Four Professionals Who Can Help Your Business Succeed

Freelancing is hard work — that much we know. The expectation, though, is that all of this hard work will lead to success.

Unfortunately, success doesn’t always follow hard work.

Sometimes the secret to success is getting help from the right people — the people who already know what you need to know in order to succeed.

As your business grows, you’ll find that you have questions that are hard to answer by yourself. You may look for the information on the internet and elsewhere, but it’s hard to be sure if what you find is accurate or up to date. Plus it’s a lot more time and work that you don’t necessarily need…

It’s time to get some extra help!

Fortunately, there are specialists who can answer your questions. In this post we will point you to the four big types that can help your business.

Four Professionals You May Want To Hire

The following professionals may be able to help your freelance business:

  1. Attorney — An attorney can help your freelance business establish or change your business entity. (For example, if you are currently a sole proprietor and want to incorporate your business, do you know how to go about it? An attorney can explain what type of entity is best for your business and help you make the necessary changes.) An attorney can help you if you are sued. They can also answer intellectual property questions such as those regarding copyright issues and trademark issues.
  2. Tax professional – Having a good tax professional can save your business money when it comes to tax time. Income tax laws for business owners are complex. The tax laws also vary depending on how your business is organized. A tax professional will keep up with any changes to the tax law and let you know how they affect your business. A tax professional can prepare your tax forms. If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) contacts you, then you may need to get advice from a tax professional.
  3. Accountant — Most freelancers don’t really understand the correct way to set up their books. An accountant can help you keep accurate and up-to-date records. If your business ever decides to incorporate, an accountant can help you prepare yearly financial statements according to industry standard accounting principles. He or she can also help you create and monitor your business budget. If your business has employees, an account can help with the payroll-related paperwork.
  4. Marketing specialist — You may be the best graphic designer, copywriter, or photographer in the business. Your skill does you little good if no one knows about it. While some freelancers are also marketing specialists, many of us excel at other tasks. At some point during your freelance career, you may find it helpful to hire a marketing specialist so that your business can get the exposure that it needs to succeed. He or she can create promotional materials for your business. If your primary client base is online, make sure to hire a marketing specialist who is familiar with methods of online promotion.

Who Helps Your Business Succeed?

Do you already use a professional for one or more business-related tasks? What type of professionals have you hired?

Share your stories in the comments.

Comments

  1. says

    I think a good accountant is incredibly hard to find these days. I’ve been looking and looking for the right fit, but still haven’t located someone with the right combination of experience, youth, creativity (within legal boundaries, of course) and versatility.

    Anyone have suggestions?

  2. says

    Hi Colin!

    Can you get suggestions from friends and acquaintances? That’s how I found my accountant.

    On a side note, I’m wondering why youth is one of your criteria.

  3. says

    That is exactly how I turned my freelance business into a full service agency. I started by hiring a marketing specialist. As my account base grew – so did my services and my Marketing Specialist starting working with me on those projects. I can’t say I am freelancer now, but I certainly started out as one for 6 years. Great points you share laura. Now I have all four. The more you use other peoples talents – the quicker you succeed. It frees up your time to do other things to grow your business.

  4. says

    I know that a lot of consultants don’t want to have to hassle with all those professionals which is why they come to a company like MBO Partners. We essentially do everything an attorney, “tax man” and accountant would do. When it comes to marketing, though, it can be the scariest part of being independent. I feel like the designers I’ve worked with have been so humble and happy WAY behind the scenes. It’s hard to have an ego and get out there to promote yourself! As a marketer myself, I can tell you that if you think of yourself as a product you’re selling, it can feel like you’re divorced a little from the process.

    Awesome article!

  5. JG says

    I am a young guy myself, but when I’m looking for a lawyer, accountant, insurance broker, etc. I don’t look for young people necessarily. I need to get a good vibe from them and they need to know (or seem to know) what they’re doing.

    I don’t know if it’s a generational thing but it seems young people nowadays are disinterested and not very helpful – my experience anyway. The boomer generation seems like they take their jobs more seriously. When I do work for people I try to dispel that stereotype.

  6. says

    Attorneys are ungodly expensive, but it’s always good to have one on call. I had one write up an E&O portion for my standard contract for clients, and it makes me feel better knowing that he’s there if I ever have any issues.

    I also second hiring an accountant. Mine is also a tax professional — I’m not sure why the two were separated in this article? Do you do things differently in the US?

    Another suggestion? If you’re not an absolute techie, have an IT person around. The money will be worth it.

  7. says

    The first 3 are essentials to any business large and small, I think though that a designer who is or is going freelance by choice should already have enough marketing chutzpah to succeed…

    Book Keepers or Accountants over here (I live in germany) are pretty much one and the same thing, I just collect all my Paperwork, (receipts, billings and invoices) in a ringbinder and hand em over once a month…

    Attorneys are probably the most difficult to find because they are so varied in their skill sets, I have a long term relationship with a Lawyer who knows who to call in for specialist stuff, the most important aspect of that relationship is Trust and that must be a mutual thing…

    Yet again another nice article for freelance freshies.

  8. says

    I certainly need a really good marketing specialist. This is the one area where I lack in talent, skills and quite frankly motivation to take me to the next level. I will start looking for an affordable marketing specialist right away. Great post Laura

  9. says

    Great comments!

    Thanks to everyone who shared their stories. I could have, of course, added other professionals – but that would vary from freelancer to freelancer. For example, a freelancer who doesn’t specialize in writing web copy could probably use a copywriter. One who is unfamiliar with design could use a designer, and so on.

    In the United States accountants and tax professionals can be the same person — or they can be different. It depends on your needs. I wrote this way because my Tax Professional specializes in taxes only. He wouldn’t have time to help with setting up a chart of accounts or bookkeeping tasks, for example. Other accountants may operate differently.

  10. says

    If you’re shoppping for a marketing consultant, look for one who understands how to build relationships, so that you can turn members of the general public into raving fans.

  11. says

    I would agree with Colin that a good accountant is extremely hard to find, however, the few that I’ve worked with have been older – which I kind of like. I think there is something to be said for experience in such a complex industry with very unique rules and guidelines.

    Something else that I’ve found to be a challenge is finding more than one attorney that gives the same or similar advice. My problem is always wanting a second opinion in areas I am unfamiliar with. It makes deciding which way to move forward a tougher challenge – at least for me.

  12. says

    Laura, I may be a little biased (I’m an accountant) but I think this is an excellent piece regardless. thanks for giving me something to point to when I try to tell aspiring freelancers & entrepreneurs that building a “mastermind group” is important to their future success (or failure).

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