It’s common knowledge that small business owners are experts at multi-tasking, and they wear a lot of hats. It’s just part of the job description, right? But at a certain point, owners need to focus on growing their business efficiently and outsource important but time-consuming tasks. Small business owners can carve out more time to focus on strategic duties by assembling a team of professional advisors. This group can offer guidance, support and mentorship – beyond just their professional services. Find an advisory team that you can build long-term relationships with and who will be available to counsel you through any challenges. Consider the lineup below when assembling a team of professional small business advisors.
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is an essential member of your small business advisory team – from helping with payroll to prepping financial reports and interpreting tax implications for your business, a CPA will be an invaluable resource. CPAs are board-certified and must adhere to ethical and fiduciary standards, which is why it’s advisable to work with a CPA over a general accountant. If your company is ever audited, you’ll be glad that already you have a trusted CPA on your team. Consider finding a CPA who specializes in your industry or business needs. To find a CPA, reach out to your network and ask for recommendations or contact your local Small Business Development Center. You can also find CPAs in your area via the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) website and browse its comprehensive directory.
Throughout the life cycle of owning a business, you’ll want a trusted attorney by your side. In the early stages of establishing a business, an attorney can assist with deciding on the structure of your business, as well as filing articles of incorporation. As your small business evolves, you’ll need guidance on contract negotiations, real estate transactions and compliance matters. If you’re strategizing your exit, it will be instrumental to have a lawyer with experience in succession planning. In general, a trusted attorney will help you make legally sound business decisions and support you in any legal issues. Start your search for a small business attorney on the American Bar Association’s website, where they offer a wealth of resources and advice.
Protect your financial well-being by forming a strong relationship with a reputable banker. For many businesses, having access to credit can help business owners overcome hurdles and take advantage of timely opportunities. Small business banking needs can vary based on your goals and industry, but several themes emerge when finding a bank to support you. Your bank should make you feel like you are a priority, regardless of how many other customers they may be juggling. Your banker should have a solid grasp of your business and serve as an advocate for you and your financial health. At Live Oak, our team of Business Analysts stays in regular contact with all of our loan customers to check in on developing needs and opportunities.
Building a Strong Team
To effectively manage, grow and protect your business interests as an entrepreneur, you need a group of professional small business advisors. Not only can this group of folks help you scale your business safely and soundly, but they’ll also ensure that you remain focused on your role as leader of the company. When you have the right team of professionals in place, you can sleep better knowing that this group will be your partner in sustainable success.