We Help You With

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Structuring

THE OLD WAY

Professionals used to design business structures to suit where they thought you were going. Since their fees were so high, they would build in ‘wiggle room’ so the structure might survive a few of the inevitable iterations and changes that would arise in the first few years of your business.

WHY THIS DOESN’T WORK

Businesses emerge or fall by the wayside, for a variety of reasons. A founder doesn’t usually (ever[1]) know exactly where the journey will take him or her. The structure you build will inevitably be wrong for the business that eventually emerges.

You can be almost certain though, that you will have paid too much for a structure that doesn’t work in a few years.

[1] Of course, like most founders you probably believe that you have discovered the “secret sauce” and the world will beat a path to your door.

WHY THIS DOESN’T WORK

Businesses emerge or fall by the wayside, for a variety of reasons. A founder doesn’t usually (ever[1]) know exactly where the journey will take him or her. The structure you build will inevitably be wrong for the business that eventually emerges.

You can be almost certain though, that you will have paid too much for a structure that doesn’t work in a few years.

[1] Of course, like most founders you probably believe that you have discovered the “secret sauce” and the world will beat a path to your door.

WHAT DOES WORK – BUILD A SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE STRUCTURE THAT WORKS NOW

At the outset you may need to take advantage of tax incentives or expected tax losses. Two years from now you may need to restructure to meet the needs of a foreign investor, or a key international client.

Our advice – work like heck to grow your business now. Then restructure after you know what your investors, your clients – or your business needs.

Design and Marketing

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM

New businesses used to be sold identity packages by printers and graphic designers. You’d get a new logo, business cards, letterhead and envelopes. Today their descendants will try to sell you a “branding strategy” and an online presence complete with SEO (search engine optimization). The hope is that the world will beat a path to your door.

WHY THIS DOESN’T WORK

You can’t copy the marketing strategy of large local or national companies, with deep pockets and lots of resources. What they teach you at college in MARKETING 101 doesn’t make sense for a new startup or a small, family business.

WHAT DOES WORK – KNOW WHO YOUR TARGET MARKET IS AND TARGET THEM DIRECTLY

New businesses need to know who their ideal customer is – and need to pursue them, probably directly. A decent name and logo doesn’t hurt, but your website is most likely to be like an online brochure. People will find you by looking locally for your product and/or service. Or they will know who you are and go to your website to find out a bit more about you.

Every time you deliver a product or service you build your ‘brand’.

Recordkeeping + Compliance

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM

Most new businesses believe that they either need to hire a good bookkeeper, or that they don’t need a bookkeeper at all (i.e. a great accounting package that will create financial statements automatically).

WHY THIS DOESN’T WORK

Bookkeepers were called that because they “kept the books”. In other words, they “recorded transactions in the books of account”. These days no one actually “records” transactions. Instead, we rely on our bank, our credit card or PayPal to do that for us. So, we don’t record transactions at all. Instead we “harvest” them by downloading them from the bank in electronic format.

Accounting software – particularly online accounting software – really is great. However, don’t believe the hype around “artificial intelligence”. You still need a basic understanding of accounting to use accounting software. It’s like knowing how to write before using a word processor.

WHAT DOES WORK

Recordkeeping requirements vary depending on your business. Most businesses outsource financial accounting and tax compliance to a CPA firm. We recommend getting your CPA or an accounting technician working for the firm to act as a coach for the business owner or a staff member in the small business.

Finance + Strategy

FINANCING FOR A NEW BUSINESS IS DIFFICULT

FINANCING FOR A NEW BUSINESS IS DIFFICULT

Usually customers are the best way to finance a new business. You’ll learn how to tailor your products and services to meet the needs of your first few customers. Family money (i.e. your own) is probably the easiest to get. However, context matters. We have a few presentations and videos to help start the discussion.

For the most part though, you’ll need to talk to a coach with respect to your particular business needs, in order to see what’s possible.

STRATEGY

Business strategy requires that you have a valid business model first.  Current thinking in academic circles is that a new business engages in developing a value proposition, and then vaildates that model before engaging in designing a full-blown business model.

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New Business

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Exisiting Business

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Our Partners

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