There is a reason that nearly every successful sports team has more than one great player. You have to factor in the talents of the front office, the coach and everyone down to the assistant trainer into the overall success of the team. Even the most storied teams rely on more than one star to win the championship, and so should you! You need to build a team around you and your business that you can rely on when the going gets tough. Family and friends are great to bounce initial ideas off of, but when you’re talking about the future of your business, you need to have a team of advisors that can help you move the ball toward your goal. PayAnywhere has put together a list of whom you might want to add to your team, even if only on an as-needed basis:
Accountant/Tax Advisor. You can find excellent accounting tools online for the small business owner, but can you give up that much time away from your business to do your bookkeeping? A trained accountant has both the time and experience to make sure your books are in perfect order, and may know a deductible or two that only comes with helping small businesses year after year. Make sure that you can communicate with your accountant, and that they’re able to explain exactly what is going on in terms you can understand.
Mentor. This could be a teacher, former boss or even someone you’ve known and trusted since you were a child. Your mentor needs to be someone you trust explicitly and who has your best interest at heart — even if what they suggest is hard to swallow. Don’t have a mentor? There are a number of local organizations, like the chamber of commerce, or a small business networking group that could suggest someone.
Business Lawyer. Accidents happen and you’ll want to have a business lawyer that is familiar with your business before they do. Doing so will cut down on the billable time that a lawyer would need to get up to speed before being able to represent you and your business. There are a number of different options as far as the type of lawyer you’ll need. Our friends at Entrepreneur have a complete list; click here to determine the best fit for your type of business. In addition to protecting you against liability, a great lawyer can help you plan for the future. For example, they can make sure you are planning for retirement by constructing a plan for either a succession or a sale.
Insurance Agent. Every business owner needs one, but what should they be able to advise you on? If you have a physical location, you want to protect your property and your business against any liability associated with activities that happen on the property. Property insurance is just one area of insurance in which you may need help. Don’t forget about health insurance too - as a small business owner you have multiple options: an individual policy, either private or through the national exchange, and corporate sponsored policies, etc. A good insurance agent can help you navigate through these options and help you pick the one that is best for you and your business.
These key people will become part of your core team and together they will help you navigate the waters of being a small business owner.