They say it takes a village to raise a child. But, if that’s the case, it can often feel like it takes an entire nation to run a business.
It’s no secret that managing your own company involves a serious amount of legwork and elbow grease. And, even if you are incredibly dedicated, efficient, and accomplished, you can never do it all yourself. There are bound to be certain tasks, projects, and pieces that require you to enlist some help.
This is exactly why it’s important to have a roster of people and professionals in your corner—they’ll be the experts and resources you can lean on in those times when you need information or a little guidance.
Keep in mind that these can vary depending on your specific business and chosen industry. After all, you likely won’t need to enlist the help of a lawyer if you’re opening up your own law practice. But, this list should get your wheels churning and help you take the leap to get started!
Here are seven people you’ll want in your network when starting a business.
From contracts and insurance to permits and licenses, running a business comes with enough complicated legal language to make your head spin. Doing your best to Google all of that mumbo jumbo and jargon simply leaves you blurry eyed and frustrated.
Needless to say, having the business card of a legal professional in your back pocket will be incredibly helpful when you need someone to provide clarification and break down all of the ridiculous language included in a contract. Plus, a lawyer will help you ensure that you always know what you’re agreeing to when you sign your name on the dotted line—because nasty surprises are never fun.
A lawyer will help you ensure that you always know what you’re agreeing to when you sign your name on the dotted line.
2. Accountant or Tax Professional
I’m a words person, not a numbers person. So when the dreaded tax season arrives, my tax guy is, quite literally, my lifesaver.
If you’re also one of those people who let out an exhausted sigh at the mere thought of receivables, expenses, and quarterly taxes, an accounting or tax professional is definitely someone you’ll want to be in contact with.
Even if you use a user-friendly to accounting software manage your business’ finances on your own through most of the year, meeting with a tax accountant every now and then will confirm that you’re doing things right—especially your first time around!
3. Web Developer
Think about the last time you wanted to try out a new restaurant. What’s one of the first things you did? I’m willing to bet you searched for their website. But what did you think when your search only returned a Whitepages listing and a few Yelp reviews? You were probably a little skeptical of the quality of that restaurant, right?
In this day and age, your business absolutely needs to be online. It’s not only a great way to make it easy for new customers to find you, but it also establishes a little more legitimacy and credibility as a business owner.
If you don’t feel confident in your abilities to set up your own site, enlisting the help of a web developer is key. Aside from actually getting your site up and running, they’ll also be a great resource when you experience any bugs and issues (such as your site crashing or your contact form not working the way it should). Having someone proficient you can call in those sheer moments of panic? Priceless.
If you’re putting together a website, chances are you’re going to want high quality photography to include. Whether it’s product photos or professional headshots, images are crucial to establish your brand identity and give people a good sense of what your business is all about—there really is a big difference between telling and showing.
Enlist the help of a photographer in order to get the images you need and then establish a relationship from there. Having this creative resource in your repertoire is important when you require updated images or are hosting an event you need snapshots of. Even if you don’t think you’ll have a huge need for additional photos down the road, a photographer is always a worthwhile addition to your network.
5. IT Support
Your computer crashes. You’ve somehow downloaded a terrible virus. You can’t get the software you desperately need to install correctly. When you own your own business, who will you call when these problems occur? Personally, I work out of my house completely alone—and my dog hasn’t yet proven to be helpful with any technical issues.
When these frazzling and harrowing moments arise, it’s always nice to know you can reach out to a tech whiz to guide you through these problems. Believe me, issues will happen—and you’ll be glad you have someone on hand who can help!
Let’s face it—running a business is hard. And, it’s easy to feel like you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, particularly when you’re just getting started.
This is when your mentor comes in. Finding someone who’s been through it all before and can show you the ropes is not only a great asset when you need guidance and advice, but it can also be an incredible source of inspiration. Talking with someone who’s already experienced all of those challenges and then went on to make their business successful is usually enough to keep you going—even in those moments when things seem unbearably difficult.
Finding someone who’s been through it all before and can show you the ropes is a great asset when you need guidance and advice.
Speaking of those times when things feel overwhelming and impossible, you’re going to need someone who can offer the support and encouragement you need to pick yourself up and keep moving forward.
Whether it’s a parent, friend, or significant other, having a cheerleader behind you is important for motivating you to keep your chin up when the going gets tough. Even better than that? Having someone there to celebrate all of those wins and successes with you!
Starting and running your own business involves some serious hard work and dedication and there’s no way you can do it alone. Make sure you have these important people and resources in your network, and you’re well on your way to success! Because hey, even Arianna Huffington and Mark Zuckerberg need help every now and then.