When Bringing in the Professionals Makes Clear Business Sense
Entrepreneurs are an independent lot who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and do whatever it takes to make their company succeed. For those with young or small businesses, this often means doing most, or even all, of the critical tasks within their operation.
Are you a do-it-all business owner?
You look after sales, marketing, bookkeeping and accounting. When supplies run low, you’re the person who calls your vendors and updates the inventory after the orders come in. Every so often – because you’re too busy to do it regularly – you’ll even vacuum and dust the office. Does this sound like you?
There are benefits to this do-it-all approach: lower costs – thanks to savings on salaries and service fees – and greater control over the key functions of the business. But while you’re hard at work with all these tasks, who’s working to grow the business?
Here’s why you shouldn’t – and can’t – do it all
In many cases, the benefits of complete self-sufficiency are outweighed by the disadvantages and risks small business owners face when they try to do everything themselves. These disadvantages and risks include:
- More mistakes. Business owners rarely excel in everything. So the owner who’s great in sales and customer service may not be so proficient in bookkeeping and administrative work, resulting in mistakes that may add up to significant costs.
- More time spent on tasks. It takes longer to do something when you lack the relevant expertise. For business owners, this translates into less time to work on what should be their most important goal: building the business.
- Tasks are put off or not done at all. Chances are, that entrepreneur who hasn’t filed his corporate and personal taxes for the last three years probably is no expert on tax accounting. And that website upgrade he said he was going to look after six months ago? Probably not in his wheelhouse either. Bottom line: these procrastinations and oversights all cost the business money.
With the right professional, even a little help can mean a lot
The right experts can make all the difference in a business, even when these experts don’t work full time in the company. A professional bookkeeper who comes in once a month is more likely to keep the books in order than an entrepreneur juggling multiple roles. A tax accountant who files dozens of returns for companies and individuals each year will do the job with greater accuracy and timeliness than a business owner who does it only once a year.
For businesses that are struggling, a professional who’s well versed in corporate restructuring and the various options for filing a Division 1 proposal or bankruptcy can provide much-needed guidance.
There’s plenty of expert help, in Canada and beyond
Today, more and more service professionals are working as independent practitioners, with some even offering their services remotely. This is good news for small businesses because it means access to a greater pool of expertise within Canada and in other parts of the world.
By subcontracting experienced professionals, business owners are tapping into expertise they would likely be unable to afford to hire as either part- or full-time employees. These external resources also provide added value by bringing an objective, third-party perspective into the company. In most cases, these professionals can hit the ground running, so business owners won’t need to invest as much time and resources on onboarding as they would with a new employee.
So when should you seek professional help?
With tasks such as bookkeeping and tax accounting and filing, it’s best to get help from the start. This ensures that the company’s books and taxes are set up properly from Day One, which helps prevent mistakes that can cost big dollars later on. When it comes to financial issues, seek professional guidance, such as those provided by a licensed insolvency trustee, as soon as you identify a problem.
As your business continues to grow, you may need to transition from subcontracting professionals to hiring them as employees. Until that time comes, consider these external service providers as part of your company’s dream team.