorming ways to improve cash flow, and leveraging new revenue-generating opportunities. With the right team in place, you’ll have plenty of support.
Here’s how each team member can help you:
- An accountant or certified public accountant (CPA): If you haven’t already consulted with your accountant, don’t wait any longer.
If your business took a financial hit during the pandemic, you’ll need help revising your financial projections, reworking plans, and reviewing every segment of your business operations, so that you can get on firmer financial ground quickly. Your accountant can advise you on strategies, such as ways to improve your cash flow, lower your tax obligations, or optimize pandemic-related recovery assistance, including low-interest business loans.
If you received SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funds, you’ll also want your accountant’s guidance to ensure that you’re maximizing forgiveness on these programs.
- A lender: Along with the financial challenges that businesses face, there are also opportunities for growth. If you have the funding available, be prepared for either scenario.
Whether it’s with your commercial bank, another lender, or both, you should immediately begin the process of exploring loan options that are available for your business. This can include business lines of credit for short-term needs or longer-term working capital or growth loans.
- An attorney: Most small businesses don’t need the services of attorneys very often, but it’s always a good idea to have a lawyer on your team.
Attorneys can help advise you on changing your business structure, employee handbooks, or other policies or contracts. In unusual times like these, it’s especially important for your attorney to advise you on best practices as your business reopens as well as to help you mitigate challenges and avoid additional liabilities.
- A mentor or business coach: If your near future still looks filled with challenges, now’s the time for you to talk to a mentor or business coach who can help you see the bigger picture.
Having someone to talk to about your fears and uncertainties can help alleviate some of the pressure you may feel, which may reinvigorate the creativity and drive that inspired your venture in the first place.
Mentors and business coaches are wonderful resources and able to provide great ideas about the ways your business can benefit from their connections in the community.
How to develop your team if you don’t already have yours together
If you don’t already have your team members in place or have open positions to fill, here are some suggestions:
- For team members required to have certain licenses and certifications, such as accountant and attorneys, contact your local chamber of commerce. Members in these industries are typically both active in the communities they serve and well connected, so in addition to providing you with guidance in their areas of expertise, they can also be a wealth of knowledge about others who can help you. The American Bar Association also provides some pro bono assistance, i.e. help at no charge to qualified clients.
- Your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) or SCORE office can provide free mentoring and resources. They’re experienced business owners and professionals who view your success as their success. They can provide sound guidance, help you clarify ideas, find resources, and more – New York State-based businesses can also try Business Mentor NY (BMNY).
If you need a lender on your team, contact us today
At Pursuit, our mission is simple: to provide businesses with affordable loans and resources so that they can reach higher, transform and grow. Many Pursuit clients also qualify for technical assistance for marketing, financial management and more. Get in touch today and learn about ways we can help you.