Lawyers, Accountants and other Professionals
Any company will usually require the services of lawyers, accountants and other professionals depending on the type of business. Many businesses will hire a number of professionals such as lawyers on an “as needed” basis although larger businesses may have their own departments for their lawyers and accountants. No business can work entirely alone and there will always be supporting staff needed in any successful company.
Hiring “As Needed” StaffStaff that are needed now and again or when required will be a necessity in any company. Even a one man operation working from a laptop will need IT support when the computer breaks down. There are three main categories of professional that are usually staples within a business. Lawyers, accountants and consultants are usually a necessity, and for most businesses they can be hired when they are needed. Payment for “as needed” staff will be determined by the amount of hours that you actually need them to work for your company.
Checking CredentialsIf you do require the services of professionals such as lawyers then it is important to check their credentials. This can be done by checking with the appropriate regulatory body for their profession. However, members of certain associations such as the Federation of Small Businesses may be able to use their legal services for free. If you are part of a union you should also be able to obtain free legal advice and information. This is a route to consider if you cannot afford to hire a lawyer even on an “as needed” basis.
Lawyer’s ServicesThere are a number of ways that lawyers can be beneficial to your company. They will be needed for issues such as contracts and agreements, employment law, letters to debtors and other legal issues such as consumer rights. Law firms come in all shapes and sizes and some will specialise in business law. If you want to build up a relationship with a lawyer then it may be beneficial to choose a small law firm that will give a more personal touch. Remember, lawyers will give a cost breakdown before starting work and you can then decide whether or not to accept their services.
Employing an AccountantAccountants are used by firms for services such as payroll, accounts, and tax and VAT calculations. An accountant can also help with preparing funding proposals, helping with a company’s growth, and helping with pricing issues. If you are going to employ an accountant on an “as needed” basis then you should try to minimise the cost. If you are capable of keeping your own bookkeeping and accounts then this will reduce the accountant’s workload and save you money. An accountant will usually charge by the hour and their specialist skills can cost a lot of money.
ConsultantsConsultants are used by businesses for a variety of reasons and trouble shooting is one of their specialist skills. Consultants can be brought in to identify problems that a company is having and find ways to rectify these problems. A consultant can find ways to improve a company’s profits and sales figures, and can help with growth prospects. Consultants are usually industry specific, which means they will usually have a background in the industry that they are giving advice on.
Consultant’s PricesConsultants are definitely not cheap but the services they offer will usually make a difference to a company’s profits. The Business Link office does employ consultants and their services can be available to small businesses or start-up businesses at a discounted rate. Most businesses will usually bring in a consultant for a limited time in order to identify problems and devise strategies. Follow up consultancies may be needed so obtaining a quote will be a good idea.
Professional services will always be required at some point whether it is lawyers or IT support services. Remember, cheapest price is not always the best option when deciding on your “as needed” staff. Finding out what the professionals can and can’t do for your company will be beneficial if you are taking a long term view. A successful working relationship with your lawyer or accountant should be extremely beneficial towards your company’s future growth.