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Once your start-up business is up and running, you quickly have to become adept at juggling many tasks some of which you might have no previous experience of. From writing a marketing strategy to hiring in talent or even balancing the books, there's likely to be something that you haven't done before one of the major challenges of setting up your own business is having to quickly adapt, or spend time on tasks which aren't your forte or that you don't especially enjoy. You'll quickly begin to gain confidence and also the valuable knowledge of knowing your business inside out.
However, it's really important to acknowledge the limits of your own abilities too. When it comes to technical matters such as IT security, accounting, building a brand, legal affairs and the like, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Knowing when you're out of your depth and it's time to contact an attorney, call a recruitment consultant or work with a marketing agency is hugely important - their specialised knowledge and experience handling niche areas of business can be invaluable. Access to these professional services can be key to help your business grow as efficiently and quickly as possible, without making as many mistakes along the way.
Perhaps the most fundamental element to source outside support with are the legal and financial components of your business. Consulting a skilled attorney should be a part of due diligence with any large decision that will impact the future of your company. Issues like setting up a corporation if you've always been a sole trader, obtaining IP protection or patents on products, tax planning, real estate deals and expanding into new territories are all highly legally complex moves where any misstep has the potential to bring down your business entirely, so work with a professional to ensure a smooth transition. Similarly, a small business accountant is an absolute must to consult on any financial changes in the business, from setting up a pension to chasing bad debt. It's rare that a business starts up without some input from these providers, so it's important not to forget about them as you stabilize and grow. Indeed, a lot of issues will only get more complex as your business scales up, so it's more essential than ever to access the right support.
If you didn't gel with your initial providers or you're looking for someone new, how do you find the service professional who will best compliment you and what you do? The number one best route for finding any business support professional has to be a referral. Use your network and leverage the power of your contacts to find a best fit provider. Look at their current client list or evidence of previous projects to understand how they might best be able to help your company. For example, if you're looking for a marketing agency to develop your brand, their website should usually include details of recent projects so you can assess their creative approach. Find other small businesses you trust who have used an agency to reposition themselves and can make introductions. Sometimes great referrals also come from other professionals you're already networked with - for example, your accountant may know a great IT support service or a really helpful business lettings agent they have worked with before who could really help you out. Use your contacts and you'll soon find people who can really support your business.
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