Small business owners who think they can handle most — if not all — aspects of their business just haven’t given enough thought as to what those other aspects might be. The chances are that they might be inept at bookkeeping, information technology, and marketing. And that’s perfectly fine. Whenever you find you’re unable to manage something on your own, you should always ask for help. Here’s a list of five services and programs you need to help you run your small business.
It never sounds like an appealing situation, but at some point, you may need a lawyer to help you with legal matters. It’s unlikely that you’ll need legal help for building your business if it’s a sole proprietorship. But you will need legal help for other requirements and issues. While an accountant can help you with more general financial tasks, a tax lawyer can help you with complex tax issues such as debts and controversies. You will also need a commercial litigation lawyer if ever you run into disputes.
Consulting an accountant during the planning stages of your business will be helpful to you and your business. Many people think that accountants need only come in when there are bookkeeping and payroll to be done, but that isn’t the case. An accountant can help you from the beginning by advising you on your business plan and structure, helping you secure licenses and permits, and helping you plan your finances. Many small businesses fail due to a lack of funds, which can be attributed to poor financial planning.
However, because small businesses sometimes run on limited funding, it’s understandable if you feel reluctant about hiring a full-time accountant once your business is up and running. At this stage, you can get on by using accounting software such as QuickBooks for your bookkeeping and payroll needs. Still, we recommend consulting an accountant when planning your business.
Information technology (IT) support
You need IT support, period. IT isn’t just for fixing servers and internet connections when they’re down; it’s also for protecting and archiving company documents. It’s also for data management, monitoring, and solutions to technical problems. A small business normally doesn’t need an IT specialist in their full-time staff. You only need IT support when something goes wrong. The problem is that you can’t predict when things go wrong, and calling your IT specialist to go to the office could waste your company a lot of time – what if they aren’t available at the moment? Thankfully, there’s a lot of IT support software now.
You need a website for your small business. Don’t make the mistake of relying solely on social media. Having a website will establish your company’s online presence. Social media is a great marketing tool, but that’s what it mainly is. You will also be limited by the user interface of the social networking site. But when you create a website, you’ll have access to all the tools you need for your business.
The next step is making sure your website is well designed. Research shows that a poorly designed website can turn customers off, so website design can make or break your business. The saying “never judge a book by its cover” doesn’t apply to business. Consumers judge things by their appearance all the time — it’s how they try to gauge whether your brand is trustworthy and offers products and services of good quality.
To market your products effectively, you need to know your target market well. Customer profiling involves the process of getting to know your customers and how to best position your business to appeal to them. One of the tools that can help you with this is analytics. Analytics is a digital marketing tool that tracks consumer engagements with marketing materials you put out. This allows you to determine if your marketing materials are effective in attracting consumers. Analytics also collects data about your customers, such as their age, gender, economic standing, and purchasing habits. This will help you to target your consumers with more personalized and, therefore, more effective ads.
Being a small business owner is no easy feat. That said, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Sticking it out on your own might be admirable, but it’s too risky. Hire the right professionals and acquire the necessary software to help you run your business to the best of your ability.