In my small business startup e-book I talk about the concept of developing your Entrepreneurial Dream Team. This is your personal cheerleading squad, the collective folks who, on a personal and professional level, support and move you forward towards your entrepreneurial/small business/freelancing goals.
I’ve learned more than ever the importance of this in the last 12 months, as I’ve expanded both my business and my team. My “dream team” is inclusive of both direct and indirect “advisors” who each individually serve me in a unique capacity that allows me to keep my business moving in the right direction, while also helping me stay attached to my own personal goals in creating the life I want to be living.
The Dream Team includes both direct and indirect resources. The direct group refers to anyone who has a direct relationship to the growth of my business, helping me handle the day to day tasks related to administration, marketing, sales, client projects, finance and strategic planning. They are directly working with me on the business.
The indirect team are those folks whose services still have an important impact on my business, but from an indirect relationship, such as outside vendors, influencers and people in my personal life who support and motivate me. They’re not directly working on the business with me, but they’re contributing to things like my productivity, energy and inspiration.
- My Business Coach
- My Virtual Assistant
- My Freelance Writing & Editing Team
- My Accountability Mastermind Group
- My Accountant/Financial Advisor
- My Lawyer
- My Personal Coach
- My Personal Trainer (Gotta stay energized & in shape!)
- My Husband, Friends & Family
- Members of My LinkedIn Groups & Other Trusted Sources of Information
When you’re just starting out, or in the beginning years of getting your business off the ground, it’s tempting to want to run a lean machine, and keep the overhead expenses down by trying to go it as a one-woman/man show for as long as you can. And that’s okay, but if you want to be taken seriously as a business, you have to be a serious businessperson, and that means understanding that certain resources are just non-negotiables if you want to do it right.
One of these is an accountant, and you should form a relationship with one in the state in which your business is formed from day one. You do not want to be navigating the laws of small business taxation come tax time. Be ahead of the game, be responsible, and hire a professional to help you.
I would also argue that a business coach is the next most valuable resource, despite the often high investment. But if you find a reputable professional who is a true expert in their field, and understands your line of business, no doubt your investment will be made back multiple-fold, and the will help you streamline and get your business to a point of profitability and sustainability in a matter of time.
Finally, recognize when you find yourself in a situation where you no longer have room for expansion, where you don’t have the capacity to take on additional client projects, or where things are beginning to fall through the cracks because you’re pushed to the limit. This is the time to look into hiring administrative help, whether you go through a virtual assistant service such as GetFriday, or hire a dedicated individual to take tasks off of your place that aren’t within your core competencies.
As I mentioned in past posts, I grew my revenue nearly 400% in a little less than a year, and that was from an already decent starting point when I rebranded last June. While it’s nice to pat myself on the back once in awhile and savor the success, I also wholeheartedly credit much of that to my exceptional team of talented supporters who have helped my business thrive, survive, and get to the next level. And every once in awhile, they also help me retain my own sanity.