Starting a business isn’t easy. I found that out quickly over the last six months as I ramped up for the day I rolled out my new venture Bodhi Business Advisors.
As an accountant with nearly 15 years’ experience, eight years in public accounting working directly for the partner of a small firm & seven more in the finance departments of corporate America, I figured I had a leg up on others. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Filing organizational documents, registering for an EIN & applying for credit lines are basic CPA 101 tasks, except I needed a lesson that wasn’t taught in undergrad, grad school or even on the CPA exam.
Where do I start? What do I tackle first? How do I reach potential clients? What is a marketing plan? Which social media platform do I use & what do all of the acronyms mean? All burning questions that kept me up more than a few nights. I’m still working out the details of the ‘secret sauce’ but have learned two things, 1: you can’t do it all by yourself & 2: you need to surround yourself with the best people to make it happen.
It’s crucial as a business owner that you understand all the moving pieces & parts of your business but can’t actually be moving all of the levers yourself. Case in point, I tried to design my website from a template based design site. I spent way too much time trying to upload my logo which was either the wrong file type or the size was too big. Two hours of my life I will never get back. I can laugh about it now but wasn’t so funny when I decide to call that project quits. After the website debacle, I decide that I needed to enlist the help of someone with the right skill set. Lesson learned.
That leads me to my second point, surround yourself with the best people that you can go to for advice or assistance & help you get the job done. I am a firm believer in the theory that we meet everyone for a reason. Work on building strong personal relationships with people. Those relationships, directly or indirectly may help you secure the financing you need to expand your business or connect you with the person that will work to expand your sales into another region. Whatever the reason, you need to ask for help. Your accountant & trusted business advisor is a great place to start to find connections & support for your business. An accountants’ personal business, as well as client experiences are great lessons. If you don’t have an accountant, get one!