Most small businesses start out on a budget and the small business owner tries to save money wherever they can, which means doing a lot of tasks themselves. This can seem like cost savings at the time but in truth it can cost the business a lot of money in the long run. Here are 6 things that if you are still doing yourself, you may want to consider outsourcing this year.
- Insurance — You can purchase most insurances online now without ever speaking to an actual person. Search for the type of insurance you want, find the best price, enter a few pieces of information, and ta da you’re insured. And it may not be until you need to submit a claim that you find out your insurance doesn’t cover what you thought it did. Working with an agent who knows the insurance regulations in your state and gets to know your business can make sure you have the coverage you need and aren’t paying for coverage that you don’t.
- Internet Security / IT Services — Scams, Phishing, and Hacking are on the rise. Dishonest people all over the world spend all their time trying to access personal data. And they don’t care how big or small the business is, data is data, and data means money. If you maintain any type of information on your computer or network and especially client or customer data, relying on an anti-virus software alone is probably not enough. There is so much more involved in protecting you and your customers from becoming the victims of a data breach. Having an expert help you maintain your network and internet security can save you thousands if there was ever an attempted breach. These experts can save you money even in less nefarious scenarios. If you have more than one computer in your office, having them set up to work together efficiently and making sure that the information stored on them is secure and backed-up can save hours of time, which in business equals saving dollars.
- Legal Services — Another quick search on the internet will result in template contracts for almost anything, do-it-yourself business entity filings, and lots of advice on what you should and should not do, most of it contradictory. Much like with your insurance, you probably won’t know if you did it all correctly until you need it. Why risk finding out your contracts are not enforceable when you actually need them enforced. Or that you don’t have the right to use your company name or logo after you’ve established your brand. An attorney can make sure your company is established correctly, not only in your state but in any others that you may be working in, that you own your name and logo, that your contracts protect you and your business, and that any contracts you enter are fair and equitable.
- Taxes — The tax code is constantly changing. What you could claim last year you may not be able to claim this year. And there is the dreaded audit, that looms in every business owner’s nightmares. Why try to navigate the ever changing and inflexible IRS by yourself. The fees charged by CPAs and EAs are minimal in comparison to the time you will regain by having them do the work, the peace of mind that it was done correctly, and the savings of capturing every deduction you and your business are entitled to. Not to mention having an advocate if the IRS ever comes back with questions.
- Bookkeeping – Doing your own books sounds so simple, keep track of your income and expenses, money in money out. But there are so many places where bookkeeping can cost you money. Like with the professions already mentioned you may not know the full cost of doing your own bookkeeping until it becomes a substantial loss. Expenses miscategorized could mean missed or denied deductions at tax time or just higher tax preparation fees because your tax preparer had to do more research. Not having a good bookkeeping system can cost you extra interest or fees on missed payments or reduced income on customer balances not collected. Not maintaining separation of business and personal funds or good records can cause the business to pay a much higher tax bill. You could also miss out on government programs and grants because you cannot show or just didn’t know that your business qualified. And most practically the time you spend doing your own bookkeeping is time you’re not generating income.
- Marketing — Posting on social media, writing blogs, sending email newsletters, pay per click, websites, SEO, and the list or marketing tasks we should all be doing goes on. It all sounds so simple. But these things take time, time you are now not spending working with customers, which means it is time you’re not making money. Determining which platform, type of marketing, and effective SEO for the do-it-yourself small business owner, is time you’re not only taking away from customers but time where your marketing efforts aren’t producing new customers, so it is a double hit to your business’ wallet. Working with a professional marketer will give you back that time while also making sure your message gets to the right prospects, that it produces results, and sounds like you.
Outsourcing can be scary. Are you choosing the right person? Can you afford them? Will you lose control over this aspect of your business? Take it one step at a time. Pick one of the above tasks that you believe will have the biggest positive effect on your business this month, or this quarter, and work on finding the right person. Not sure how to find them? Talk to other business owners you know and trust. Ask them who they use for that service, would they recommend them, and would they be willing to introduce you?
We at Fournier Accounting & Bookkeeping Services have an extensive list of amazing professionals who provide the above services, and we would be happy to help you find the right fit for you and your business.
If bookkeeping is the service you choose to outsource, we would welcome the opportunity to talk to you about how we can help free up your time, save you money, and reduce your stress.
Accounting & Bookkeeping Services in NH
If you need support with your accounting and bookkeeping the experts at Fournier Accounting and Bookkeeping Services are here to help. We serve small businesses throughout New Hampshire and the U.S. Contact us today!