By Karol Hines
As a startup or small business owner, it is important to manage all aspects of your company. In addition to the obvious things like engineering, development, branding, marketing, sales and customer support, this includes administrative functions like finance/accounting, human resources, legal and information systems.
Many new business owners are tempted to handle the administrative tasks on their own, or hire a low paid, inexperienced office worker. After all, it’s easy to install software like QuickbooksTM or create spreadsheets to record your income and expenses, keep track of customers’ orders and vendors’ payments. But, will you be able to produce monthly financial reports? Even with a great accounting tool, if you don’t set up your system and chart of accounts correctly, you will have a hard time keeping track of your cash flow and knowing for certain if your business is profitable.
The Nevada office of the Secretary of State has a very helpful web site through which you can register a business name, set up your business entity, and get a state business license. But, do you know whether your business should be an LLC, Partnership or Corporation? And, what other local registrations and licenses are required for business?
What I have often seen in working with startups and small businesses is owners having to unwind a complicated situation they have gotten themselves into because they “couldn’t afford” to pay an accountant, lawyer, consultant or other professional to help them get their organization and management systems set up correctly. The reality is that not getting advice and assistance up front is usually much more costly when things have to be fixed down the road.
Realistically, you may not even know what kind of expert you need to make sure you have everything in place to run your business. So where do go to find the experts and advise on what experts you need?
Here are some ideas on places to start:
- Nevada Small Business Development Center; statewide business assistance and outreach program of UNR; 775-784-1717.
- Other Reno organizations profiled here recently are Entrepreneurs Assembly and C4CUBE.
- Adams Hub; co-working space, Hub advisors, mentors and service provider network.
- Business Resource Innovation Center (BRIC); access to advanced digital tools and training in their use; 108 E. Proctor Street.
Karol Hines is a Management Consultant and NCET’s Vice President of Event Management.