Money

In the birth of a business, money is very important.  I plan on getting a nice income from my business, so I need someone to help me store it and I need another person to help me keep track of it and stay on the good side of the IRS.  🙂

So this week, I reached out and set up appointments.  My title of those emails or voicemails was:

“Entrepreneur seeking Banker and Accountant.”

My first mode of attack on the Accountant side was to ask people I trust for their referrals.  I used Linkedin (My profile is HERE) to search my network for CPAs that work with small or sole proprietor businesses.  I found a few friends-of-friends and sent requests to be introduced (virtually).  I already have an appointment with a CPA next week!  It will be a good experience to see his office, and assess the level of professionalism and support he will offer.

I wanted to make sure I was armed with the right questions, so I did a little research.  Since I’m prone to brain-farts and don’t want to forget what I’ve done (for the next time I do a start-up) – and for those of you that follow this blog as a primer- here’s what I’m planning to ask the Accountant:

  • The question I won’t have to ask based on my process:  You’re really a CPA, and a recommended by my friend(s), right?
  • What are your business specialities?  Who are your favorite types of clients, and why?
  • What do you bring to a small business to help them succeed?
  • What types of services do you offer?
  • What is your fee structure?
  • Who would be my primary contact, what is the typical frequency of interaction?
  • What responsiveness can I expect for consultation outside of our “normally scheduled” meetings?
  • What are the tools/software and methodology you use to analyze your clients’ businesses?
  • What methods do you use to forecast expenses, income, growth?
  • How do you normally exchange bookeeping information with your clients (ie, how do you exchange data)?
  • What are your recommendations for setting up a Sole proprietership vs Corporation for someone like me?
  • Do you have a list of current small business clients that I can contact for referral?

I also am in contact with my bank, and Neighbor Dave’s bank to find out how establishing a business account and potentially getting access to commercial lending.  There are a list of questions for the Banker, too:

  • What is your philosophy and approach to working with Small, entreprenurial businesses?
  • What is the bank’s strategic plan, and how would small business banking fall into it?
  • Who are the main contacts at the bank for a small business?  How frequently do you typically meet with those clients?  What types of events trigger a meeting?  Will I have a dedicated business banker who understands my business?
  • What are your commercial lending policies?  What is the process for getting a commercial loan?
  • What services and solutions do you offer to small business clients?  How is your bank different than others in supporting small business?
  • What products do you offer to make managing the finances of a small business easier?
  • Do you have a list of current small business clients that I can contact for referral?

Money, money.  I’m looking forward to managing it wisely and making smart decisions at this stage of the game… these are important partnerships that directly impact my business’ prosperity.

By the way, if you have a recommendation for either a great CPA or Banker for a small business- I’m still searching and open to suggestions!

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