Launching a new business is not easy. Any entrepreneur can tell you that owning a business is one of the most exhausting and rewarding experiences that a person can go through.Step 1: come up with a unique idea. Most entrepreneurs discover this step is relatively easy and quick to fulfill. What comes next is where entrepreneurs need some help. The process of creating, implementing, and running a company has a considerable number of steps that no single person can achieve easily.
Most entrepreneurs rely on a combination of their professional network and luck to muscle through the hurdles of starting a business. In addition to that, we suggest developing a solid business plan to help you navigate around some common pitfalls when launching a business.
Building a Business Plan is Key
One of the single most important decisions an entrepreneur can make when starting a business is to map out future steps. The business plan should include every detail that can be planned for. This includes obvious requirements such as cash flow projections or conducting market research, but it should also include far more specific tasks like the type of business entity to utilize (LP or LLC, for example).
A solid, detailed business plan typically outlines the first three to five years of your business strategy. This plan will make it easier to raise capital, grow the business, and avoid surprises such as unseen costs or additional legal requirements. However, an entrepreneur likely won’t be able to identify every single step that goes into creating a business. A business plan is only as good as the people who put it together, which is where a strong network comes into play.
Network, Network, Network
“If your business comes from relationships, relationships should be your business.” - Doug Ales
When starting a business, calling on outside help can provide critical knowledge and shed light on the small steps that are hidden or unaccounted for. Many successful entrepreneurs owe their success to the people who assisted them along the way. A strong professional network can help you overcome hurdles that seem insurmountable, such as legal oversight or raising capital.
At True North, we understand that the very best business plans are a reflection of the people behind them. Our decades of providing financial advice have us partnering with a tremendous number of experts in almost every industry. More often than not, we know professionals who can help at virtually every step of the business creation process – and our clients get access to our cultivated network of experts.
Understand All Financial Costs
As a financial advisor, True North helps our entrepreneurial clients not only walk through the steps of creating a business but the costs associated with them as well. We help them choose the optimal ways to raise capital and the most tax-advantageous ways to incorporate their company. Most importantly, we help the client understand how each choice can impact both their future business and their personal finances.
For example, a common step that startups take is raising capital. True North helps our clients weigh the pros and cons of different funding methods, whether it is a simple bank loan or more complex options, like borrowing against securities in their portfolio. We help the client understand the impact of each and every option to raise capital.
While True North does not create the loan for the client, we can put them in touch with an industry leader who can. If a client is looking for investors, True North knows venture capitalists, angel investors, or maybe even another client who is looking to be an investor in a business.
True North’s Role in Launching Your Business
While True North is primarily a financial advisor, we strive to be a valuable resource that our clients can turn to for help. We act as the quarterback through the entrepreneurial process.
Our expertise lies in helping to analyze the best financial path for our client. However, we also help flesh out ideas and brainstorm the entire company creation process with our clients, where we can uncover unexpected costs, build a cash flow model, or advise on the most advantageous business structure. Our goal is to become a trusted advisor, which means we are always available to walk through ideas with our clients.