Freelancers and small business owners are almost like superheroes. They do nearly everything for themselves. Accounting? They try to do it. Admin? They do it. Invoicing? They do it.
Over time it becomes a badge of honor to be able to do everything yourself. It is easy to get caught up in the online fever that freelancers and small business owners should be hustling 24/7, no sleep, strung out on coffee, and doing everything.
In the early days, there is probably a lot more of this beviour for many start-ups. But the saying ‘if you want something done properly, do it yourself’ might not work out as you start to grow your business.
While we can do a lot, multitask, learn new skills, and push our boundaries as we grow our businesses, we have time and energy restrictions.
How you spend your valuable time within your business will equate to either money gained or money lost. So it makes sense that you direct your strengths to where you can make the most significant impact and the most money – and delegate or outsource those other tasks to someone else.
Here are a few contacts that should be on your metaphoric speed-dial list.
If you get stuck on certain hurdles or need someone to bounce ideas off but don’t have a business partner, then a business mentor can help you get through those things. Business mentors can be a massive asset to your business. When you have someone to talk to that has the experience and can help you clarify your ideas, it can be invaluable.
One of the best things about business mentors is that they have often made their fair share of mistakes and are perfectly positioned to guide you away from those.
You can have more than one mentor too. You can have one strictly geared towards your business and another for your personal life.
Having someone who understands your business goal can help keep you focused.
Bookkeepers and Accounts
You can be brilliant with money, but bookkeepers and accountants are better. They know how to make your number make sense in your circumstances. They understand more deeply the files you need to keep, how it should be organized, and which deductibles you are entitled to, should apply for, and how to maximize it.
It is essential that you file your taxes correctly; this will avoid costly fines or visits from the IRS.
In the early months and even years, many people can get by without using an accountant, but at a certain point, accounts can get messy. Even with the best of intentions, if you aren’t doing them correctly, you can be liable for some serious fines.
There are many brilliant accounts and bookkeepers available on sites like Freelancer, Fiverr, and Upwork. What is important is that you do your own research and check reviews and seek recommendations too.
Freelancers, small businesses, and large corporations all need to have a connection to a lawyer. If you work in a specific high-risk category, you may need to know of a reliable injury lawyer like Thomas Law Offices. Or, perhaps you have a business premises that holds a lot of high-value goods. In almost any industry, a business can be accused of wrongdoing, and having a number that you can call can be the difference between paying out a massive wedge of cash or taking action immediately.
You might not need internal IT support because you only have a small operation, but if something went wrong with your network or your computer started to flash the blue screen of death – what would you do? We all know a few people that are just great with IT, and usually, they can help with a wide range of issues. A successful business person will plan for all eventualities, including making sure you have everything backed up onto a cloud and have an HDD somewhere safe too.
IT support can be purchased for a monthly subscription and usually provides everything a small business might need.
Your friend can provide a space where it isn’t all business. You can have a meal, chat, or coffee and unwind. Sure, you can talk about what is going on with your work – but you can have a break and just be ‘you’ for a while. They can be your cheerleaders when you do well and your support when things aren’t going how you hoped.
Asking for help, guidance, support, or hiring the services of others doesn’t mean you can’t handle your business; it means you’re smart enough to make decisions that help you long term.