As any Owner knows, sometimes doing it yourself (DIY) is easier than finding someone else to do it. However, here are some areas where you might consider contacting someone in your network or paying somebody else to do the job:
If you have decided to incorporate, there are options online to DIY setting up your Company. But, this is an area that if it is not done right, you will have to fix it later. The old adage of "Pay me Now or Pay me Later" comes to mind. When your Company starts to make money, you want to be able to distribute the wealth and get the maximum tax benefits. This might include having other shareholders such as your spouse, kids (using a family trust), or others be involved in the share structure of the Company. All of these considerations are not completely obvious when you DIY the set up of your Company. A Corporate Lawyer does this on a daily basis, and can answer questions from you in the initial consultation of how you want to structure the shares of the Company. Do lawyers cost money? Yes, but considering the possible consequences in the future, better to do it right the first time, then trying to fix it later.
Technology can be your friend or your foe. Recently I was hooking up my new printer, and after hours of trying to get the wireless printer to connect with the WiFi, it was time to call in an IT expert - my brother in law. Within 15 minutes, he had the printer connected. The time value of money comes to mind. Where I should have just stopped and realized somebody else can do this better than me, was the time I should have brought in the IT expert, and moved on to more important business. There are so many options nowadays with IT consultants, you have the choice as to how much IT you want to bring into your business. As with anything, ask your network if they know of a good IT expert - likely there will be at least one. Because when IT is happy, everybody is happy!
Websites, business cards, and most importantly you, are the marketing expert in your business. Specifically, designing your website is where a little or a lot of money can be spent. At the end of the day, you need to know what you want your website to say, and you need to have the time to make it happen. There are lots of options to DIY your website through Weebly, Square Space, Go Daddy, and any other number of websites that you can find. You will need to have the time to write, gather the pictures, design the pages, and ensuring all of your buttons are connected to where you want your user to go. Most importantly, all of your marketing should be consistent with the brand you want to create for your Company. Therefore, consulting with a marketing expert who can bring the creativity required to get your Company noticed from the rest of the pack, is well worth the investment.
You need to ask yourself one question: If you don't know where you are, how do you know where you are going? Not having a handle on your numbers, can at times, be detrimental to your business. Anybody can enter receipts into a program; however, not being consistent in how those receipts are entered, taking too long to invoice your clients, filing your own Corporate Tax Return, are all areas where money can be left on the table. Even if you decide that you or your significant other is doing the bookkeeping, have somebody take an overview of the numbers on a consistent basis (e.g. monthly, quarterly, yearly) to see if there is cash flow coming in or out that can be improved. Do I have a biased opinion? Absolutely! But, at the end of the day, collaborating with an Accountant, and seeking their knowledge and expertise with numbers can only help your business improve.
These are just a few areas where you need to decide if you will DIY or bring in an expert. When you start considering some of these expenses as an investment in your business, the choice that needs to be made will be very clear.
Entrepreneur, bike spinner, and resident of beautiful Steveston, BC.