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TiE mentors tell how to choose professional service firms

April 2015
TiE mentors tell how to choose professional service firms

One of the most challenging aspects of being an entrepreneur is having to be a subject matter expert in every single subject, comfortable with all aspects of running a business, from contracts to accounting. How do you keep track of it all?!

On March 11, 2015 TiE Atlanta brought together resource people to guide members through the toughest challenges they have helped entrepreneurs solve in their collective 80+ years of doing business in Atlanta. It was a rare opportunity to tap into so many resources in one place.

Of the 100+ attending, 25 mentors (entrepreneurs and professional service firms) mentored 85 individuals on how to choose your professional service firms (lawyers, bankers, accountants, insurance, marketing, real estate, etc.). Topics covered were hiring one-referrals, networking, cold calling, firm reputation/brand, and more.

Mentors included entrepreneurs : Dr. Mohammad Bhuiyan, Heather Creran, Raj Deshpande, Lalit Kumar Dhingra (President, NIIT Technologies, Inc.), Kris Gadde, Ajay Jindia, Umaesh Khaitan (CEO, UKIES LLC), Musaddeq Khan (MK) (Co-Founder & CEO, SpoorHQ), Benn Konsynski, Gopal Koratana, C.N. (Madhu) Madhusudan, Ramesh Maturu (President and Co-Founder, Pyramid Consulting, Inc.), Mahim Mishra, Nooruddin Mithani (President, Royal Beauty Careers), Ham Naran, Kanchana Raman, Shaker Reddy (President, Metaclipse Therapeutics), Gordon Rogers (President, Edevate), Dr. Nikhil Shah (Chief, Minimal Access & Robotic Surgery, Piedmont Healthcare), Suresh Sharma, and Vik Vijayvergiya.

From Professional Service Firms: Kevin Creel (Managing Principal, Cresa), Matthew Frooman (Member, Warren Averett LLC), Dick Ingwersen (Member, Warren Averett LLC), Harsh Jayaswal (Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch), Justin Neal (Financial Advisor, Northwestern Mutual), Gordon O'Neill (President & CEO, O'Neill Communications), Bill Osterbrock (Of Counsel, Baker Donelson), Kamal Parag (Partner, Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP), Jim Parker (Partner, Cherry Bekaert LLP), and Scott Perry (Office Tenant Representative, Avison Young Commercial Real Estate).

The Top 3 Takeaways:
1. Document Everything! This is a sure way to protect both the entrepreneur and service firm. Assemble a system to track what you have, what you have done, and what's to come.

2. Read Your Statements! Most folks do not take the time to read over their financial statements for discrepancies. Make this a habit to control your business.

3. Research! Really research who you want to work with, both entrepreneurs and service firms. Do not make your decision based on referrals, but get to know the person and company.

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