Who can help me with a new online startup business?

Who is one person a founder should seek out to help with a new online startup business? 

We asked startup founders and CEOs this question for their best insights. From a product manager to previous employers, there are several people a founder should reach out to for help with an online startup business.

Here are 13 people who can help with a new online business: 

  • A Product Manager 
  • Seasoned Web Developer
  • An SEO Specialist
  • An Accountant 
  • Small Business Attorney
  • Sales Team
  • Choose Investors Wisely
  • Business Mentor
  • Digital Marketers
  • Business Consultant
  • A Content Manager
  • Business Employee
  • Former Employers and Managers

A Product Manager 

Seek out a highly qualified product manager when forming an online startup. An experienced product manager will be able to manage the strategy, vision, and development of your products. They’ll be able to work closely with other members of your team to sell and market your merchandise. Starting a new company is an incredible challenge with many business startup costs to consider, but the cost of hiring a product manager should be a no-brainer.

Katie lyon, Allegiance Flag Supply

Seasoned Web Developer

A founder should seek out an experienced web developer to help with a new online startup business. Ideally, the person will have a large breadth of engineering experience and will be able to provide guidance on everything from website design to backend functionality.

Matthew Ramirez, Rephrasely

An SEO Specialist

In the world of digital marketing, nothing gets your website the kind of exposure that it needs than strong SEO strategies. By approaching an SEO specialist, entrepreneurs can rest assured that their marketing efforts are in safe hands, since SEO relies on tangible data and metrics that other digital marketing methods can often fail to quantify.

Demi Yilmaz, Colonist.io

An Accountant 

Founders may think they have gone over all the finances when they hammer out the numbers for their startup business, however, as the old adage, the devil is in the details, and why it is critically important to hire a trusted accountant. Many expenses and obligations, as well as benefits, are not in plain sight, in the beginning, and as the company grows, missing details could sink a business opportunity very quickly.

Understanding cash flows, having clean financial statements, finding write-offs, and overseeing debt, are all critical to a business’s survival, and often the determining factor for success, requiring a trained accountant to manage. As your business grows, the details will only multiply, further cementing the need for trusted accountants’ services. When launching your startup, a quality accountant is one of the first calls you should make.

Woody Sears, Hearhere

Small Business Attorney

If there is just one advisor an entrepreneur should consult when starting a new online business, it should be an attorney. At the outset of any business venture, the first major hurdle is legal issues. You’ll need to set up an entity, draft an employee handbook, file for business permits, and file for trademarks and other IP, among other tasks. And unless you’ve done this before and have some solid legal knowledge, there’s a good chance you’ll be lost. 

Sure you can do your own research and DIY a lot of these tasks. But is that really where your precious time should be spent during early-stage operations? Setting up an LLC? Personally, I think a better use of time is to engage a small business attorney, pay them a one-time fee to get you set up legally, and never have to worry about it again. Sure, attorneys aren’t cheap, but neither is getting sued and having a plaintiff pierce your corporate veil, or losing your valuable IP because you screwed up your trademark application.

John Ross, Test Prep Insight

Sales Team

One person that any start-up needs to find is an expert salesperson. So much of a business comes down to negotiations and sales and having a salesperson that can build a team and get your business on the right foot!

Catherine Way, Prime Plus Mortgages

Choose Investors Wisely

When pursuing capital, find an investor who has some experience and knowledge about the space you’re entering. Finding someone willing to invest in you is always a hard sell, so sell them on a familiar idea. If you’re looking to sell a dietary supplement, go find out who has invested in one or more DTC health brands and reach out to them. If you’re launching a company that sells exercise equipment, track down some of the people who put their money into Tonal or BeachBody or Peloton. Sidle up next to the right investors, the ones who’ve funded the brands that found success overnight. Their success stories will influence you and inspire you. In turn, that may inspire some investors to put their money on you.

Jon Carder, Vessel Health

Business Mentor

It is recommended that you approach your business mentor prior to launching an online startup business. It will be pretty beneficial for you. A single piece of professional assistance is worth a thousand times more than a hundred inexperienced suggestions. You need someone who has been there and knows what it takes to win and lose. Small business owners need someone who knows them and their business well enough to keep the vision grounded. It improves your self-confidence by improving your goal-setting, self-reflection, and self-awareness.

Ryan Yount, Luckluckgo

Digital Marketers

Whether it’s a single person or a team of people, a digital marketer is something any startup should hire on for daily business operations. Whether the provider of this service is in-house or outsourced is dependent on your particular business and its needs, but having that service is vital in today’s world. Creating an online presence as technology continuously advances can pose an unprecedented challenge to any new business, and digital marketing done right can establish your company as a pioneer in your industry.

Bradley Hall, Sonu Sleep

Business Consultant 

I do not think there is one person to seek out to help with a startup. But I would recommend one type of person to seek out. There are plenty of consultants, etc. ready and willing to help out a startup company, usually for not-inconsequential fees. The key is networking. You want to talk to as many founders who have both successfully launched their business, but also, particularly those who have failed. A good number of successful startups have come from founders who previously failed, learned from it, and then succeeded. This can be hard to do, but startups are nearly impossible without the right research, connections, insights.

Leo Fischer, Lee Fischer and Associates, Inc.

A Content Manager

The biggest challenge for a new online startup business is creating a unique identity. While every other component of a startup can be set up by adopting standard tried and tested norms that enable an entrepreneurial team to do things right, it is the task of creating an identity that requires a lot more. This is where content comes in. With the right content manager to help tell your startup’s story, your brand can now define specific strengths and vital components that help your investors and customers sit up and take notice. With the right content strategy, every element of your startup business can be aligned to deliver maximum value.

Eva Taylor, WP Buffs

Business Employee

One person a founder should seek out to help with their new online startup business is someone who has experience in launching and operating successful e-commerce sites. This includes people who have already built up companies that are doing well or successfully managed an online store for themselves or others.

Jar Kuznecov, Water Softeners Hub

Former Employers and Managers

Contact former employers and managers for help–just because you don’t share a workplace with someone anymore doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to help guide you. I’ve noticed a number of startup founders grow hesitant when reaching out for advice, though I’m always puzzled why. Just because your idea is revolutionary doesn’t mean the structure and nature of your business is. Many of our businesses run on the same principles and practices, and no one should be expected to understand all the intricacies intuitively.

Dan Bladen, Kadence

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