Tonight while reviewing some online Q&A forums, I came across a site I have recently been told about on several occasions called Quora. And wow, is this the epitome of information overload. You can post, answer and follow basically any question that you or anyone else for that matter can dream up. I scanned some of the answers to posts such as “What is the difference between cash and accrual accounting?” or “How much should a startup spend on IT?” And the scariest post “I just received $100,000 from an Angel investor and have no idea how to track it. Please help.”
They came with a wide range of answers. They ranged from “hire a CFO” to “hire a bookkeeper” to “do it yourself.” Now accounting is pretty forgiving. I would hate to actually look at the answers to some of the life and death questions that get posted to the site such as “Is it possible to perform my own angioplasty?” and “How do I rig explosives to demolish an existing building?” The old saying the “pen is mightier than the sword” or in this case, the keyboard, comes to mind as I perused the posts.
So how do you know who to listen to? When you start a business, it is very difficult to sort through the onslaught of do-gooders giving you advice on how to run your company. Everyone from your dry cleaner to your mother-in-law has an opinion on what will work for you and your new venture. The bookkeepers that will keep your finances in line are a dime a dozen. Here are some tips to make sure you are in the best relationship for your company.
- Never underestimate the power of intuition. This is a relationship like anything else. Find a professional that you feel not just comfortable with, but good about.
- Beware the Monday morning quarterback. Any halfway decent consultant can come up with answers to a solution once the problem has played out. You need someone that can help you work through a problem as it arises and come to a viable solution.
- Don’t let someone convince you that the “complicated” aspects of your company can be handled completely without you. It is YOUR company. YOUR passion. Make every attempt to be informed and involved in the decisions that affect you and your business.
There is an overwhelming amount of information available to anyone with Google and an internet connection. Be selective on whose advice you seek and follow the tips above to ensure you stay focused and efficient and don’t get bogged down by a litany of philosophies and different strategies just because they are available in the ether. Your company will be stronger with focus and a consistent strategy. You and your ability to navigate this information are critical to its success!