Business accounting and legal work are mundane-but-required tasks for any startup. However, until the company is large enough to hire on dedicated staff for that work, how do you find qualified professionals to outsource the work to? (Other than opening up the yellow pages and calling at random, or asking the business' next door neighbor)...
I always ask around - whether it's family, friends, or even the business next door. I also go to networking events to try to find contacts.
Once I find a name or two, then I'll schedule an appointment and, if we seem to click, I'll open up with a small project. Maybe a contract review. Or my personal tax returns. Or a logo that's already been designed.
It's simply a trial to show how well they work or don't work. And if they don't, then I repeat the process. Usually, the professional will do an acceptable job (otherwise, I won't pay) so, at the very least, you're only out time.
As I wrote in another answer, I think the single most important thing is cross-domain communication, i. e.
I've found that people who are good at this will spend the time to talk with you about the outline of what you need done, without charging for it and without you making any commitments. At the end of that conversation, you should have a clear idea of what's going to come next, how the complete process will look like, and at least roughly what sort of money you're talking about. You should be able to summarize this and the other person should agree. The professional should be able to paraphrase what it is you want and you should feel understood.
A problem that's often underestimated is that you, not being familiar with the particular domain, will not know exactly what you want or what's good for you. A great professional helps you with that, at no charge, before you hire him / her, and without regard to his / her revenue, like an independent advisor. I know a media agency who regularly spend a man-day or more on free, open-ended consulting to prospective clients. They did my website and CI and I'm totally happy, even though they aren't exactly cheap.
I'll reply re lawyers, because that's my profession.
Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Here are my top 4 tips for finding a professional -
- Ask for a referral but with people in a similar situation as you. Word of mouth is the best way
That's what the internet for.
I've recently used http://www.justanswer.com/ instead of seeing a doctor. Nowadays almost everything is on the web.
There are online proof reading services, health, lots of lots freelance graphic designs sites like Guru, elance or design/logo competition sites.
Basically use the internet for whatever you need, somewhere in someone opened a website and gives online services for whatever you need. Read the reviews, try them out, use them. It's way easier than going out and trying to find some decent contractor (unless you already knew them)