I know you’re excited to start your business. You may be thinking, “Come on, Justin! Enough is enough. I’m tired of this prep work. Let’s get down to business.” Well, time out. Before hitting the hardwood, you need to assemble your team… a professional advisory team of players to help with technical matters. You will need to establish your business as an entity, get advice about tax issues, seek loans from investors, on an on. You will need professional help from these highly educated and professional business advisors.
If you are over the age of 35, more than likely the term “Dream Team” conjures up memories of the 1992 US Olympic Basketball Team. This unbelievable hand-picked group of NBA players had the skill-sets that allowed them to easily stomp the competition and take home the gold medal. Head coach Chuck Daly reflected on this special group by saying, “[Competing players] knew they were playing the world’s best. They could go home and tell their kids, ‘I played against Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.’”
Once you decide to begin a business, you need to assemble the same kind of dream team. Typically, this advisory team will help your start-up generate a broader range of ideas than you can on your own. Brainstorming with others can lead to innovative and creative solutions. Thus, you need a team of players who can listen to your ideas, challenge you, correct you, refocus you, direct you, mentor you, balance you, and help you.
You need advisors to keep you at the top of your game in the business world. It’s crucial that you select members who are top-notch achievers in their fields and who will work with your best interests in mind.
But, who are these advisors? Which professionals can best guide you through your business’s start-up phase and keep you rooted throughout your business’s life?
I often hear aspiring entrepreneurs tell me, “I can’t afford this. I don’t have the money to pay for help. My family or friends can help me for free.” This misconception is one of the main reasons so many start-ups struggle or fail. If you want your business to compete against the best-of-the-best in your marketplace, you need to build a dream team of professional advisors who know how to make that happen. If you find team members whose skill sets and personalities balance each of the others’, then your business could achieve ten times more than those with the “wrong” team members or with no team members at all.
You must take great care when assembling your dream team. Not everyone works well in a team environment. Successful teamwork relies on cooperation, flexibility, and collaboration among members. You must promote an environment that nurtures confidence, participation, and contribution. Each team member must be willing to listen and adapt. If all members can share their experiences and expertise, each can enhance every aspect of your business.
To find the right team members, make sure candidates demonstrate the following qualities:
The team and what’s best for your business must take precedence over individual goals and egos. Successful teams are motivated and engaged. They aim for the business’s success rather than their own.
When you start a business, many people will help you along the way. Parents, friends, children, teachers, and mentors may inspire you and help you. However, if you want to make your business as successful as possible, I believe you need to assemble your own version of the “Dream Team” to advise you. The six professional advisory team members will work together to help you achieve your dreams and take home “business gold.”
Next Step: Officially define your business by picking the best business structure for your startup.