What types of roles do you need on a team of advisors?

Many businesses benefit from having a lawyer and an accountant serve as consultants. Having marketing and tech consultants onboard might also be necessary.

Many businesses in Oregon start with no consultants, or sometimes, only a lawyer and an accountant to act as advisors. These roles are necessary but may not be enough for some ventures, especially as they grow and prosper. So, here is a look at which roles are vital and why.

Lawyer

A lawyer helps ensure that any business is operating legally. For example, a lawyer can prepare buy-sell agreements, review contracts and help secure trademarks. This person can also help a business collect for breach of contract. In fact, ensuring that customers and clients pay on time is vital for business success.

Accountant/CPA

An accountant ensures that business finances are in order. For example, this person keeps track of assets, depreciations and expenses. An accountant also follows tax laws and files taxes on time. An accountant may also be able to offer counsel on structuring payroll systems and on adjusting a business plan.

Tech guru

The business world is highly global and tech-centric. An owner could streamline many business operations and eliminate repetitive tasks by hiring a technology consultant. Take a business that has a help line that customers can call about issues. A tech-savvy business would have any customer changes immediately sync across all business departments. For example, a call center staffer types in the new phone number, mailing address and email address of a customer who moves, and the new information is recorded and spread immediately so that varied departments such as marketing, billing and customer service have it right away. Each department does not have to find out in its own time that the customer moved and make the change in isolation.

A tech guru can also help with app development and with selecting the most sensible equipment and software programs.

Marketing consultant

Many businesses cannot afford to hire in-house marketing personnel at first, but having a consultant onboard from the beginning is a wise, cost-effective move. This person can help the business identify its marketing base, develop customer personas and determine the best ways to reach these people. A consultant can also examine a marketing plan to see if it is up to date and touches on all bases. A marketing consultant for a larger business can also help the business hire in-house personnel or decide which outside team to contract with.

When an Oregon business is just starting, one priority may be to keep costs down. Thus, it might opt to use a bookkeeper instead of an accountant. However, as a business grows and its needs become more complex, it is important to reassess if the current lawyers, accountants and others are filling their roles as capably as they could.