Running a small business can be challenging, and for this very reason you as a small business owner must have a team of advisors to surround yourself with. The advice and guidance you receive from others in managing your business will impact the business decisions you make. This team is called the 5 Star Alliance model:
Since all of these services are necessary, it will be important to select your group very carefully. Their expertise and business advice will guide your financial and business decisions. Let’s look at each one of these advisers role in more detail.
The first step is to find an Accountant. This is always the first step because the second step is to talk to a banker. The banker will want to know if you have an accountant or ask for your financial information. The bank will always prefer there be an accountant to prepare your financial information for you. Whether it is a budget, business plan or you’re most recent set of financial statements. The bank will use this information to determine whether they can loan you money. Some small businesses try to skimp on these services because they don’t understand the value of proper recordkeeping and the importance of keeping their finances in line. A good accountant will help keep you organized. An accountant’s job is to help you protect your wealth. In the development stages the accountant should help you put together a budget, business plan and input on important decisions. Going forward they should keep you on track.
The next step is to develop a relationship with a banker. Finding a banker you’re comfortable with and meets your business banking needs is a key factor. Whether it’s helping you set up your business checking account or assist you with financing in the form of a line of credit or loan. Develop a relationship with a banker – it will pay off.
When your business begins to grow and develop, you will want to make sure you are investing some of the money the business is generating for you. This allows you to produce some wealth outside of the business.
Finding an Investment adviser you can trust is imperative. Make sure they understand your tolerance for risk when investing your savings.
At some point in time your business may require some legal advice: maybe you need a contract drawn up, or a buy sell agreement, or non-compete agreement, or maybe you will be filing suit against someone or someone has filed suit against you. You probably will want to find an Attorney in the early stages of starting your business so they will get to know you, your business and be able to represent your best interests. Your Attorney and your Accountant are two positions you want established because one mistake in either area could be costly or devastating to your small business.
Lastly, every business owner needs to make sure they are insured in case something unmistakable and irrevocable happens, as well as having standard business insurance. The unthinkable can happen in any business and making sure you are prepared if it does, could be your last lifeline. Find an Insurance agent that can advise you on how to limit your liability and be properly covered.
Keep these 5 advisers close to you. Think of what is most important to you with each of these 5 individuals.
- What are you looking for from them?
- What requirements must they possess and what are some red flags that would signal you to not do business with them?
- Have you asked them for some testimonials or recommendations from current clients?
- Have you determined when it might be time for you to upgrade to a higher quality advisor if you outgrow the services they offer you?
- Can you trust them? Is this someone you can have a working relationship with?
To make sound business decisions, start by selecting your 5 Star Alliance Team carefully. It’s their guidance that will help you navigate the challenges and opportunities of your small business.
For more information on finding an accountant that can be part of your 5 Star Alliance Team, please visit www.ewhsba.com or 262-796-1040.