Choosing Your Advisors

Small businesses usually don’t have the necessary capital to hire full time experts to work within their organizations. In the beginning, you will probably not have all the necessary expertise either. Therefore, you may need to hire external professional services, such as marketing and management consultants, accountants, attorneys, engineers, graphic designers, technical consultants and others.

Some advisors, especially accountants and attorneys, are widely used by businesses of all sizes because of licensing and legal requirements. No business can function without maintaining financial records, filing required reports, paying income and other taxes, or having complete financial records for use in dealing with banks, suppliers, investors, etc. who need to know the financial position of your business. You may also need legal advice concerning the legal structure of your business, contractual arrangements with suppliers and distributors, leases, litigation protection, etc. 

While the services of attorneys and accountants may seem obvious, it does not diminish the need to select individual advisors carefully. You should choose your legal, accounting or other business advisors with great care, including checking for adequate credentials and references. Engineers, technical specialists and management consultants, as well as anyone else who provides specific specialized advice, should be carefully screened as well. The expertise that advisors bring to you should be verified also. If you decide you need an advisor, the following is a guide for selecting an advisor and to using his/her services.