Running your own sole trader business doesn't necessarily mean having to do everything yourself, and it's important to think carefully about how and when to call on the help and expertise of others. Here are some areas for which you might want to make use of a helping hand…
For lots of new business, marketing can be one of the more fun tasks. Creative promotion might seem like one of those areas you can do yourself; choose a logo, build your own website, stay active on Twitter, etc. And then before long other concerns seem more pressing, and you realise that common sense and enthusiasm only get you so far. Having someone keep an eye on your online (and offline) marketing each week – beyond the 'honeymoon period' – could prove vital to your success and momentum.
Bookkeeping and accounting
Here's a question. Do you know the difference between bookkeeping and accounting? The first refers to your day-to-day entering of incomings and outgoings; the second uses this information to build a more complex picture of your business's financial status and prospects.
You may have learned some key number-crunching skills already, but that still might not mean you're the best person for the job. An external expert may not care as deeply about your business as you, but in a funny way this can be good. Having someone keep track of the figures in a dispassionate way can help you to stay on course.
In the early stages, you might not be able to imagine how or why your business would face any legal problems. But there's an awful lot to keep an eye on – from employees' rights to health and safety. Having a supportive point of contact for legal advice and assistance is something you'll probably never regret.
This one is more about the psychology of it all. Yes, you're probably able to keep your place of work clean and tidy. And yes, you might be able to do this every day or two. But cleaning is another way in which your life and your business can start to feel like the same thing – and not in a good way. Arriving at a pre-cleaned place of work is one of those little extras that could make all the difference to your state of mind as an impossibly busy sole trader.
Copyright © 2015 Joseph O'Brien, who writes on business topics for Bookcheck.