We’ve been very fortunate to have a number of great guests on the radio show recently. While the topics have been pretty far-ranging — methods of incorporation, marketing & direct mail, non-profit structuring — there is one piece of advice that shines through.
Ask for help! Or more precisely, pay for help.
With all that goes into starting and/or maintaining a business, there is one way one or two people can do it all. OK, I take that back — you probably can do it all, if you want to forgo little things like easting, sleeping, time with the family, etc.
Running a business — even the smallest one — can be complicated. Whether it’s deciding to how to incorporate, filing the proper paperwork with your state or local government, paying taxes, hiring employees, marketing yourself, and any of the other myriad issues facing owners on a daily and weekly basis, running a business is time-consuming. That’s why it pays to get help.
You’ll probably notice that I keep saying “pay”. The reason is simple — payment means that there is some expectation of expertise, and also some expectation that the job will be done in a professional manner. We’ve all heard horror stories how someone’s relative incorporated the business, or a nephew built a website, or a son or daughter does all the marketing. The reality is, by and large, you get what you pay for.
In our business, we see this constantly. Someone thinks they may be saving money by designing their business card or brochure by themselves. Usually — to be blunt — their designs suck. They’re basic — almost primitive. And almost always, they’re not “print-ready.” All of which means we have to re-do or revise or simply scrap their design work. So, they’re going to end up spending money to get something done AND they wasted their time to do the design work originally.
There was an old commercial for a transmission company that had a fitting tagline — “you can pay me now, or pay me later.” While the transmission company was referring to preventative maintenance, they could just have easily be referring to professional services.
It’s true that lawyers, accountants, designers and marketing experts cost money. But, as our experts have said repeatedly over the past couple weeks, it’s money well spent.