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How to surround yourself with the right people when starting a business

Posted on Wednesday September 29, 2021

How to surround yourself with the right people when starting a business

Smart entrepreneurs know how to surround themselves with the right people

Starting a business is as much a human adventure as it is a business project. It's impossible to know everything and to do everything on your own! Like an athlete who's become a world champion thanks in part to the team around him, choosing your colleagues is an essential step to your success. Vincent Chassé, an account manager at UNI and an entrepreneur himself, explains the true value of a carefully selected entourage.

The experts you need to start a small business

Good advice is invaluable during the startup phase of any business. It can save you a lot of trouble and help you get to the right place at the right time.

According to Mr. Chassé, it's crucial to have a core group of external experts with knowledge that will be helpful to you. "We're looking for professionals who have technical knowledge, like lawyers and accountants, but also people who can motivate us," he explains, before going on to talk about the importance of building a network that includes one or more mentors who can put you on the path to prosperity.

Marketing specialists and salespeople should not be overlooked. "These professionals can be a lifeline for a business. You really need to prioritize a strong team to support you in marketing and sales." After all, this team could have a significant impact on your bottom line!

Do you network to build strong partnerships?

We're looking for professionals who have technical knowledge, like lawyers and accountants, but also people who can motivate us - Vincent Chassé

As you build your network, you will meet tax specialists, accountants, external recruiters and other experts who may become your partners. For Mr. Chassé, it's important to "build a personal relationship before a business relationship. Positive, natural, pleasant human contact that flows naturally is the best guarantee of a successful business relationship."

Before you commit, ask yourself, "Does this professional believe in me personally?"

To start or expand your network, Mr. Chassé suggests several resources. There are CBDCs in every region of New Brunswick. Supported by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, they're "an important first partner for startup advice."

The chemistry between you and your business partners

Entrepreneurs have to wear many hats. When a business relationship works well, they may share these hats with their partners.

According to Mr. Chassé, you need to have a lot of confidence in the first person you partner with. "As with a couple, chemistry is essential. Ideally, partners have complementary qualities and skills," he says. He believes that communication is key to working out small frustrations and overcoming difficulties. It's what will make the business more efficient and the entrepreneur more productive.

Are you considering a business relationship with family members or friends?

Good communication is even more important if you choose family members or friends as business partners. "Ideally, partner with people who have been successful before you in the same field. They'll act as guides to help you make crucial decisions," says Mr. Chassé.

With family members and friends, you're building on an existing relationship of trust, "but you need to set boundaries early on and separate personal from professional because a friendship or family relationship can fall apart if you're not careful."

The same advice applies if you decide to hire a family member or friend as an employee.

The first employees: Essential to your growth

Should you choose employees the same way you choose business partners? Yes and no. The type of relationship won't be the same, but Mr. Chassé believes it's always important to look for people who have strengths you lack. "Someone who completes you. This person must also be aligned with your values and those of the company."

In 2021, it goes both ways. Maybe you've found someone who would be a perfect fit for your team? Just remember that they have to want to join you, too! "You have to offer them challenges and recognize the value of their work if you want to keep them for the long term. You have to develop an emotional bond with your employees, so that they will work hard and want to grow with you," says Mr. Chassé. Get your employees onboard with your initiative and help them see it's important to them too!

UNI: Your financial partner for starting a business

In their search for financing, entrepreneurs should forge a relationship of trust with their financial partner. "The financial institution is a permanent business partner who's there at every step of your entrepreneurial adventure. Your account manager will ask you to explain and clarify your objectives, your business plan and your roadmap. It's their responsibility to serve you promptly and to offer you professional and personalized support," Mr. Chassé says.

As part of his work at UNI, Mr. Chassé discusses startup or expansion plans with his clients. What need are they are trying to fill, and which customers would be targeted? What's their business plan? What does their market study show? What steps have they taken? What are their financial projections? After getting answers to these questions, he suggests potential avenues for his clients to explore.

There are many business models, and the right choices depend on the nature and sector of the business. Before talking about expansion, Mr. Chassé wants to make sure the foundation is solid. "A strong company will be able to grow, no matter how it's structured."

To get off to a great start and avoid falling flat, surround yourself with experts. You'll need an extensive and well-qualified network of contacts. The best mentors are always those who have been down the same road as you. To meet with an account manager, contact us!

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