Who should be on my all start team?
I often refer to my core Advisers as my starting five: a CPA, a banker, a financial planner, an attorney and an insurance agent. Each of these professionals can help you run a different segment of your business more efficiently.
What role does each adviser play?
An attorney can help you set up your entity, as well as advise you on operational matters such as contracts, trademarks, employment and social media laws. If litigation arises, you will also need a good attorney to help you settle the matter. Many small businesses wait until a problem arises and then have to scramble to find a legal representation. It is better to establish a relationship with a good business attorney when first starting your business so he or she help you to prevent issues from arising.
An accountant helps to keep all of your financial records organized and make sure that you maximize tax savings and minimize tax liability. It is great to have an accountant involved when setting up your new entity.
Every business should have a relationship with a banker. A banker can help you choose the correct accounts for your business to minimize fees. It also helps to establish a relationship with a banker for issues that may arise, including obtaining funding, if necessary.
A financial planner helps to manage your personal and business assets to ensure that you maximize each asset. He or she can also help you plan for long term growth, a potential sale of your business and retirement. A financial planner can also help the owner with creating benefit packages for employees, if necessary.
Every business also needs an insurance agent to assist with putting policies in place to protect the owner and the business. If your business is a sole proprietorship or a partnership, it is important to have the right insurance coverage in place to provide some personal liability protection.
Are there other Advisers that I should have on my team?
It is a great idea for business owners to work with a mentor or business coach. Having a relationship with a mentor or coach provides an opportunity for the owner to work through issues and receive objective feedback. Many businesses also work with consultants, such as recruiters, SEO companies, marketing experts and business development consultants. Corporations have a board of directors and advisory boards that provide guidance and oversee the operations of the corporation.
How do I find Advisers?
I always tell my clients that if you are able to find one Adviser, he or she can usually provide referrals for other Advisers. I have a network of Advisers that I can refer my clients to, depending on the client’s particular needs. In January 2016 I will also release my annual Small Business Adviser All Star List with recommended Advisers in the DFW area. Look for the announcement in mid-January. Now go start recruiting your all-star team!
Charlotte Key is an attorney that focuses on business law, estate planning and probate law.