The Professionals

“I know how to run my business. Why do I need you?”

After having run the business for some time, it is common for an owner to claim that they know everything about running their business, from the smallest detail to the overall structure. They’ve probably performed every task themselves at one time or another. If they can’t do something, more than likely an employee is doing it for them. Successful business owners stay focused on all of these aspects of the company and manage each of them in unison to produce the best results for the company. They’re typically knee-deep in the details of operations, financial management and marketing, and don’t have much time to think beyond what they already know.

There are, however, times when business matters require a level of technical expertise beyond the scope of a business owner’s day-to-day skills. Most people are often reluctant to reach out for help, especially during early years of running the business, when cash is so critical. There are, however, issues requiring special knowledge of law, accounting, management and marketing which are usually best handled by outside experts. Attorneys, accountants, and management and marketing consultants have specialized knowledge about niche areas that business owners couldn’t (and shouldn’t) attempt to duplicate, either personally or in the form of an in-house employee. Some of these areas include:


Attorneys are essential in businesses in many ways beyond representation in a lawsuit. They offer advice on what is the best structure for your business, by explaining what type of entity is best for your company, based on the nature of your business and the tax ramifications and liability each type may have. Each state and municipality has its own rules and laws regarding businesses. And lawyers can assist you with all your business filings and licensing requirements. Regulations and codes are imposed on businesses, not to impede the progress of companies, but to protect legitimate interests of stakeholders of the business, i.e., consumers, environment, or workers. Lawyers can help devise ways to overcome these hurdles. They can be invaluable in reviewing and writing contracts to protect your interests. Attorneys can also advise you on the best strategies for protecting intellectual property, including trademarks, copyrights and domain names.

It’s generally worthwhile to consult an attorney before making any business decision that could have legal ramifications. Some of these decisions include:

  • Structuring or altering the terms of a partnership or corporation,
  • Checking for compliance with regulations in new locales where you hope to do business,
  • Negotiating loans to fund expansion,
  • Obtaining trademarks or patents,
  • Preparing buy-sell agreements,
  • Tax planning,
  • Drawing up or revising pension plans,
  • Reviewing business forms,
  • Negotiating and drawing up documents to buy or sell other companies or real estate,
  • Reviewing employee contracts,
  • Exporting or selling products in other states, and
  • Collecting bad debts.


Utilizing the services of a competent accountant is just as important and critical as using an outstanding attorney. Initially, your attorney and your accountant should work in concert to make sure the business structure you select for your company is best suited to minimize your tax burden and maximize profit potential.

Accountants are insightful and can advise you on the best accounting practices for your business, as inappropriate practices can lead to unnecessary tax burdens in the future.

A major service an accountant can provide your business is assisting you in setting up a record system to make financial reporting easier—for you—not just for them. Your books represent the quantitative picture of your business. Having the appropriate and crucial reports available, along with knowing how to analyze these financial statements, is essential in order for you to make better business decisions. Accountants can also help you calculate your break-even and cash flow projections.


A good banking relationship will give you much more than just a place to run your corporate revenues through. Smart bankers can assist you in setting up the proper financial instruments so you can manage your finances better. This includes the processes involved in obtaining a loan and/or credit. Bankers are also helpful in analyzing financial trends in your business sector and providing insight into how they may affect your business.

A Payroll company

Payroll can get complicated, especially when you have a mix of full-time and part-time employees, salaried workers, hourly staff, commissioned employees and independent contractors. A payroll company may be able to streamline the process for you and unburden you with a very time consuming and error prone task.

Tax Professional. Having a good tax professional can save your business money when it comes to tax time. Income tax laws for business owners are very complex. The tax laws also vary, depending on how your business is organized. A tax professional will keep up with any changes to the tax law and let you know how they affect your business. A tax professional can prepare your tax forms. And if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) contacts you, you will likely need to get advice from a tax professional.

Media/Marketing Professional. Having an online presence is becoming crucial for most businesses today, if only for recognition of legitimacy. Many media companies have Web professionals that can help you create an online profile. If they don’t, you may want to consider hiring a Web design service or Web consultant to work with you and design your site to look professional and attract new business. You may find it helpful to hire a marketing specialist so that your business can get the exposure that it needs in order to succeed. They can also create promotional materials for your business. If your primary client base is online, make sure to hire a marketing specialist who is familiar with methods of online promotion.

Management Consultant. There’s a lot you can do yourself, but it is almost always helpful to seek advice from someone with experience, savvy, and drive to help you grow your business—or take it in a new direction. Typically, business owners hire this type of consultant after a company is established, when business seems stagnant or operations are no longer efficient. A consultant can look at the whole company, streamline operations, and determine the kind of customers or clients you should be going after so your business can grow. They can make sure you have the necessary systems and procedures in place to operate as effectively as possible. They can establish the needed controls you need ensure that you stay on target to reach your goals. They can make sure your staff knows how to properly use the tools and systems that are in place to give you the timely information you need.

Why should you use outside professionals?

Using outside professionals, regardless of your industry, allows you to do what you do best and what is most important to you; to focus on running your company. It shifts the highly technical needs of your business to an outside specialist, who is much more proficient in specific areas. Your bottom line will be improved and your state of mind will remain focused and uncluttered.