Written By: Brandy Miller | December 12, 2017 | No Comments
Are lawyers worth the money? Is it worth it to pay for an accountant? When I’m asked these questions, I’m often reminded of a drunken driving advertisement that says “a taxi ride home is cheaper than a DUI lawyer.” How true.
That ad campaign stressed that after a night of drinking, a taxi ride may feel like an expensive cost, but when it’s compared to the cost of a lawyer when you get caught for drunk driving, the cost of a taxi seems pretty cheap. I think that philosophy also compares well to hiring professionals. The cost of hiring a lawyer might seem like an unwanted expense before embarking on a particular task. However, when you compare the cost of that lawyer versus the cost of hiring a lawyer to solve problems that occur from a failure to plan, the cost of hiring the lawyer at the beginning is far less than the cost of hiring a lawyer to fix problems after something goes wrong. The moral of the story is plan for failure so you never have to deal with failure.
But hiring professionals can break a young company that needs every dime to succeed, so how do you decide when a lawyer or other professional is worth the expense? This is where I think some professionals are better at dealing with young companies than others. When you first create a company, it is imperative to know when something is better to do yourself and when it is better to have a professional handle it for you. Accountants and lawyers spend years learning their craft, so it’s unreasonable to expect that you will have the same expertise in those areas when you begin a business. Therefore, it makes sense to ask an individual for help identifying the areas in which you need expert advice and ones you can tackle alone.
A caring professional can help explain those things to you. An accountant may tell you that doing your own books makes sense early to save on costs, but meeting with an accountant before filing your first tax return will be necessary to assure that you maximize tax deductions. An accountant will also likely tell you that a meeting before you begin your business to discuss how to best pursue your business dream can save you tens of thousands, and it’s only one meeting.
Similarly, hiring a lawyer to draft your early contracts is crucial to make sure you are not missing something in the industry for which you need to be aware. However, perhaps a lawyer can draft a blank agreement so you can use the same basic terms in each contract you do, saving you money in repeat lawyer costs. A lawyer will also tell you that a meeting to discuss your business before it begins will help tremendously in avoiding certain pitfalls that could prove to be the ruin of your business later. An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
So, work with a professional that not only can give you the quality advice you need but is willing to work with you to give you the protection you need as financially efficient as possible. Work with the professional to accomplish all of your needs, including your financial needs. The professional will be able to inform you of your options and pricing so that you can make the decisions that are right for you.