Is there a part of your business that is too challenging? Or you simply dislike it and you just want someone else to take care of it for you? There’s the right way and the wrong way of doing this.
So I’m about to get real and share with you my biggest mistake. I’m going to share a humbling story with you.
When I started my first business, I was excited. I had a great idea or so I thought, so I formed a company. I hired a marketer, and I got a very fancy website. I had brochures, business cards, you name it. I had it.
I was set. I was ready to go. And I jumped in what could possibly go wrong well in my enthusiasm to really get started on this great idea. I jumped in too fast. I didn’t do any test marketing at all. In fact, I hired a marketing company and I spent a fortune. I was sold a very slick marketing package with search engine optimization, guaranteed to get me on the front page of Google.
And I was told that’s exactly what I needed to be successful. Well, I learned a lot from that experience. And the best way to learn is from experience, no matter how humbling it might be.
So when I started my second company, I was smarter. I was much smarter. It helped that I had become a CPA at this time.
So I had a certain amount of business knowledge behind me, but it was also that my business was in line with what I was doing.
I had some experience. I was comfortable creating the business that I was about to embark on, but I wanted to take it in a different direction because I saw a need.
And I was certainly humbled for my first experience that I did not want to repeat that. So I sought advice.
I got the help where I needed it. I got feedback. I had a pretty good understanding of what I wanted, but I was still open to hearing other suggestions, to really fine-tune my business plan.
Now I am very much of a do-it-yourself person. And I really respect people who want to do it all on their own.
I, in fact, drive my husband crazy because I never look at a manual. I never read a manual. If we get something, I just jump in and I start to tinker and I start to play with it and I just do it all.
However, sometimes I get in trouble and that tinkering causes problems. So sometimes we do need help, but we also don’t want to spend a fortune to get the information we need.
When to Invest in Help for Your Business
And I was raised by an immigrant father and he has, if, if nothing else, what he’s drilled in my brain is do not spend money foolishly.
And I’m a firm believer in this. And when you are first starting your business, you simply don’t have a lot of money to spend.
You don’t want to spend foolishly. You have to be very frugal with what you’ve got to get started. But sometimes we do need to enlist help.
And sometimes we do need to hire professionals. Now I get it. We’re all in business to make money.
And there is nothing wrong with that, but you don’t want to spend blindly and just spend money because that’s what you’re told.
It costs without understanding what you’re actually getting in return. Like I did with that fancy SEO package, I knew nothing about marketing.
I knew nothing about search engine optimization. That is not my thing. And anyone who knows me knows how much I really hate marketing and I don’t get it.
I still don’t get it to this day. And I trusted the marketing professionals that I was working with because I didn’t understand it.
And I’m not saying you have to be an expert in all areas of your business. None of us are able to do that, but you do need to know enough to know you’re getting what you actually need, and then you’re not paying for anything more.
So in my case, I was oversold. and I was oversold because I didn’t understand what he was selling me. I didn’t understand this area of my business.
Take Ownership of Your Business
I was so quick to turn it over to someone who understood marketing, because it was my weak point. I didn’t get it and I didn’t take the time to understand it.
And that was my biggest mistake. It is absolutely okay to hire a professional. In fact, I encourage it. If your budget allows, absolutely get the help where you need it, but it’s not a replacement for understanding that area of your business because you, the business owner, must understand every business decision that you are making.
Because at the end of the day, you are the one who was responsible. Now, I don’t mean to get preachy.
I really don’t want to, but over the years, I have met many, many business owners who were completely hands-off when it comes to their accounting. And I get it, tax and accounting is not the most exciting thing.
Believe me, I hear it all the time. But I mean, some of these business owners were completely hands-off. And when I would ask questions, it would be, “Oh, my accountant takes care of that,” or, “My bookkeeper takes care of that.”
That’s fine to have someone take care of things for you, but you must still have an understanding of what they’re doing because they are not your employee.
They are not the business owner – you are. So you have to empower yourself and know everything that’s happening in your business.
You know, one reason I created the accounting firm that I did is I wanted to be that guide to small business owners. Because I saw a need, they had questions, they needed guidance, and they weren’t getting it from the professional they were working with for what, for whatever reason and your business is you, my friends and I want to help you get the guidance and the information you need.
So you better understand the financial side of your business because you must understand how all of these different parts interrelate. The only way you can make educated business decisions and increase your opportunity for success. So let’s go back to my biggest mistake.
I blindly trusted this marketing professional. I trusted that he was going to understand my business. He understood where I was. He understood where I was headed. So I turned it all over to him 100%. Now, in fairness, that really wasn’t fair to him.
I mean, honestly, we just met. How well could he know me? How well can he even know my business? But I was so eager to have someone just take care of it and do it for me.
I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want to take the time to understand it. And that was my biggest mistake.
So as a business owner, you have to make really good business decisions. So, please do learn from my mistakes, take ownership of your business in every way.
If there’s something you don’t understand, take the time, learn about it. Ask questions, seek advice, seek advice from someone who’s knowledgeable.
Someone who can help you. If you have a basic understanding of these parts of your business, especially the parts that you don’t like, or especially the parts that are challenging.
If you have that basic understanding, you will minimize the room for error and it will make you a better business owner and a smarter business owner.