Being self-employed doesn′t mean being self-sufficient in all things. Enlisting the help of specialised professionals (e.g. accountants and solicitors) for aspects of the business in which you aren′t as adept is key to ensuring you have all bases covered. Acquiring their assistance can also increase your business′s efficiency because you have more time to focus on what you′re best at. You should consider seeking advice and support for your business from the following professionals:
Not many of us enjoy crunching numbers and doing tax returns, which is why so many business owners use accountants. Among other things, an accountant can save you valuable time by doing your bookkeeping, analysing your cash flow and helping you pay the right amount of tax. They also manage your financial responsibilities for any employees you may have, including their wages and superannuation.
Although it can be cheaper to utilise digitalised accounting software, an actual accountant offers the benefits of a human touch. They can develop a professional relationship with you as well as a firm understanding of your business needs.
Getting sued is one of the biggest fears of all business owners. Solicitors aren′t just there to help when you′re being sued; they are also there to prevent you getting sued. A legal professional can offer guidance regarding all contracts, licences and regulations surrounding all areas of your business. They also help you to understand your rights and the rights of others all the while helping you to ensure you are fully complying with the law and not at risk of being prosecuted. They also assist you in the drawing up of contracts (e.g. job contracts) to ensure there aren′t any loopholes.
A good banking system is crucial for any business. You want the funds to flow smoothly in and out with all income and payments being processed in a timely manner. A business banker will tend to these specific banking needs for your business, advising you on your borrowing, saving, transacting, financing and cash flow whilst offering suitable banking products to facilitate these practises. They can also offer general advice on how your business can succeed in your industry. You can also compare business banking products here.
A financial planner is similar to a business banker, but provides more of an outlook on your business′s future. Financial planners help you develop a long-term strategy for your business by analysing your situation as well as providing advice on investment and risk management. They can also assist in putting a plan in place for your retirement and what happens to your business when you retire. Since some of them don′t represent a bank, financial planners can be more personal than business bankers, developing more of a relationship with you and your business.
Things can happen beyond your control that can kill your business, such as a fire burning down your shop or an injury/illness rendering you unable to work. That′s why every business owner needs insurance. But it can be difficult (not to mention depressing) trying to consider every possible business-destroying incident to protect yourself from, so that′s where an insurance broker can assist. An insurance broker helps find the right insurance catered for your business whilst negotiating the price of it on your behalf to ensure you′re not paying more than you have to. They are qualified experts in their industry, striving to provide you with the most comprehensive, cost-effective insurance. Keep in mind however that many of them work on commission and may have a limited number of insurance products to offer, so do your own research as well to ensure you are getting the best deal.
Unless you′re some kind of superhuman jack-of-all-trades, it′s very hard to grow your business without any help. Many business owners need to consult a variety of other different professionals with specialised skills. These can include web developers, marketing consultants, IT experts and recruiters. A simple google search will help you find people and firms offering specific services in your area. You′ll probably be faced with many options for each type of service, so shop around to find the right one offering a good price.
Finally, it′s always good to have someone there to guide you in your business ownership along the way. Business mentors are people with experience to look up to and regularly consult on general matters regarding your business strategies and goals. Mentors can also help you grow and develop your business knowledge and skills. Mentors can be informal such as family and friends, but you can also find formal mentors through programs run by government and industry associations. Check out the business mentoring programs being run around the country.