Small Business Consultation

John asks…

What’s a ballpark fee for a small business attorney consultation?

I would like to start a business and am calculating costs.

But I cannot find ANY ballpark or fee information online for small businesses attorneys. I’m looking for an attorney who can review/draft contracts and give a good legal consultation…that’s about.

Please ANY rough estimate? (If hourly please state roughly how many hours it would take to draft small business contracts and give basic startup counsel.

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

Most attorneys will give you an initial consultation for free, in which you describe your situation, and the lawyer will tell you if this is or is not something that s/he’s familiar with, and can help you with, and what his/her charges are (hourly fees, retainers, expenses, etc.). Now, you won’t get a lot of detailed information, but you’ll be able to go shopping for an attorney without racking up thousands of dollars in fees. These consultations will usually be pretty short (a half hour or less).

You can also get free consultations from accountants.

If you’re in the US, I advise you to contact the Service Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE). This service is FREE (so it’s within your price range), and they will match you up with a mentor who has had experience in your field, or in a similar field, and this mentor can really help you in many ways.

Sharon asks…

How to create invoice numbers for a small business ?

Just need some advice on a system of invoice numbers. I started a small business and I need to create invoice numbers for my customers. Is there any science or system behind invoice numbers ??? How can they be coded so you can store built-in information ??? FYI – I have a small construction contractor business.

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

1. Add a prefix to indicate the invoice.
It’s better to add a prefix for invoice, like INV. This can help you to organize different types of documents, like quotation, invoice, receipt, etc.
INV – Invoice
REC – Receipt.

2. Dont make it too long.
It is troublesome if you or your customer want to reference it.

3. Add Time field.
You may add the Year or Month into, for example INV200908 or INV081234. You can easily track the invoice accordingly.

4. Start it from somewhere and not 1.
It gives a good impression to your customer.
It is really odd if your invoice number is INV00001.

5. Add Category field.
If you have different types of services/products, you want to differentiate it out in the number.
You can add a suffix. For example, add “C” to represent the consultation job.

So, you may come up with something like this
INV200908501, INV200908502, INV200908503

In next month, you have
INV200909501, INV200909502, INV200909503

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