By Benjamin Reid
When you’re launching your own business, there’s a lot of support you need on a personal level. Through developing a support system, you’ll build up a network of people to discuss business ideas with. That kind of help is essential and can make the process of starting a business a lot more comfortable (and a lot more fun!). But your personal support system also isn’t the whole story when it comes to the people you need around you as you prepare to launch. If you’re truly looking to set up a company, rather than more of a personal venture, there are some key people you need around you on the business side of things as well.
While you won’t necessarily need to have an in-house attorney (unless you’re launching a fairly sizable business right away), it is still a good idea to employ an attorney in the early stages. There are going to be certain legal matters involved in launching your business that you can’t leave to chance — such as drawing up terms for contracts or purchases, establishing internal company structure, or even arranging registered business status with the state in which you reside. These are things you can do on your own with some careful research and attention to detail. But they’re what attorneys do best. It’s wise to shore these matters up as professionally as possible.
Choosing a registered agent is part of the process of forming an LLC — which is almost certain to be one of the legal company structures you consider for a new business. Essentially, it means that you need to formally choose someone who will act as a “point of contact” between the business and the government. This person will accept tax forms on behalf of the business. The good news is that this is not specifically a hire. Rather, it’s a designation. You can be your own registered agent, choose a colleague or even someone not otherwise connected to the business to serve in the role. Still, if you’re considering forming an LLC, a registered agent is necessary.
Big Picture Leader
Ownership isn’t leadership. A company owner, that is, does not automatically have the capacity or talent to lead other employees or make big-picture decisions. This is not to say you can’t lead your own business – many can! But often enough, the responsible decision when launching a company is to hire someone with the relevant experience and necessary qualities to lead. Whether that means appointing a CEO or hiring a manager, it will depend on the nature and structure of your company. Whether it’s you or someone in one of these positions, the business must have a designated, big-picture leader on day one.
Marketing can seem like something that can be handled further down the road when you’re launching a business. However, the truth is that you’ll struggle to generate business activity without a strategic marketing effort. Furthermore, you’re unlikely to be able to manage such an effort while you’re focused on establishing the business itself. For these reasons, a dedicated marketing director is an essential partner in the early stages. This person will help to get the word out about your new company, help it grow and hopefully generate more business.
Web & Social Manager
Alongside a general marketing director, someone should also be in place to manage your business’s online presence on a day-to-day basis. Today, that likely means both maintaining a website and keeping social media profiles up-to-date and active. There have been some suggestions that social media can replace a business website entirely. In some cases, this is true. Active Facebook and Twitter pages in particular can accomplish much of what we once relied entirely on websites for.
But most new businesses would still benefit from having their own websites. Having someone on hand to manage them will save you a great deal of time and effort. Regularly updated web and social pages will make it easier for consumers to engage with your budding platform. Other potential hires will depend on what sort of business you’re launching and what resources you have. If you can manage them, the positions just outlined are some of the very most essential.