What Does Your Small Business Need?

business (8)It takes a different kind of person than the average Joe to start a business.  The demands and challenges a small business or a startup have are numerous, and the rewards sometimes are not as glorious as one imagined.  Small businesses in the state of Ohio in 2008 totaled 902,369 according to the SBA, and although there has been a shift in employment by the small business sector, the improvement in the economy will surely have a good impact in job creation in the state of Ohio.

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Legal-Ease: Small business needs team of advisers

An owner’s intelligence or work ethic is not always dispositive of a small business’s (including a farm’s) success.

In fact, the “advisory team” for a small business can disproportionately affect that business’s success or failure. That advisory team consists of more than the attorney. There are five crucial “partners” for each entrepreneur: attorney, accountant, insurance agent, lender and financial adviser.

A good attorney will help a small business owner minimize liability and make the business practically workable. Very few attorneys can lawfully claim they are specialists because there are limited subject matters for which there is lawful certification as a legal “specialist.” However, some attorneys limit their practices to specified aspects of the law or have deeper passions for certain subject matters over others.

Ignore that Accounting Problem — At Your Own Risk

Show me an entrepreneur who says they’ve never encountered an accounting problem and I’ll show you a liar. That may sound a bit extreme, but the point is simple: from a lost invoice to overlooked write-offs to something perhaps more nerve-wracking (audit, anyone?), perfection in accounting is pretty much a myth. And that’s OK.

But just because perfection is a myth, it doesn’t mean that as you discover an accounting issue, you can shrug it off and chalk it up to the imperfect nature of the universe. Why not, you ask? Because accounting issues are like wounds: untreated, they fester. And they can get nasty — quickly.

Let’s say you do some car detailing and repair out of your garage. It’s a side gig — sort of. You quote jobs verbally and “invoice” the same. After all, you’ve only done work for friends and neighbors, although you have started gaining a few referrals to folks you didn’t previously know. When you collect payment, you prefer cash, but will take a check and deposit it into your personal checking account. You’re now pulling in a nice chunk of change each month from your “side gig.”

The 6 People Every Startup Needs

There’s no magic bullet for startup success, but your team can often make-or-break it, says entrepreneur Bernd Schoner.

Schoner, who has a Ph.D. from MIT and was co-founder of RFID technologies startup ThingMagic, sold his company to Trimble Navigation in 2010 for an undisclosed sum.

ThingMagic had an original team of five co-founders. But by the time the company was acquired, Schoner says only two were remaining – leading him to think more closely about team dynamics.

“There are certain roles that people assume in a typical tech company or startup that make sense and I think if you are careful about that, then your odds of success go up,” says Schoner. He is author of the upcoming book: ‘The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide.”

While some companies start out with just one or two employees, Schoner says there are six key personality types he believes make for a great team. Here is the recipe for his dream lineup:

No. 1: The prima donna genius
“I think it’s commonly accepted in a tech startup that you better have someone with technical knowledge,” says Schoner. “You want to have someone be able to lead the technical agenda of the team.”

No. 2: The leader
Typically the CEO, Schoner says it’s important to have one person calling the shots.

“For larger founder teams … It can get very tricky if there are five opinions and all have equal weight. Democracy is great, but not in a startup,” says Choner. “The leader or CEO doesn’t always need to be right, but if [he or she] is a leader figure that others can look up to, then that’s a good thing.”