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To Succeed in Business, You Need a Team

By Janice Palko

According to the Small Business Administration, a business that started in 2004 had a 78.9 percent chance of lasting one year. However, that same business had a less than 50-50 chance (48.9 percent) of making it to the five-year mark.

There are many reasons why a business may fail, believing you can launch, maintain, or expand a business without any help is a major one. To succeed in business, you need a team. Below are some of the professionals you may want on your business team:

Accountant

Accountants oversee the financial operation of a business. They review the work of a bookkeeper if your company has one. Accountants also are well versed in tax law and they prepare financial statements.

Administrative Support

When you are first launching a business and you are pinching pennies, you may think that you can handle the day-to-day routine of running a business—answering calls and emails, filing orders, arranging meetings–but when you become too busy, it’s time to get help. You can either hire your own personnel or engage an agency to provide you with this essential type of assistance.

Banker

It’s the rare small business that doesn’t need the services of a bank, and it benefits the small business owner if they can establish a relationship with a trusted banker. Your banker can advise you on everything from the best loan for your company to setting up company credit card accounts.

Bookkeeper

A bookkeeper is responsible for the entry of financial data into the accounting system. They pay bills, process payroll, prepare invoices and mail statements. Sometimes an accountant and bookkeeper are one in the same person depending on the size of the small business.

Business Coach

When you are running a small business, it’s often difficult to see the forest for the trees, especially if you are mired in work. While you may be working hard, you may also be running in circles. A business coach can help you to figure out a vision for your business and then create a path that will help you to achieve that vision.

Employment Recruiter

Let’s hope your business is so successful that you will need to hire employees. You may be able to handle that task on your own, but sometimes, it can be beneficial to consult an employment recruiter. An employment recruiter can screen candidates and recommend qualified ones for your career openings, eliminating your need to wade through resumes and contact applicants.

Financial Planner

Among the many things a financial planner can do for your business is to advise you on tax planning, risk management, retirement planning, and estate planning. Many entrepreneurs spend hours planning and establishing a business but give little consideration to what becomes of that business upon death.

Insurance Agent

An insurance agent can ensure that your small business has adequate insurance protection. Your agent can help minimize your risk and liability. There are various types of policies available—everything from home-based business insurance to product liability insurance.

Lawyer

It is obvious that a business owner should consult an attorney when legal issues arise, but it might not be so obvious that you can avert some of those problems beforehand. An attorney who specializes in small businesses can help you to set up your business, keep you from running afoul of government regulations, and draw up contracts even before you make that first sale.

Marketing Consultant

A marketing consultant can devise a plan to drive your sales. While it’s great to have a social media expert on board and a really hot website, unless they are all working toward the same destination–to make your business stand out and create sales–you can be wasting your money. A marketing consultant can ensure that all aspects of your business are working toward that goal.

Mentor

Even Luke Skywalker needed a mentor. A mentor is probably one of the most valuable members of an entrepreneurial team and probably one of the most difficult to find. It may take some time to obtain a mentor, but begin by observing people that you admire and who seem to know more than you. Try to cultivate a relationship before approaching them formally to mentor you.

Social Media Expert

Getting the word out about your business is essential to its success. You need to be visible across all aspects of social media that may benefit your company. But when you are running a business, it’s difficult to remember to Tweet or post on Facebook let alone upload a new blog. Depending upon what type of business you are in, you may need a social media professional to keep your company visible.

Web Designer

Today, having a website is essential for the success of a business as it has become the “face of a business.” Unless you have a computer science degree, your business will need to have a web designer create an eye-catching, easy-to-navigate website. Web designers also ensure that your website looks attractive and works well on mobile devices.

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