Think Tank

Key Members to Craft a Small Business Think Tank

Stephen L. Capper, along with his wife, Nora, and their daughters, Jami and Toni, owns and operates A-1 Awards, Inc. in Indianapolis. He has been associated with the awards and recognition industry for over 45 years, and has given numerous seminars since 1979.

Here’s an example for you to assemble a team, but don’t stop with this list—add your own thoughts and criteria:

  • Family: In most cases, your family can be your best source of advice and consultation because they have a vested interest in the success of your decisions. Of course not everyone is in the position to have a close relationship with their family or they just don’t want to involve their family members.
  • Attorney: The type of legal practice you need to locate is business law. You need an attorney who understands and specializes in the technical aspects of conducting sound business decisions that are both ethical and effective.
  • Banks(s) and Banker(s): I believe that every business, large or small, needs to have at least two banks and the bankers need to know about each other. Banks and bankers are in competition with each other; keep them competing to give us the advantages.
  • Accountant: The accountant you select must have the knowledge to adapt their procedures to benefit your business by taking all the legal advantages for you and your business, but still be within the legal limits. We want an accountant with high ethical standards and practices. Keep in mind that the vast majority of small business owners channel their income through their personal tax schedule.
  • Insurance Agent: A good insurance agent can adjust your coverage to be seasonal, thus saving you money if your inventory is flexible, and can help you on classifications for workman’s comp. Yet they should also be able to make sure that you are adequately covered without being over charged for double coverage or having too much coverage that you would not be able to collect from the face value of the policy in the event that you have a claim. 

—Stephen Capper, A-1 Awards