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Top Ten Small Business Mastermind Advisers All Small Business Owners Need To Have to Succeed
The statistics on small businesses going broke in the first 12 months of operation are nothing short of obscene and seriously scary. In Australia and other western countries such as the United States 70% of all small businesses fail within the first 12 months of operation but let me tell you from experience, surviving after that 12 months is no less harrowing.
After 10 years of running four small businesses and creating them from scratch I can tell you with some authority, that I did not do this on my own. In fact, I reckon I have made every mistake in the book on how not to run a small business, but yet I have still survived. The secret to staying in business is all down to being able to talk to my ten Small Business Mastermind Advisers.
My ten Small Business Mastermind Advisers are there as my support team in helping me make the right decisions. See often when we make a decision in small business, it might be right at the time but down the track it can do you a lot of harm. Having your small business mastermind advisers on call, you can simply call them and ask them the consequences of the choices you are about to make.
For example, having the right business structure and putting your business assets in the right structure will play a major roll in the success of your business when you decide to exit the business. Se e most people who go into business only ever think of the business as a job they do not look at it from the perspective of how they will exit the business when they have built it into an enterprise.
Those ten small business mastermind advisers will help you to ensure that you have met your obligations and that there are no hidden issues that might come up in the future for your business. For example, we recently chose to sell off our car cleaning business as my wife wanted to pursue something different. Because of the way I had structured some of the trademarks in my company that related to hers, when we went and sold the business it created a number of headaches in the sale process. Essentially we had to shift ownership of those trademarks to her company prior to the sale which created a number of financial costs that we have had to endure even though my company never made any money. This issue arose simply because in the early days, I did not have my 10 Small Business Mastermind Advisers to tell me how my choices would impact on me in the future.
Adviser 1: Accountant
In business today, with the complexities of superannuation, sales tax or GST, income tax and all the other taxes out there an accountant is a must. As a small business owner you need to find an accountant that is a small business specialist and is proactive in working with you.
What I have found is that some accountants will only do what you ask them to do and will not step in and give you advice if you do not ask. You want an accountant that if they see you are doing something wrong then they will tell you without you asking.
The other thing you will need to ensure is that you hire an accountant that outlines where all of their hours are going. It is very easy for you with accountants and solicitors to end up with 5 or 6 figure bills.
Adviser 2: Solicitor
They can also help you protect your assets and in particular your intellectual property like trademarks, copyright etc. Often small business owners do not do the basics of trademarking their business name and logos to stop other business predators using their identities.
Adviser 3: Marketing and Advertising Expert
A Marketing and Advertising Expert is a must in today's market place. I have found that with the various media types, people in the industry can get better deals than if you dealt with the media owners. For example, recently I chose a new advertising specialist to join my small business mastermind advisers because their company was able to negotiate lower television advert placements, than what I could dealing directly with the station.
Your marketing and advertising expert should have some experience in your industry and be able to show real statistics of adverts and marketing campaigns that actually achieved results. More so, they should also have a mantra of test and measure to ensure that your campaigns are giving you value for money and more so, are making you a profit.
Adviser 4: Bookkeeper
Some accountants have their own bookkeepers, but I have found that quite often they are more expensive than bookkeepers not tied into an accountant. Further to this you should always check to make sure the bookkeeper is certified. In some countries, including Australia, bookkeepers can be certified through the National Bookkeepers association or the CPA.
Your bookkeeper must be prepared to work with your accountant and if they have questions you must give them permission to speak with your accountant and more so, you need to make sure that they document all communications with your accountant.
Remember one thing, it does not matter whether your Bookkeeper or your accountant makes a mistake, ultimately, you as the business owner are responsible for your books. If they get it wrong, it will be on your head, so always make sure that you understand what they are doing.
Adviser 5: IT Person
Everybody hates computers and I am a 20 year veteran of the industry and I still hate them. Having a good IT person is essential. Most businesses today are now totally reliant on their IT Technology and if your technology goes down, the question you need to ask is, "could your business still operate?" If the answer is no, then you need to hire an IT person who will be there in an emergency.
When choosing an IT Person or company make sure they are qualified in the technology you are using. For example, if you are using Microsoft Windows technology in your office, then your IT Person should have at the very least the Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician qualification.
Adviser 6: Website and Search Engine Expert
If your business is not on the web and you are not selling products to the global market then you are making your life incredibly difficult and you are missing out on lots of opportunities. The internet is a fantastic tool for doing business but be warned there are lots of crooks out there, especially in the search engine optimization industry.
Before choosing a web builder and search engine expert ask to speak with some of their existing clients or talk to other business associates and find out who they use. I will say you should expect to pay anywhere between ,500 to ,000 per month for this service depending on your business and what sort of income you want to derive from the internet.
Adviser 7: Business Coach
Business Coaches, are like website and search engine experts, there are a lot of snakes out there who have no real small business experience. Before choosing a Business Coach ask them if they have ever owned a small business or if they had been a principle small business manager.
If you have been in small business for a while, then it will be very obvious to you as to which business coaches have owned businesses before going into business coaching. Their approach will tend to be more practical then something out of a book. Once again before choosing a business coach, talk to your business colleagues and see if they can recommend someone.
Adviser 8: Financial Planner
Managing your money is a major issue and most accountants will not give you Financial Planning Advice. A good financial planner will be able to help you where to put your business money, to get good growth but also to be easily accessible.
You should also have a good financial planner for your personal 401k or superannuation policy but also if you are managing an employer superannuation program. Most small business owners forget to build their own 401k or superannuation policy as they are building their business and when they get to selling their business they find they do not have enough to live on once they retire because once the business debts are paid off, nothing is left.
Adviser 9: Business Banker
Finding the right bank and right business banker is essential to succeeding in business. You definitely need to build a constructive relationship with your business banker as they will be your life line in a dire cashflow situation or if you need money for a deal you just could not let go by.
Business Bankers can also help you with other issues like leasing and hire purchase accounts, but also other facilities like merchant facilities, sales tax bank accounts etc.
Adviser 10: Insurance Broker
I learned the hard way on how important an insurance broker is to your business. The previous insurance company I dealt with did not advise me that none of the glass in my building was covered if I was broken into. I have extensive insurance, but because Glass was an optional extra, the previous insurance company did not tell me this and when we were broken into, even though I pay over ,000 per year in insurance, I still had a ,000 bill for all the glass damaged during a break and enter.
This particular experience really drove home, how a good insurance broker, whilst upfront might cost you more, in the future will save you more.
Just like any employee when you are putting together your Small Business Mastermind Advisers you need to interview each adviser and ensure that you are able to work with them. Further to this, to get the best advice from your Small Business Mastermind Advisers you must be 100% honest and open with them, even when things are looking dire. If you are not totally honest, then they cannot give you the advice that will help you get out of trouble.
About the Author: Would you like to learn more on developing your own Small Business Mastermind Adviser Group or how to implement the Thirteen Secret Steps all millionaires know in the path to becoming an obscenely wealth and successful person. Then find out how with a copy of our Think and Grow Rich book by Napoleon Hill and our audio package. Check out our Meditation Music to help you master this important program.