Networking expands your social circle and improves your working effectiveness by expanding the resources available to you. You and your friends can exchange expertise and integrate different resources to achieve outstanding results that a one-man team would otherwise never be able achieve. Growing your entrepreneurial network is a worthy long-term investment and you should have the following five professionals in your network list.
Attorney. The laws that govern business are a double-edged sword -- they protect your rights but they also restrict your practices. To take the most advantage of the law, entrepreneurs need to consult experienced attorneys in different fields such as patent, trademark, contract, corporate, ect. You may be reluctant to spending on law consulting, but it is a relatively cheap expense compared to a law suit or the intangible asset loss that could have been protected by the law.
Accountant. Startup entrepreneurs need to project their financial gains and set goals for their businesses. However, many entrepreneurs do not have the knowledge or experience necessary to complete this process. Experienced accountants not only guide entrepreneurs with forecasting revenue, but they warn them of potential threats such as problems with cash flow.
IT Guru. Most offices are equipped with some form of IT device. They are your effective tools to connect the world and generate sales. However, not everyone knows how set up and maintain these devices. An IT guru can help you set up hardware, install software and maintain websites. He/she can also introduce you to the most advanced software and website that can better solve your problems.
Marketing Expert. A true marketing expert possesses many practical ideas and valuable channels. Furthermore, an expert can design a strategy that fits an entrepreneurs business model. These intangible resources are essential for the startup entrepreneur who lacks marketing experience and knowledge.
Insurance Broker. Business entities are exposed to many unexpected risks. Business owners should minimize their risks by covering their enterprises with different insurances. Insurance brokers can alert you to the potential risks of your enterprise and recommend specific insurances that fit your needs.
Teamwork creates synergy. When your startup budget limits you from hiring many experts, you need to cooperate with friends in your network. As a startup entrepreneur, you can outsource different parts of your work to your expert friends and offer your specialty in exchange. This mutually beneficial practice will help each other better operate their businesses and it should be documented in your business plan.