My wife owns her business.
It’s not unlike the professional services game, as she provides specialized knowledge in a specific niche.
But instead of legal, tax, and realty services, she offers coaching (of a sort) in the wellness, personal growth + development, and self-help realms.
My point here is her operation is a one man (or women show, as it were ;—) show. That means her plate is overflowing with a heaping helping of administrative tasks (all of which have absolutely NOTHING to do with the core services she provides).
And this includes tax preparation…
Now, as most of you probably know, January 31 is the deadline to submit W9 forms to any vendors you’ve worked with over the past year. (That is if you want to deduct the cost of their services from your annual operating income.)
This deadline, along with pulling together all the requisite paperwork has put my wife in full PANIC MODE the last couple of weeks (sheeeeeeeeeesh, the IRS has certainly has put the fear of Jehovah into the citizens of our fair nation, no?).
Anyway, in the midst of this frantic process, my wife was texting with a joint venture partner, gathering some info… “You’re a sole proprietor, right?” she attempted to type, two-thumbed, into her iPhone while toiling away one morning last week in her “office” (our master bedroom). Meanwhile, her trusty “smartphone” rather dumbly auto-corrected her inquiry to: “You’re a sweetheart, right?”
She burst out laughing, a much-needed respite of tension relief, and then sagely proclaimed: “Yup, that about sums up my business acumen!”
Of course, there’s a 2,000 lbs pink elephant lingering in the room here… Truthfully, a CPA should handling this for her.
And why is this not happening? (Or as my 6 yr old son says: “Why is no one getting me my treat?”) Well, CPA’s cost money. And for small business owners, every dollar counts. Which is why my wife is saddled with a heaping plate of admin tasks, which amount to a bevy of responsibility that actually impedes her business more than anything.
And setting aside the fact that “time is money,” also keep in mind that even one single mistake on a tax form, no matter how seemingly minute or insignificant, is a potential invitation to an audit.
In other words, you could have spent a few hundred on CPA. Instead, you’re facing the panic attack inducing, not to mention arduous, process of an audit. A lovely experience, replete with a $5,000+ fine as the cherry on top.
The Same Goes for Marketing…
You can DIY business development to your sweet little heart’s content. And on one hand, it makes sense, because nobody knows your biz better than you, right? Right ON!
On the other hand, your knowledge base, no matter its depth and breadth, doesn’t mean you have the slightest inkling of how best to SELL your business.
Now, this isn’t a knock (don’t perturbed, friends!). It’s just a statement of fact. And if you think about it, it makes sense… My wife’s expertise is in coaching and consulting. Your expertise is in the professional services your provide. Not SELLING those services.
Yet, loads of small business owners — perhaps you included? — pour tons of time, effort, and often dollars (in some cases big dollars) into marketing tactics that fall face-plant flat.
And this is a double whammy…
Because not only are you expending your most precious resources (time, energy + money), you’re expending them in hopes of attracting new clients, converting their biz, and ultimately generating additional revenue. Hopes that, if you don’t know what you’re doing, will NEVER be realized.
So, in other words, you’re spending money to make money (a credible business practice). Yet, your expenditures don’t generate any additional revenue. So, in actuality, you’re really just WASTING money….
Not a pretty picture, is it?
Hire a professional. Whether we’re talkin’ taxes, web design, marketing, you name it… It’s really that simple.
Can We Talk?
Does the scenario above sound familiar? Maybe waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too familiar? Then it’s time to hire a marketing pro to help you grow your business.