Five People You Should Acquaint Yourself With Before Starting Your Own Business

by David Bakke

It seems that entrepreneurs these days are everywhere. Everywhere you look someone is either starting their own business or wants to start their own business and needs your help.

And of course, a key to starting your own business is how much research and how much planning you do before you actually jump in and do it. Well, it seems to me that research and planning are keys to becoming a successful entrepreneur, but what are even more important is the people that you have in your life.

The saying is as old as time itself, but is very tried and true. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

So what I’d like to do is outline for you’re the five “people” that every entrepreneur should know. Certainly this is not an all inclusive list, and I’d love to see some additions added to my list in the comment section below.

I am an entrepreneur myself, but a “newbie” at best. Some of the people I included in my list are people that I was smart enough have on my side before I jumped in, and some are people I wish I had before I “made the move.”

A Mentor/Coach

When I say this I do not mean that you should go out and spend $5000 on a paid professional who is going to help you with your business. What I am trying to say is that I bet there is someone whom you already know that is in some way, shape or form an entrepreneur themselves. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the founder of Face Book. It could be a small business owner; it should be someone in the coaching business. What you are looking for is someone who’s been there before. Someone who can hopefully answer a lot of the questions that you may have that might otherwise require you to do a ton of research. An example would be what experts they know that might be of help to you.

If you are going it alone in the beginning, this can be invaluable. I say this because if you’re not going to hire anybody in the beginning, then you’re going to be the payroll guy, you’re going to be the admin person, and you’re going to be doing everything. Finding quick answers to mundane issues can allow you to focus on growing your business.

A Marketing Professional

Depending on what your business is, I would seriously consider soliciting the services of a marketing professional. Today’s world is so competitive and so tough to make it for beginners, that if you don’t market you business, you’re going to have a real tough time succeeding. I see small businesses all the time that I know are not going to succeed because they have virtually no marketing plan. And I think you will as have a rough go of it if you don’t invest at least some one in marketing. Where to find this person?  See your “mentor/coach” that I just spoke about.

A Computer Guy

Just about any business startup today is going to require a computer. And computers break down. They break down all the time. Maybe not to the point of not working completely, but they slow down, they crash temporarily, etc. You know what I’m talking about. Knowing someone who can quickly fix problems for you will help you on two fronts financially. You won’t get ripped off like you will if you have to call a “professional” every time something needs fixing, and more likely than not, this person is going to be able to get you back up and running quicker than calling and making an appointment with a national computer repair chain.

Person In Your Niche

If you’re selling purple-headed widgets, it shouldn’t be hard to find another purple-headed widget seller that you could use for a little help along the way. I doubt I’d ask him for intimate knowledge of his business, but he/she shouldn’t have a problem with giving you some tips and pointers that might help you out.

Heck, you may even find yourself with a potential new business partner!


An Admin

If you choose to go it alone in the beginning with your business, you could do just fine, but once your business begins to hopefully grow and expand, probably the first person you’re going to need to hire is an administrative assistant of some sort. I have two side businesses that are growing every day, and in the very near future, I am going to need an “admin”. When I say “admin” I don’t mean a person who can verify the hours worked by all your employees each week and answer the phones. What I mean is someone who can perform a variety of the more “mundane” administrative, technical aspects of your business and perform them well.

Having this person in your life will allow you to again, focus on your number one goal:  growing your business.

Fixing typos on a press release, or posting a new entry in your blog, or re-pricing your product line are all things that need to be done but don’t necessarily need to be done by you. YOU are the only one that can grow you business the way you want to—so free up as much of your times you can and you’ll be surprised at the results.

There are a million people that it would be great to have “in your back pocket” when you first start out down the road of small business ownership. Two more that I did not mention here would be “yourself” and “your customer”. An objective knowledge of your own strengths and weaknesses can alleviate a lot of issues when you take that first step. Having an intimate knowledge of who your potential customers will be beforehand doesn’t hurt either.

Do the best you can with what you’ve got, but don’t wait forever. Get as many of these people as you can on your side and run with it!

As always, your comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.


1 Car Hire Alicante Airport November 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I am doing research for my college paper, thanks for your excellent points, now I am acting on a sudden impulse.

– Lora

2 David November 5, 2010 at 10:56 pm


Thanks for your kind words, I hope you find them to be helpful

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