Starting and keeping up a business is a lot of work. So many business owners try to take it all on themselves. They want the control to make sure their vision is in every “department.” But let’s be honest. There are only so many days in the week and hours in the day. Eventually, you cannot do it all on your own. Here are a few professions that we find extremely helpful to have on your side:
CPA – This is one of the most important people you will work with. Right from the beginning you should consult with a CPA to make sure you are in the right entity. They will also help you figure out your estimated taxes. There is nothing worse than having a surprise tax bill at the end of the year.
Bookkeeper – A bookkeeper should work along with your CPA, but they help you maintain the daily and monthly transactions. They should keep your records current and balanced so you are ready to file your taxes as soon as possible.
Business Attorney – Attorneys are typically only contacted once there is a problem. But why not have them help you word your contracts, invoice terms, lease agreements. Make sure you are protecting you and your business will help you avoid issues in the future.
Business Coach – If you ask any successful person, they have most likely worked with a coach sometime along the line, or possibly are still working with a coach. Many people think this is something they cannot afford. A coach can save you a lot of time and money. They help you get procedures in place, marketing plans in action and really help sharpen your messages. The coach can really help guide you and work with your marketing and financial team to meet your goals.
Financial Planner – When you first start out, you might not meet with a planner regularly. However, they are good to meet with to help start thinking about the future. I know if may seem like a lot to already be talking about the future. A planner can help with a contingency plan for the business should something happen to you. They can also work with your tax advisor to help you set-up a retirement plan. This would not only be to plan for retirement, but it would also be a tax savings tool.
Marketing Team – Every business markets differently. Some businesses work well using postcards, where others work well by advertising on TV or the radio. Social media can also be a large part of your marketing plan. There are so many layers to marketing and its impossible to know all of the platforms. Along with your coach you can determine which vehicles are best for you and make sure all of your messages are the same.
IT Consultant – We are highly dependent on our computers. What would it mean to your business if your computers stopped working for one hour, four hours? Making sure you have minimum downtime can mean saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Along with someone to help on your computers its helpful to have someone host your email and website. We can’t all we computer programmers, right?
Your particular business might require other vendors as well, these are just a few. Don’t be afraid to ask for a referral to something else that might come up. Some of these people you will meet with more frequently than others. But you want them in your back pocket and a phone call away. Most of the time you want to be proactive in your business, but things come up that are emergencies too. You don’t want to have to take the time to interview or worse yet, choose whoever answers the phone first. You want people who are already familiar with your business. It will be hard to let go of some of these tasks, but it will feel so good to have the time to focus on what you do best!
If you do not know people in these industries, ask one of your contacts in one of the other industries. Most of these professions will have trusted partners that they already work with that they would be happy to recommend!