Many small business owners, especially in the early years, try to do everything themselves. After all, they reason, hiring help costs money that their fledgling businesses don't yet have. But trying to do it all can be penny-wise and pound-foolish. When you try to handle tasks outside your expertise, you can make mistakes that end up costing your business money, clients or even its reputation. Here are four situations where every business could benefit from expert help.
- Legal advice: There are plenty of useful do-it-yourself legal websites out there — RocketLawyer and Nolo.com are two that come to mind. But while these sites can get you started creating drafts of legal documents such as contracts or sales agreements, it's always wise to get an attorney to look over and fine-tune these documents. You can also have an attorney create a standard contract for you to use as "boilerplate,” then have him or her review and approve any changes that you make. Look for an attorney that specializes in small business and/or the particular issue you're dealing with, whether that's employment law or patent law.
- Accounting: Plenty of small business owners manage bookkeeping on their own, and that's fine. But for the bigger picture of accounting, including advice on business and personal taxes, financial planning, obtaining business financing and making investments in your business, nothing beats having an experienced accountant by your side. Beyond preparing your taxes, a good accountant can offer financial advice that can help you plan for both your own future and that of your business. As with attorneys, look for an accountant who’s familiar with the special ins and outs of your industry as well as the concerns of small business owners in general.
- Insurance: If you think business insurance is an expense you can’t afford, think again. Whether you're protecting your business from natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey or human threats like burglary or lawsuits, insurance helps safeguard the hard work and money you've put into your business. While it can be tempting to get quotes online and select insurance yourself without ever talking to a human, getting advice from an experienced insurance agent can actually save you money. An insurance agent familiar with small business concerns can help you minimize risks in your business, lowering your insurance premiums. He or she can also advise you on what insurance you need (and don't need) so you aren’t wasting precious cash. Look for an independent insurance agent — they’re free to select the best coverage from a variety of insurance providers, not just one insurance company.
- Online marketing: From pay-per-click ads to search engine optimization and website design, digital marketing has become essential for every small business. But keeping up with trends in SEO, crafting the perfect PPC ad, or creating a website that grabs attention takes time and skill that few small business owners possess. That's where companies with online marketing expertise, like Web.com, come in. Web.com can help your business with everything from website design and search engine optimization to getting your business listed in local directories and generating leads.