Extreme Bootstrapping: When Should You Consult Professionals?

By: Donna Ray Berkelhammer. This was posted Monday, August 22nd, 2011

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A recent blog at The Entrepreneurial Mind discussed  when extreme bootstrapped startups need to spend money on their first big-ticket items: office space and employees.  While I appreciate a controlled burn rate and spending as much as anyone,  entrepreneurs who are most likely to succeed establish relationships with their business attorney, CPA, banker, and commercial insurance agent sooner rather than later.  

While many business owners are savvy enough to select the proper entity on their own, many do not understand the difference between trade names and trademarks. Others accidentally give the rights to their logos and other commissioned artwork to their graphic artist and the content of their website to their web host.  Some will think they can choose whether a worker is a contractor or an employee.  A good business attorney can address these issues on the front end, and save much expense and aggravation later.

Likewise, a good certified public accountant isn’t just a number cruncher — he or she is a trusted advisor who understands your business and today’s economic climate.  CPAs evaluate business ideas, plan for growth, minimize taxes, monitor cash flow and help keep proper financial records.  Poorly set up books can make it impossible for companies to track costs, make profits and attract financing.

Those of us that work with startups are familiar with the intersection of  providing value and penny-pinching, and can often work with the bootstrapped entrepreneur on how the services are provided and paid for.

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