The best advice for small business owners may just be… know when to ask for help.
Google “how to manage a small business”, and you’ll find an endless supply of business management advice. While you’re sure to learn a lot about managing finances, hiring employees, and growing your business, you’ll also find that the best piece of advice for small business owners is to learn how to Let. Go.
That’s right. It may seem counterintuitive as the owner of your business, but there’s a lot to be gained by giving up full control.
Since no one can be a pro at everything, small business owners have to learn what tasks they’re good at and when to hand it over to the experts. To help you know where to draw the line, we put together a list of three duties you can probably handle on your own — and three times you should hire an expert.
The “You Got This” List
If you’re running your own business, we know you have hustle! So, before we look at the tasks you should outsource to the experts, here are the responsibilities you can likely DIY.
Whether you’re a hair stylist or massage therapist, there’s no doubt that scheduling apps make your life and your clients’ lives easier. They eliminate a lot of administrative work and ensure you’re not spending your days booking clients over the phone or sifting through social media DMs.
They’re also user-friendly and absolutely something you can get rolling on your own. Plus, with some booking apps, like Schedulicity, you can even handle digital marketing efforts and client payments all under one roof!
Pro tip: If you’re a service provider on the hunt for a scheduling software, Schedulicity has all the tools you need: calendar, waitlists, payment processing, and marketing tools.
If you’re a new business faced with figuring out how to pay the bills, marketing might not seem like your No. 1 priority. But if you want to fill up your appointment slots from day one, you’ll need to know a thing or two. The good news is… you can totally do it!
Build a website: Your website is likely the first place clients interact with your business, so that means your website has to hook them! With so many easy-to-use website builders out there — like Wix or SquareSpace — you can build your brand and give clients a way to book with you by adding a Book Now button. (If you’re with Schedulicity, you can build your booking page right into your existing website!)
Use social media (the right way!): Even if you feel like a social media pro, it’s important to understand that social media tips for small business owners might be different from what you already know. It’s more than just posting randomly on various platforms — it takes consistency, creativity, and strong call-to-action buttons to encourage new clients to book with you. (Check out our guide to using Instagram captions to help land more clients.)
Think about SEO: Put simply, SEO (“search engine optimization”) is the process of making your business easy to find through Google and other search engines, and it’s not as hard or time-consuming as you might think. With a few little tricks, you can build up your local SEO and allow new clients to find you organically without having to shell out more money for paid marketing. (Don’t miss Schedulicity’s guide to local SEO to help you get things rolling!)
Pro tip: Get all of our marketing tips — including branding, website, and SEO advice — in our Fundamentals of Marketing guide!
Front Desk Staff
If you’re stressing about hiring a new assistant, receptionist, or front desk employee, we get it! There’s a lot that goes into hiring. But we also know hiring is something you can totally handle — especially with this quick checklist we put together!
- Double-check your finances: Since you’re committing to paying someone for the foreseeable future, make sure you have the income you need.
- Jot down the tasks you want to hand off: Before you write a job description, start with a very simple list of every little to-do that you’d like to take off your plate.
- Estimate how much help you need: Next to the list of tasks (from above), write down how many hours you think you spend on them each day or week.
- Write the job description: You’ll end up sharing this description with whoever you hire — to ensure you both understand the expectations.
- Start with word-of-mouth: Once you’re ready with a job description, get the word out by texting or emailing any industry contacts you have to ask if they know of anyone who might be interested.
- Interview: Before the interview, write down a few questions in advance that you can fall back on, so you can keep the conversation flowing. If you’re completely at a loss, here’s a good list of front desk assistant job interview questions.
- Respond to everyone quickly: At the end of each interview, let the candidate know that you’re going to make your decision by X date. (This is good for holding yourself accountable, too.) Make sure you email everyone who’s applied no matter what to update them.
Leave it to the Experts
Part of being a business owner is knowing when you need help. Here are three areas you should leave to the pros!
Hire an Accountant/Bookkeeper
We get it. Crunching numbers isn’t for everyone. And besides, who wants the stress of compliance payments or tax statements?
That’s why it’s smart to let the experts handle your books — not only for your sanity but also because you can count on your numbers being accurate.
Schedulicity’s favorite beauty industry expert, Nina Tulio, puts it like this: “I waited until year six to hire a bookkeeper, and it literally changed my life. Things became so much more clear. I had so much more time on my hands to focus on the business, and my books were accurate.”
Hire a Lawyer
Just as important as an accountant but often overlooked by small business owners, a good lawyer is someone you absolutely want to have in your corner. They’re the one you can turn to for everything from zoning compliance to copyright and trademark advice — not to mention potential lawsuits or liability issues.
When should you hire a lawyer for your business? In short: now.
You want a lawyer on your side before something happens. And while lawyers are going to have their fees, those fees are to help keep your business out of trouble — which is only a fraction of the fees for getting you out of trouble if a lawsuit already happened.
Hire an Insurance Agent
Yep, every small business needs insurance. It’s there to cover any costs related to property damage or liability claims and keeps you from paying out of pocket for costly damages or legal claims against your business.
There are a few different types of insurance coverages available for small business owners — and handy guides to help you choose — so you can be sure to find the one that fits your business needs.
Every business is different, but when shopping for insurance, think about your specific business and what aspects need protection:
- The type of services you offer
- Employees and clients
At the end of the day, small business insurance is there to protect your business and allows you to focus on what you do best: helping your clients.