Google is great, but never a substitute for a real expert

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As business owners, we often find ourselves looking for answers to questions we’ve not had to consider before. You likely first faced this when you incorporated; should I incorporate as an LLC or a Corporation? S Corp or C Corp? LLP/LLLP? Hopefully you talked to an attorney and/or a tax professional to understand the ins and outs of each, because even Forbes in their LLC vs. Corporation article hedged their “help you decide” guide with a reminder to “[a]lways get advice from an experienced accountant.”

Which brings us to the main point: never let Google (or the internet in general) be a substitute for good, professional advice. There are plenty of horror stories out there about people who tried to go it alone and ended up in hot water as a result.

When it comes to ways to improve your company’s efficiency or supply chain flow, an outside opinion is almost always the way to go. As one of our clients put it recently, “I didn’t realize I was a part of ‘the matrix’ until someone from the outside started asking questions that forced me to think … I finally realized that I couldn’t see the [issues] because I was a part of the [system].”

So how to you avoid killing your net income by spending it all on consultants? The simple version is the “application test.” Would you feel comfortable applying for a job that focused on the area you’re looking at? If your background is business management and you need to hire someone, then maybe. But what about general (or tax) accounting? Or real estate? Or freight brokerage? Purchase negotiations? If you don’t feel like you could sell your knowledge or experience on a job application, then it might be better to bring someone in.

Most business owners feel confident in hiring someone, but what about when you get to a point where you’re now OSHA-regulated? Or you fall under the requirements (or recruiting need) to have a benefits program?

Shameless plug: we can help. But even if you don’t use us, make sure you tap into experience that will help,you navigate the hurdles you encounter — if for no other reason than to allow you to have someone take care of it, not expand your headcount, and allow you to focus on running your company.

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