If you’ve ever ordered anything from Amazon, you’ll know that they make many recommendations based on complementary items as well as what others purchased that previously purchased the same item as you. Now, I’m no genius but I’m sure they’ve found that the promoting of these “recommended items” leads to additional sales.

I’ve also read a lot of books on business as well as articles, blogs, whitepapers and other literature regarding business. Within most of these the authors mention how important your team is – your attorney, accountant, banker, and insurance agent.

The crazy part, and the reason why I made it the topic of this post, is that I still see business owners that don’t have a team and don’t follow the very basics of starting and running a business. Things like setting up their entity structure with the help of an attorney; keep their books up to date with the help of their accountant as well as meeting regularly to review performance; their banker to set up the appropriate account(s) and to (possibly) establish a line of credit; and their insurance agent to review their risks and purchase appropriate coverage for ALL aspects of your business.

  • Did you add a new employee?  You may need to add them to your health insurance plan and inform your liability insurance carrier
  • Are you having a BETTER year than previously?  Your accountant should have set you up with estimated payments based on the previous year to avoid underpayment penalties.  While you’re not required to send in additional payments, it’s good to know what to expect come the following April.
  • Are you having a WORSE year?   You may be able to adjust (or eliminate) your estimated payments for quarters 3 and 4.
  • Has your cash balance increased?   If you were always hovering around $0 in your bank account but have now built up a pretty nice balance, you may want to look into moving some of that into a savings account or a sweep account.  The latter would keep a pre-determined amount in your checking account while “sweeping” any excess into an interest bearing account on an annual basis.
  • Do you need additional cash to cover an expansion or the purchase of inventory to cover a large purchase order?  Your banker can help with that.

I recently attended the Leadership Development Conference for the Society of Financial Service Professionals of which I am a board member. On the 1st day of the Conference all attendees participated in an exercise which strongly exemplified the need to have a team. The scenario presented is a common one and wound up being very complex.

Amazon is a great company and Jeff Bezos, the company’s CEO, is on his way to overtake Bill Gates as the world’s richest man so they do know a thing or two. I would be willing to bet that when Jeff started his business, he didn’t “go it alone” but rather developed a team consisting of the very people mentioned above.

If you have a team, that’s great!  If not, I suggest developing one and meeting with them regularly, even if just to keep them abreast of what’s going on in your business.