When you decide to finally turn that side-hustle into a full-time gig, you need all the help you can get to make the time and energy you are putting into your dream project worthwhile.
While you may be an expert at designing jewelry or handbags, chances are you are not also an expert in effectively allocating capital resources, state and federal compliance guidelines and all of the legalities that come along with owning a small business. You might also be in panic mode, wondering how you will ever make it through the white noise of emerging businesses.
You are not alone.
JWA has, over the years, become a go-to for startups. Outside of developing a robust clientele, it has enabled us to have a front seat view of the good, the bad and the ugly of the entrepreneurial experience. What we came to understand was that the best outcomes came when clients made several initial investments.
Below, we have detailed three initial hires that you may want to consider to mitigate the entrepreneurial headache.
Hire a Public Relations & Marketing Agency.
The startup marketplace has never been more saturated. Newsflash: it isn’t going to get any less competitive. Effective communication strategies and brand awareness are one of (if not the most) important things that an entrepreneur needs to consider in the immediate. Think of your PR folks as your storytellers. They let everyone else know why they need to know you. Trust us…that is key.
A good public relations team will work hard to give your brand the media visibility it deserves and help generate the trust with your audience that you will absolutely need. Hopefully, most of their work will turn into direct or indirect sales for your business. Their goal is simple: to produce results for your business. It will feel so good to have somebody take the headache of marketing and media relations off your shoulders so you can focus on more important things…like your bottom line.
Signing with a local agency should be among the very first steps for a young brand. [Enter J. Waylon & Associates. 😉] Even prior to launching, a PR + Marketing agency can help to create an effective communications plan-of-action and brand strategy. This will help tremendously to ensure that your messaging stays on-brand and in the media.
Hire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Whether you are starting from scratch using an assumed name (DBA), or you established an LLC from the beginning, there are some really important (and rather complicated) tax laws that you need to understand prior to cashing that first check. Many startups realize this the hard way and end up paying large penalties, or worse, fall out of the good graces of the IRS. Take it from us, that is not the path you want to take.
Having a CPA in your arsenal from the beginning will help you navigate the complicated and frustrating realm of business finance. Outside of helping you to understand the structure of your company, a good CPA firm can help you stay compliant with your Texas franchise taxes, keep you on track with all of your bookkeeping, and provide you a roadmap with staying current on your federal taxes.
Finding a firm that specializes in startups and SMB’s is super important because they have a deeper understanding of what financial documents will be important for your business. While there are a number of CPA’s in DFW, when it comes to our clients, we always recommend Kelly CPA.
Her team comes backed with years of experience specializing in entrepreneurs, creative startups, nonprofits and influencers. They understand the ins and outs of the ever-evolving tax code, accounting best practices and compliance and regulation. Easier said, they do the heavy lifting when it comes to making the most out of your money.
By the way, they also handle all of our taxes and bookkeeping.
Their website provides some compelling Insights for entrepreneurs and they offer a monthly Accounting Free Clinic (cookies included). Each quarter, her team also hosts a Need2Know Seminar – an intimate seminar (with dinner + drinks) that elaborates on a topic of interest for startups and business owners.
Hire a Business Attorney. (A really good one.)
One of the biggest mistakes that startups make is assuming that they will only need a business attorney if they enter into the litigation battleground. Wrong. Business attorneys help to protect your assets in a variety of ways, and finding and retaining one should be a top priority of a new company.
While having an attorney on retainer provides some ease of mind for future legal issues, perhaps more importantly, it helps to create a culture of compliance from the get-go. A business attorney can help review your contracts with landlords, vendors, clients and even employees (think non-disclosures).
They can also assist with the legal formation of your business by way of partnership agreements, articles of incorporation, company governance, establishing an LLC or Corporation, and working on your behalf with other legal and financial documents that you may need for banking and other purposes. Finding an attorney that focuses on entrepreneurs and startups is important.
Our advice? Call Edwards Law, PLLC. Beth knows her stuff inside and out, and thrives on contract law.
Questions? Shoot us a message.