As an eager and driven entrepreneur, you will develop a substantial network of acquaintances and business peers. This is an inevitable occurrence in your unique field. In that wide collection of relationships, there are only five people you should get to know better than the rest when launching your business:
- Your Partner
You and your business partner already have aligned interests. That fact is what has brought you to this point. But do you really know your partner? Make sure that you know the following before agreeing to go into a partnership with someone:
- You need to know the personal and business goals of your partner.
- Know their history regarding past business relationships.
- Know how they will react in stressful times (there will be many) and in times of prosperity.
- Most importantly, be absolutely certain that you trust each other. Trust is key in a partnership. To develop trust in your partner, you need to be able to communicate openly and candidly with one another.
- Your Mentor
Mentors are incredibly imperative when starting a business. When you’re brave enough to take the road less traveled—the road of entrepreneurship—you need a guide. Your mentor is that wise and experienced person that will be able to give you advice when you need it the most.
- Know that they’ve had success in your field.
- Be certain that your mentor takes an invested interest in what you’re building.
- Ensure that your mentor believes in you and will work with you to reach success.
Your mentor can play a key role in the development of your startup, be certain that you believe in this person and trust the guidance provided.
- Your VC
You need to get to know your venture capitalist. They believe in you and what you’re building. They’ve invested money into your idea. This person is important to your success, therefore getting to know your VC should be a priority.
- Know the experience they’ve had in your field. Relevancy is essential and the advice they can give you will be just as significant.
- Have knowledge of previous investments they have made. How did those investments pan out? Do your research.
- Know that you can develop a working relationship with open communication and mutual trust.
Having a solid relationship with your VC can make all the difference in the success and development of your company.
- Your Lawyer
All entrepreneurs will need legal advice at a point in building their business. Although you don’t need to be best friends with your attorney, you do need to be familiarized with the work they do and how they do it.
- As an entrepreneur, you have unique budget limitations. Know your attorney’s prices. You don’t want any surprises down the road, so know exactly what you will be spending to ensure the protection of your business.
- Know your attorney’s field of expertise. Be certain that your lawyer has experience with small businesses. You need the right price and the right specialization.
- Know that your attorney will have time for you when you need it the most. You are both in a field where time is a luxury, be sure that you have the ability to make time for each other.
Once you’ve found the attorney who meets all of your needs, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. Then you can further develop your relationship with this ever-important individual.
- Your First Employees
Number 5 isn’t just one person. It can be any number of people, but they are all equally important. You should get to know your first employees very, very well. Your employees are your core. They are the people who are taking the startup journey with you.
- Know the strengths and weaknesses of your employees. All of them. It will help you to determine the role each will play in the development of your business.
- Know how they handle stress. It’s an inevitable consequence of being involved in a startup. Know exactly how your team will react when things get crazy.
- Know that your employees can match your level of passion, dedication, tenacity and focus. The success of the business should be just as high on their lists of priorities as it is on yours. Find those employees who believe in what you’re working towards and who are willing to work hard each and every day to see it become a reality.
These five people you need to know are important when launching your business and they will continue to play a vital role in the growth of your company. Have mutual trust and solid relationships with these individuals and when hardships and challenges come your way, you can rest assured knowing they will be there to support you no matter what happens. These five people are your safety net—so choose wisely.