Starting a business can be terrifying. When I got going, I was convinced that I would need a full squad of professionals to get me going: accountants, lawyers, HR consultants, marketing experts, and anyone else who had more experience than I did (which felt like pretty much everyone back then).
Venturing out into the business world on your own can feel so big and confusing, but it doesn’t mean spending big bucks on lots of specialists and experts. At least not at the beginning or all at once…
Most founders don’t have a money fountain, and even if they do, should they be showering it on experts? (That is a question that comes up a lot with my coaching clients. They are often so overwhelmed – as I was when I started – that they think they need to hire expert after expert to get it right.)
But the thing is you don’t; not always. The key is to hire the right experts at the right time.
This is something that you learn with experience, but you can also talk to other founders in your industry and get a sanity check before you start writing checks.
Do your due diligence. Get as smart as you can about what you do/don’t need, and then make sure the person you are working with or planning to work with has the right experience and expertise required for your industry and your stage of business. Don’t shy away from paying for specialist advice, but be equally careful not to pay for advice that might be “overkill.”
You could waste a lot of time and money paying for specialists you don’t need and waste potentially even more time and money not paying for specialists you do need. It’s a fine balance, and there are no hard and fast rules because every business is different. When people ask me which specialist they need to engage and when, my answer is always “It depends.”
So when in doubt, talk to someone who has a business in your industry (or better yet, talk to a few someones) and see which specialists they used and why. And when you then speak to a specialist, ask them to explain or justify why you need to use them. (Often, the good ones will turn you away if they don’t think you need them, and you’ll know right away they are someone you can probably trust because they don’t just see you as a cash machine.)
Do your due diligence, speak to people who have done it before, and use the right experts at the right time.