Starting and running your own San Diego business is as challenging as it is rewarding. At every turn, business owners are faced with new obstacles and it often seems like every choice is a make or break decision. This is precisely why it is so important that young and growing businesses are supported by trusted advisors. A team of professionals experienced in banking, accounting, payroll, insurance and the law reduces the friction young and growing businesses are certain to bump up against moving forward. While it obviously may not be practical for every new business to retain and/or hire a complete staff of professionals, understanding the important role each professional plays in the business world is essential. As a business grows, having a complete team is the only way to ensure that the business is protected from potential liabilities.
Banking: Choosing the right bank is especially important in those early months of operation. At the very least, you want the branch manager to know you by name. It’s helpful to do a preliminary internet search and see what others are saying about the banks in your area. Local community banks often offer more personalized service. Ultimately, you want to know that you can get someone on the phone that knows you and cares about your needs.
Insurance: No matter what type of business you run and whether or not you believe your personal assets are protected through the formation of a formal business entity (i.e. a corporation or a limited liability company), obtaining adequate insurance at the onset is a necessity. Even where companies comply with the legal formalities necessary to ensure personal assets are protected from liability, no entrepreneur is interested in losing their initial investment as the result of a single event. Workers compensation insurance (if you hire employees), health insurance, life insurance (especially for partnerships), general liability insurance, property insurance, auto insurance, and malpractice insurance are all important. Finding the right insurance agent, particularly one that has experience insuring your type of business ensures that you obtain the proper types and levels of coverage. Develop a relationship with an agent you trust.
Accounting and Payroll: While many entrepreneurs see the hiring of accounting and payroll personnel as a luxury especially at the onset, as a business grows so does its need for accurate books and quality management. The company’s taxes, borrowing power and stability depend on fundamental accounting methods and compliance with state and federal employment regulations. If it is impractical to hire accounting and human resource personnel at first, consider outsourcing the work. There are exceptionally cost effective companies out there that cater to the young and growing business.
Legal Services: Because your business will make routine decisions that have legal consequences, it is critical that an attorney is on your team of advisors from the start. Your attorney will provide invaluable guidance in determining levels of insurance coverage, determining the type of business entity to form, developing employee policies, complying with federal, state and local law and regulation, drafting and negotiating contracts and protecting your company’s intellectual property such as your company’s name. This list is not exhaustive. Develop a relationship early on with an attorney that you can trust, and ask that he or she give your business a legal check up. This can usually be done for a reasonable fee. Be sure that the attorney understands your business model, long term goals and marketing plan. Talk to other business owners in your area for references. In the end, it is important that you are protected from unforeseen complications.
A team of trusted advisors puts the expertise of multiple professionals at your finger tips, professionals that often work together to achieve your business goals.