Vendors Are Your Best Small Business Advisors

Vendors best consultants

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4.   Your CPA

The tax preparer or CPA is typically another great candidate as a key small business advisor. Not only can the CPA offer tax advice, but in many cases is available to share best practices for business operations, sales, and finance, having witnessed the successes and failures of other clients in your same industry.

In addition, keep in mind that the CPA is in a great position to give referrals because many other clients also look to him/her as an advisor. The more your CPA knows about your business and the more confident s/he is in its operations, the more likely this partner is to send prospects your way.

5.  The insurance agent

The company’s insurance agent can also serve as a valuable “Board Member.” Insurance agents are vital in safeguarding the company’s interests at every stage of the growth cycle, and therefore are also in tune with a growing company’s changing needs.

Many insurance agents can offer financial business products as well as personal products for the owners to facilitate and accommodate a growing company.

6.  Your web developer

Finally, in recent years the web developer has taken on a small business advisory role for many companies. Small businesses look to web developers not only create a website, but also to help the company develop their branding and create their marketing communications to the outside world.

A good web team can be an invaluable resource as a company grows, informing changes to the company’s brand and marketing that should parallel growth.

In summary

These are just a few of the professionals that you may have already engaged that can meet the “Board” role for your growing company, but there are likely many other sources of small business advisor wisdom that you can tap.

You know your vendors best – the key is to see these people not just as professionals who perform a singular task like preparing a tax return or designing a website, but as potential small business advisors and mentors. Be smart and leverage their expertise to get the advice your growing business needs.

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About the author

Alex Hart

Alexander J. Hart of Cuban American decent is principal and founder of Hart Vida Raffo. With over 25 years of experience, Alex specializes in the areas of tax strategy and planning, business process improvement, and capital consulting. Whether advising on capital and financing strategy or consulting for privately-held professional services firms, Alex has the expertise and practical know-how to help any company optimize their business processes and make tactical financial decisions. He began his career at IBM in sales operations and accounting. He was a Controller for the N.Y. Post, has been a CFO for a medical device company, and has written a tax column called “Ask the Tax Guys” for Micro-Cap Review. Alex is a professional member of A.L.T.A. (Affiliated Lawyers of the Americas), a member of the National Association of Tax Preparers, and is a contributing author and mentor at Latin Business Today. Alex graduated from St. John’s University with a B.A. in Spanish and his M.B.A. in Finance. He obtained his accounting degree from Pace University.

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