Finance: Four people it pays to have on your side

Sylvia Pennington

Successful entrepreneurs know that no man or woman is an island – or an expert in everything. They make it their business to surround themselves with top teams.

Having the right financial folk in your corner can mean the difference between being a small business hero – and a zero.

You’ll up the odds of success if your financial “team” includes the following class acts.

An ace accountant

An accountant who specialises in small business can be a fount of knowledge and wise counsel for owners of businesses of all sizes and stripes. Yes, they’ll prepare your tax returns, both company and personal, but their value extends beyond filling out forms for the ATO every year or quarter. Don’t know how to write a business plan to obtain vital expansion funding? Not sure what legal structure is right for your enterprise? Like an opinion on which business software will give the information you need to keep your finger on your firm’s financial pulse? Your accountant should be all over it all – and happy to share.

An insurance broker will do the hard work for you, making sure you’re properly covered and aren’t spending a cent more than you need to.

An insurance broker extraordinaire

Does running your small business entail shelling out thousands of dollars per year in insurances – for your premises, motor vehicles, professional indemnity and income protection? Join the club – for many proprietors, it’s a major impost and determining the right type of cover and shopping around for the best deal can be a challenging and time-consuming process. An insurance broker will do the hard work for you, making sure you’re properly covered and aren’t spending a cent more than you need to.

A bank manager on your side

Business booming and you want to expand? A healthy rapport with your bank manager or business banker will increase the likelihood of your getting the credit you need without hold-ups or hurdles. It’s best to start building the relationship well before you go cap in hand by scheduling regular catch ups and sharing your business plans, successes and ambitions for growth.

A top-flight financial broker

Debt finance or equity finance? Finance, operating or novated car lease? It may be all double Dutch to you – but not so your financial broker. If you’re not sure what sort of credit arrangements best suit your small business or whether your regular bank is the right mob to provide them, say hello to someone who can provide some options and guide you through the application process. It pays to check you’re dealing with a broker who’s licensed, via ASIC Connect’s Professional Registers search.

Sylvia Pennington

Sylvia Pennington is a Brisbane-based freelance journalist who writes about small business, information technology and personal finance.