February 07, 2019

Your Business Professionals Team

Frank Sahlein

Frank Sahlein
CEO and Founder/3rd Level Consulting

Share This Post

There are a number of advisors who can help you in the day-to-day operations, and/or future planning of your company. These advisors must be interviewed and hired. Keep in mind that your advisors are all independent professionals. They are not related in any way other than as retained by you. Their independence can create some confusion and, without your encouragement, result in the process of building your business stopping or moving ahead haltingly. Therefore look for advisors who have experience working as part of a team orchestrating successful strategies for their business owner clients.

Let’s look who makes up the Business Professionals Team and what qualifications they should have.

 

The Business Attorney

 

This professional is especially important in the start up phase of your business. Knowing about all of the potential business legal forms and how they fit your particular objectives can save you a raft load of dollars down the road. Business owners should select an attorney who specializes in the issues that arise in daily business operations, such as business formation, contracts, liability situations, federal and state employment practices, etc. Most owners, however, use attorneys reactively and rarely: when a legal problem arises, they call an attorney to fix them. Your Business Attorney should take a longer view. While she is able to handle a business owner's day-to-day legal issues, she should do so with an eye on the owner's ultimate goal—leaving his business in style.

 

The Insurance Advisor

 

Your Insurance Advisor is the specialist who can set you up with all of the critical insurance coverages that will protect you to the legal extent possible. Business areas that need to be insured include property, contents, fire, theft, floods, liability, accident and medical primary or secondary coverage, vehicles, business interruption. Protecting your assets should be their number one priority!

 

The Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

 

A primary role of the CPA is to assist the business owner with periodic financial reports (if the owner is doing these by themselves) and quarterly and annual tax returns. Some owners are fortunate to also have CPAs who proactively help them improve current operations and plan for the future. However, this is pretty rare! Do not confuse your CPA with a professional Financial Advisor, unless he or she is also certified in that discipline.

 

The Financial Advisor

 

Your Financial Advisor is your personal financial planning guide. He or she does not replace your CPA (generally), but instead looks out for the overall financial picture of your family. They are usually compensated on either a fee-basis or a product-sale basis.

 

The Banker

 

When you need funding for start up or expansion, you will need a Banker. It is best to keep your bank or financial institution very informed as to your financial reports, tax returns, etc. on an annual basis BEFORE they ask for it. If you keep them informed on a regular basis, including what is new and exciting in your business, they will be MUCH more receptive when you do approach them for funding.

 

The Realtor

 

When it is time to move or expand your operations, a Commercial or Industrial Realtor can become your best source of LOCATION. Since LOCATION is one of the prime determinants to business success in our industry, you want to find the best realtor available. If you are going to be involved with a long-term lease, by all means, have a commercial realtor represent you! Do NOT use a residential realtor, as their training is far different than that of a commercial realtor. If you are buying or building, the commercial realtor can assist you in finding a reputable builder.

 

The Industry Expert Consultant

 

At any stage of your business, you will want to be sure that the business is running at peak efficiency. In most cases, this means having an Industry Expert Consultant perform a complete Business Systems Analysis at least once every 3-5 years. The Industry Expert Consultant should have a RANGE of solutions to each business situation, should have a set of industry best practices that they can share, and should be willing to offer a guarantee of satisfaction. If the consultant cannot improve the efficiency of your systems, or improve your bottom line, or both, then they are not worth the money or the time.

If you are fortunate, the Industry Expert Consultant is also qualified to help you value your business, identify the value drivers of your business, and possibly act as the broker for a sale when you are ready.

 

Coordinating the Team

 

During the life span of your business, you will have times when two or more of your Business Professionals need to work together. Perhaps you should consider getting ALL of them together, if even just for a social occasion. The more that these professionals know and trust each other, the better job they will do for you.

 

The Big “R” - RELATIONSHIPS

 

Remember to develop positive, personal RELATIONSHIPS with these professionals BEFORE you REALLY need them! The importance of this cannot be overstated. If you are ever presented with a business “crisis” such as a flood, a financial downturn, a lawsuit, an IRS audit, a lease dispute, etc. – you will be VERY glad that these REALATIONSHIPS are in place in advance!

Comments? You can contact me directly via my ExecRanks profile.

Share This Post