Business Startup Help


Most business owners do not know how to do everything. This is particularly true in the planning and startup phase. A carpenter knows how to build things but may not know how to do accounting for his business or how to gain customers. A software engineer knows how to code, but may not know where to find content writers. Even seasoned business people do not know everything: they hire people who know what they do not. Furthermore, a business owner makes money doing his or her specialty, and often loses money doing everything else. Every minute a lawyer is handling firm accounting or wrestling with a cranky computer is a minute the lawyer is not making money.

In the startup phase, more pressing issues often arise. How do I start this business and pay myself? How do I grow the business? Is this business even going to make it? These questions, and many more, face every business startup. There are many resources for startups and new businesses. Here, we discuss just a few of the options available, particularly in our main geographical practice areas.

Build Institute

The Build Institute was formed in Detroit to help turn businesses into reality: “We help people turn their business ideas into reality by providing them with the necessary tools, resources, and support network in Detroit.”

Started in 2012, Build has grown extensively, and recently expanded into Ferndale to help Ferndale small businesses get off the ground. Build offers classes, networking events, pop-up marketplaces, and more. Build has a well-documented history of getting business owners off the ground, from SheHive to Good Cakes and Bakes. In addition, Build facilities loans and fundraising for business owners, particularly through Kiva.

Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center

While Build is focused on Detroit and Ferndale, the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center assists businesses county-wide. They offer business counselors, much like SCORE, partnering businesses with experts in their field. They also develop feasibility studies, find appropriate financing, assisting with business plans and marketing, and otherwise assisting businesses from startups to medium size firms.

Advisory Councils

An advisory council may go by many names. In essence, an advisory council advises a business owner as they startup and grow. One business we work with makes furniture. They expertise is in furniture fabrication, not in marketing, legal matters, and similar aspects of running their business. The advisory council assists them in these matters, providing advice both as professions in the field and having run their own businesses.

Another source of success is similar businesses that are thriving. While some business owners don’t want to talk to the competition, it is often easy enough to find a similar business that is not in direct competition and ask them questions. A business lawyer might approach an estate planning lawyer for assistance in growing their practice. While both lawyers, they are not in direct competition for the most part. This sort of arrangement both assists the new business in growth and may turn out to be mutually beneficial from a financial standpoint to both attorneys as they refer clients back and forth.

If you are thinking of starting a business, or are in the startup phase, please contact Benjamin Long of Schmidt and Long.