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6 Must-have Professional Advisory Team Members for a Startup – Article #8

Must-have Professional Advisory Team Members for a Startup

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.

The Original “Dream Team”

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.’”

Why You Need Your Own Dream Team of Professional Advisors

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?

6 Must-have Professional Advisory Team Members

  • CFP®A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is the professional who specializes in managing your personal and your business’s wealth, helping you monitor and strategize the use of the money coming in and out.
    (click for more information about Financial Planners)
  • CPA – A Certified Public Accountant is the number cruncher who has responsibilities like preparing and reviewing your business’s financial reports, building income statements and balance sheets, preparing and disclosing tax returns, and more.
    (click for more information about Certified Public Accountants)
  • Attorney – This team member acts as a protector, helping you create and decipher legal documents and contracts, helping you make legally sound business decisions, and representing you in legal matters that might come up.
    (click for more information about Lawyers)
  • Insurance Agent – An insurance agent will help you determine the many types of risks you and your business could face, determine the amount of financial coverage you need, and select the right insurance options to meet your needs.
    (click for more information about Insurance Agents)
  • Banker – This person is the one you go to when you need credit card processing, loans or lines of credit, checking/savings accounts for both your personal and business life, and similar financial services.
    (click for more information about Bankers)
  • Business Coach – As the name implies, the coach will act as your motivator, assessor, guide, and counselor as you go from start-up to a seasoned business owner.
    (click for more information about Business Coaches)

Great Advisory Team Members Are Worth the Price

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.

What to Look for In Your Advisory Team

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:

  • Commitment to team success and shared goals.
  • Interdependence combined with an understanding that more is achieved together than separately.

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.

Six Players – One Incredible Team

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.

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