So far in your journey of starting a business, you should have identified your Business Idea and undertaken Research on the viability and what’s required for your business idea, but it’s time now to consult relevant Experts.
The only way to be sure whether the numbers and plan for your business stack up is to get expert advice.
Relevant professionals can help you develop a robust business plan and can assist with research questions that you couldn’t answer yourself.
Before selecting a professional though, check their qualifications and whether they’re affiliated with any professional membership organisations and ask to see a testimonial or speak to one of their customers to confirm their abilities. You may like to check out our article on how to choose the right expert.
If you believe you will need to engage an expert on an ongoing basis for your business, you can also ask them for a proposal with costs for what they can provide.
Here are the top 5 experts you may consider consulting, though there may be other ones depending on your industry or business of choice.
1. Accountant/Financial Advisor
A good accounting firm will also have expertise and qualifications that enable them to not only check your figures, but be able to provide advice on budgets, financial forecasts and funding options. They may also be able to provide advice on purchasing a business, business structures, payroll tax and compliance.
Depending on your business of choice you may like to consult a solicitor. They can provide advice on or assist with partner, supplier, purchase or franchise agreements, employee contracts, conveyancing, intellectual property.
If your legal issue is specific to one area then it’s worth engaging an expert in that area, rather than a general law solicitor.
A marketing expert can provide advice on your target markets and branding, as well as what tactics you may need to reach them.
They can develop or provide advice on a marketing strategy that you can include in your Business Plan.
If you’re not sure where to start with your marketing and what to ask an expert, you can watch a free 1 hour training video here or check out our free marketing tools and articles here as well as here.
You should consult your local, state and federal government departments or agencies that oversee small business, as well as those specific to your industry to confirm or check your business requirements.
The following is Australian-based information, though the basic principles apply to most businesses regardless of location. Your state or territory most likely has a website with small business resources and can provide further information on your business requirements. A list of such sites in Australia and New Zealand can be found here.
They may be able to provide advice on:
- What licences you need. What regulations apply to your business and industry? What key legislation do you need to be aware of? Employment legislation?
- What International Standards you need to follow?
- What insurances you need?
- Business structures and tax obligations?
- Eligibility for government assistance through schemes such as NEIS or financial grants.
5. Industry Representatives
Search online for the leading industry associations and membership organisations for your industry of choice.
They often provide relevant information on requirements for their industry on their websites and may provide contacts for further information.
You may like to sign up for industry newsletters via their websites as well.
You may also like to check out our article on how to choose the right expert as well as this article on getting small business advice and support.
With the input of experts you should be able now to develop or refine your Business Plan, which is the next Step in Starting a Business.