Justin Fallon, founder of 1-800-SOLD-OUT, in Darien, Conn., presents one-page "job descriptions" to prospective lawyers, accountants and marketing companies he interviews. "If you can't clearly state on paper what you're expecting from someone, you're in trouble," says Fallon, whose $3.2 million company sells ticket packages to events.

For example, Fallon says, he has learned that he needs legal advisers not just to write company documents but also to provide expert guidance. "I need them to think and anticipate problems," he says. After writing up a description to that effect, Fallon took it to the three best law firms in his state. Today, he says, he gets the top-notch legal advice he needs.