Problem: You're looking for help solving business problems, and then it hits you: "My banker or accountant should have the answer to that!"
In their areas of expertise, bankers and accountants know a lot. It's to their advantage to share what they know with you, but you need to ask. Your banker can give you one financial perspective; your accountant can give you another.
Solution: When you need help in the following areas, don't hesitate to ask your banker about:
- Determining whether your business plan makes sense.
- Deciding whether your cash-flow projections are realistic.
- Advice on the development outlook in your community-and the business climate in general.
- Suggesting what you can do to make your business attractive when you need a loan.
Some banks actively recruit small-business accounts. Some sponsor small-business workshops or seminars. To get the most value from your relationship with a banker:
- Have your banker review your business plan and visit your business occasionally to see what you do and how you do it.
- Stay in touch with your banker and let him or her know what's going on in your business.
Consult an accountant when you need:
- Help putting together a record-keeping system.
- Help keeping track of your income, payroll, accounts receivable and payable, and other types of expenses.
- Help developing your business plan.
- Help finding financing.
- Assistance preparing financial statements when applying for a loan.
- Advice on selecting or training a bookkeeper.
Excerpted with permission from Roger Fritz's The Small Business Troubleshooter (Career Press, $15.99, 630-420-7673).