Professionals and where to find

Why use Professional Advisers anyway?
The simple answer is that by using professionals, either paid or unpaid, your business can run more smoothly and profitably. It is a wise business owner who realises his/her limitations and surrounds the business with the type of advisers who can come up with the right answer in the various areas required.

Some of these professional advisers could be as follows:

  • Accountant - for all your accounting and financial needs.
  • Lawyers - for all your legal requirements.
  • Printers and Graphic Artists - for all your printing and design requirements.
  • Insurance Agent - for all your insurance requirements.
  • Finance Brokers - for all your funding requirements.
  • Business Consultant - for all your management and systems advice.
  • Marketing Agent- for all your sales and marketing needs.

All the above people form part of the greater business network, which your business must develop if it is to operate effectively. Too many small businesses do not consult these professionals because of the fees involved, but this is sometimes a short-sighted type of approach.  It is far better to seek the advice when needed and do everything in your power to minimise the costs involved.

Where to Find Good Advisers
The right adviser can be invaluable to the health of your business, so it's important to find a good one who will be an asset, rather than a liability.

Here is a checklist of what to look for in an adviser.

  1. Make sure the adviser is suitably qualified in the field you want help with.
  2. Make sure you get a recommendation from a colleague or a professional organisation about a particular adviser.
  3. Make sure that the adviser has expertise in your type of industry or trade, or in dealing with clients similar to your business.
  4. Ask for details of their costs and what type of service is provided for their fees.
  5. Find out who will be doing your actual work. Will the adviser you are talking to complete it, or will a junior member of their firm handle it?
  6. Set up a meeting to fully discuss all your needs and ask all your questions before making a final decision.

It is important that you will be at ease with the adviser who is your final choice. If there were any bad vibes or feelings of mistrust, then it would be best to look for someone else.

Always select a Professional Adviser
When looking for an adviser, make sure you find someone you can trust and have good rapport with, when dealing with your business affairs. Remember, you will be paying good fees for their advice, so you should have confidence that the advice will be correct and that the adviser will have the ability to support you.

".. a specialist franchise lawyer would have a good knowledge of most issues affecting franchises so they are the people you should see"

Make sure the adviser knows what he/she is talking about in the area that concerns you. For example, if you are looking at franchising, then make sure that the lawyer you are dealing with has franchising expertise. Franchising is a specialist area, so there is no point talking to a professional adviser who has no experience in this area.

There are many lawyers who have good knowledge of franchising, but have never completed a franchise agreement for a client before. In this case, they should be avoided, so ask to be referred to another specialist in their firm who is experienced in the franchise arena.

If you go to a lawyer or accountant who is not experienced in the area that interests you, then not only will you be paying for inadequate advice, but you will be paying for them to get experience in that area.