When starting a business or trying to grow an existing one entrepreneurs often try and do everything themselves to save money.
I can see the logic behind this – if you are spending time trying to get a business off the ground you need every bit of income available so you end up doing everything from building the website, looking after the finances and creating invoices through to actually doing the work your clients are paying you for.
I have often had discussions with new business owners who have said: “We would love you to build our website, but we are going to do it ourselves until we have made a bit of money and then we’ll hand it over to you”.
In this blog I want to discuss why I feel this is short-sighted and longterm can be damaging for your business.
First of all, it is important to understand why people spend money with you. You may think it is because you have a lovely personality, but the bottom line is that it’s because you solve a problem they have. Unless you are the only company able to do this you will have competition and if they are promoting themselves better and look more professional, they will get the business!
The 5 a side football team
Think of business as a sport.
It is competitive and the teams with the best players more often than not are the winners.
If you are trying to do everything yourself you are basically entering a 5-a-side league and saying “I’m going to do every role myself and then when I start scoring goals and winning games get the rest of a team together”.
How long do you think you will last in the competition?
So who do you need on your team?
If you are the one that does all the actual work that clients pay for, this may be you! You need someone who is great at solving the problem your client has.
To get a good grasp of what is actually happening in your business try and get someone else to look after the finances. This doesn’t mean you have to hand it all over but having someone check bills have been paid, chase unpaid invoices, keep your VAT return up to date and do a weekly cash flow forecast will really help you alleviate the stress of managing money!
We would also recommend using a good piece of cloud software where you can easily get up to date information and upload receipts!
Using a marketing professional is essential especially if you are out on the tools and don’t have time to look after assets such as social media accounts. What should your marketing company do for you? As well as posting on social media & creating blog posts so that you have great content, they will also help with a long-term marketing plan and be making sure your brand is well developed. Branding is more than just designing a logo – it is everything about you, from what customers say about you to how you are perceived in your industry.
Even if you are on social media a website is essential. It is owned by you, can look how you want and will often be the first impression you give to your customers. Make sure it works for you!
Ok, so you may not call on this one all the time but having the number of a company you can call if you are having computer issues is essential. We are a technology-driven world and when it breaks it will leave you frustrated and often unable to do your technician roll well. Make sure you know who you’re going to call before you run into issues.
As you can see if you are trying to do all these alone, chances are you will be working every hour that you are awake and it is unlikely it will be as good as if you get a professional in. Some of the roles, such as a Web Designer, might cost you just a small fee every few months to help keep the site optimised and up to date. Whereas the Finance help may be a cost every month, but having tried to grow a business on my own before, I can certainly say that the investment in a good team will save you lots of stress and help you grow your business faster and with more long-term security.