Building your Board of Advisors.  Six key people that should be a part of your trusted team.

All small business owners need a team of trusted advisors to help them manage their operations and make decisions that will achieve success.  The following are recommended experts that you should make a part of your Board of Advisors:

1. CPA/Accountant.  Whether you do your accounting in-house and use an outside source for review only or you rely heavily on their number crunching, a CPA/Accountant is vital to ensure that your books are correct and will help with audits, taxes, bank compliance and many other key functions. 
2. Attorney.  This expert will be available for advice on setting up your business, creating contracts, litigation, mergers & acquisitions, business structure changes, closures and various matters resulting from doing business.    
3. Financial Planner.  Planning for your future, be it retirement, succession planning or forecasting growth, a Financial Planner is a great source for ensuring you are on the right path.  
4. Insurance Representative.  Why allow all your hard work to be at risk?  A knowledgeable insurance professional will help you understand your specific needs.  Do you need General Liability or Professional Liability protection?  Perhaps specialized coverage for your industry?  Finding someone that underwrites your industry will help you feel confident that you are covered for potential risks that may occur. 
5. Accountability Partner.  Just like New Year’s resolutions, we all have great intentions when we start something.  But frequently, time constraints, to do lists and unplanned developments can steer us from our paths.  Checking in with someone on a routine basis will allow you to keep on task and end each year achieving your goals.  
6. Human Resources Specialist.  Often overlooked but extremely important. Workplace issues are becoming more and more complex as State and Federal legislation impact the responsibilities and requirements of small business owners today.  Dealing with areas like benefits, workers’ compensation, payroll, unemployment, employee relations, safety, risk management, taxes and finances are challenging.  Having an advisor whose main focus is HR can help you with compliance issues related to having employees, required employment & labor laws, claims and employee relation issues.

When assembling your team of trusted advisors, make sure that each person has some familiarity with your industry.  And don’t fear outsourcing.  No one person can be an expert in all areas.  Trusting your team and delegating tasks will help you ultimately grow your business and allow you to make key decisions with confidence.