The key people you need on your team in small business are:
- An accountant with a great understanding of how managing financial information interconnects with the legal system and public policy.
- A sales and marketing team that represents the business in the best possible light.
- A lawyer who has expertise working with small businesses.
Putting together your team
Jimmy Nguyen, 28, has a rare but very valuable skill set. A qualified accountant and partner with DKM Accounting, he also runs a social media agency, If & When. This puts him in the perfect position to understand how important it is to have the right combination of skills in his professional entourage.
DKM Accounting specialises in providing services to more than 200 small- and medium-sized businesses, and manages their financial accounts through Intuit QuickBooks software. Jimmy started his career at DKM before taking roles in larger professional services firms. He was able to bring these experiences back with him when he re-joined the firm in 2016. He says the firm likes to position itself as a key function within its clients’ operations.
“We do so much more than just prepare our clients’ accounts. We become a crucial part of their businesses, so when they are faced with important sometimes life changing decisions including business acquisition or even business closer, they value our input. I have been able to transfer this focus on customer experience to my advertising business. Small businesses are always looking for growth. But they are also price sensitive. So If & When offers a fixed fee subscription model so our clients know exactly what the cost will be each month and the services they will receive. We are able to refer many clients of the accounting firm to the social media agency.
“The advertising side of the business adds personality to the accounting firm. Most accounting companies tend to have very introverted work styles and workflows. If & When helps to push our accountants outside their comfort zone and see things through a more social lens.”
Mentors, bookkeepers and marketers are essential
Jimmy attributes part of his success to his entourage – the team of people who support him in his work each day.
“David Maj is also a partner with DKM Accounting, and I rely on him as a mentor. He’s ten years older than me and he is able to give me a lot of guidance. It’s great to have someone you trust as a source of wisdom, for moments of chaos and when you need clarity. My head bookkeeper Rosel Nguyen, who has a really bubbly personality, is also a whizz. She has spent a lot of time working in hospitality in high-end restaurants. So she has an aptitude for customer service that’s so valuable in an accounting firm. At the same time, she’s just so practical and ethical. She’s my rock. In the advertising business Killian Pham is an incredible source of marketing, advertising and branding knowledge” he says.
Jimmy says the strength of his entourage is that they are exceptionally talented in their chosen fields and they allow him to focus on his own work. “They also work together to reinforce each other’s strengths,” he adds.
Essential people in every small business’s entourage
There are a number of must-have people in every small business’s entourage, says Nguyen.
“Every business needs a great accountant who understands the value of money when it’s in abundance and when it’s scarce. Your accountant also has to appreciate how money interacts with things like the legal system, government, public policies and social relationships.
“You also need a great sales and marketing team who is able to represent you and talk about you and your business in a way that represents you in the best possible light. They can showcase all the positive characteristics of you and your business and the services and products you offer often in ways you could not imagine on your own.”
Jimmy says it’s important to have a talented lawyer with experience working with small businesses. It’s also essential to have internal or external software support.
“Your software team should ensure your business is operating effectively in the cloud. Most businesses have lots of opportunities to use technology and software to change their business for the better, reduce costs and communicate with customers and their team. But you need an expert who can give you guidance about this.”
Great accounting, bookkeeping, legal, sales and marketing and software support are a must for every business. But other roles in the entourage – for instance a mentor or a publicist – will depend on your own business, the industry you’re in and your own strengths. The idea is to put together a crack team that will be able to support your success as you grow.
Great accounting software is also essential as your busines develops. Intuit QuickBooks can help ensure your finances are always up-to-date so you can focus on ensuring your enterprise is the best it can be.