Who Are Your Small Business Advisors? | Build Your Team
Owning a business can be lonely, but with the right team of small business advisors at your side, you can take on any challenge.
As a business owner, where do you turn when you need advice? Who do you call when you have a question? Owning a business can be lonely and isolating at times, but with the right team of small business advisors at your side, you can take on any challenge.
Experts recommend building a BAIL ME team of business advisors (no, not that kind of bail) to help you face the challenges of running a small business. A BAIL ME team includes a Banker, Accountant, Insurance agent, Lawyer, Mentor, and Engagement expert. BAIL advisors are essential to make sure that you are running your business in the most efficient and legal manner. ME advisors can help you strategize and grow your business. Both are essential. Let’s learn more about the importance of each of these team members and how they can help you protect and grow your business.
With the rise of self-service and e-banking, many people no longer even know their banker’s name. Building a strong relationship with your business banker is essential for long term business success and growth. For everything from establishing a line of credit to getting answers in an emergency situation like the COVID-19 pandemic, you need to have a good relationship with your business banker.
An accountant or a bookkeeper does more than just enter receipts into a ledger or balance your books. They are a vital part of keeping you and your business compliant with tax and accounting regulations. They can also help you create and understand your financial documents, including your business budget, income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet.
Learn more about the importance of managing your business finances in this short course.
I: Insurance Agent
All businesses need insurance to protect themselves and their operations. A good insurance agent will make sure you have the right types and amounts of coverage to keep your business protected. They can also make sure you get the best price on your insurance policies and help you through the process if you ever need to file a claim.
A lawyer’s job is to help you run your business within the letter of the law. Having a relationship with a business lawyer can make a world of difference when starting a new business venture or resolving legal challenges related to your business. It is always better to consult a lawyer sooner rather than later.
Beyond the BAIL essentials, having mentors in the same industry as your business is crucially important. Many business owners say that without their industry mentors, their businesses would not be as successful as they are. Industry mentors can include SCORE mentors, who normally provide mentorship to owners of small businesses that correspond with their professional experience, or other current business owners of similar businesses. Belonging to trade organizations or networking groups is also crucial for building peer-to-peer mentorship, strengthening networks, and finding traditional mentors.
E: Engagement Expert
Once you’ve found a general business mentor, the final essential member your team of business advisors are engagement experts, like marketing and social media specialists. To the extent that it is financially viable, hiring a professional to create your website or build a social media marketing plan can boost your business. If you can’t afford to hire somebody to fill this roll yet, there are many excellent free resources to help you build your marketing and social media strategy. Check out our Business Resource Library or sign up for a free coaching session with our expert coaches.
Find Your Small Business Advisors
It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. Every business owner should have a BAIL ME team of advisors to help them meet their business goals.
Not sure where to get started with building your BAIL ME team? Sign up for free business coaching with AOF’s Coaching Hub, where one of our experienced coaches can help you reach your business goals.