One of the foundational ideas that led many of us to opening the doors to our own business is the singular idea of “freedom.”
We wanted freedom from the corporate world, freedom from a “dumb” boss, freedom to do things our own way, or some idea along those lines.
We went and, essentially, built the exact same company we’d left. NOT because we wanted to, but because – for most of us – it was the only type of organization we’d known. It’s important for me to mention that none of us is immune to this, nor is it necessarily a bad thing.
Here’s where the challenge is: we assumed we could do all the jobs in the organizational chart, despite not having any idea how they might be done, what skills we might need to do them, or the real costs of them.
Let me give you an example from my own world: I KNOW how to the do the work of the tax professional. I understand what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and how to ensure my clients are taken care of and protected.
Unfortunately, I had to learn how to market my business, how to “sell” to my clients, and how to manage the daily, weekly, and long-term tasks my business required of me beyond simply doing “the job.”
All this brings me to the question I asked in the subject line of this post: Did you ever stop to ask yourself “what do I have to know to be successful in my business?”
You’ve got the skills to do the work and execute the craft, but what else is there?
I’ve already touched on a few – the marketing, the lead generation and conversion; but what else?
You’ve got to have them, and the two choices you’ve got? You either master them yourself (a poor use of your time) or you partner with someone who understands them and allow them to sort it out for you.
Well, there’s also a giant one called “taxes” that inevitably trips up a lot of small business owners, so let’s look at that one, since I know a bit about those.
Like the concept of marketing your business, handling your own taxes, as a small business owners seems like a good idea at first.
It “only” takes a few hours a month to sort out the basic bookkeeping, and the end of the year return for a single-member LLC is also “only” a few extra hours each year, right?
In theory, this is actually all true. The problems start to arise after you’ve begun to grow a bit, or you’ve created some challenges by comingling funds from personal and business. What inevitably happens is new business owners aren’t aware of all the rules and laws governing their business tax liability and that allows them to make some mistakes that won’t stand up to IRS scrutiny.
Here’s the most important piece I want you to take from this post: the highest and best use of your time, as a business owner, is often NOT going to be trying to learn how to handle your tax liabilities, or any other high-level skills not directly related to your core business.
Farm those out and take that time back in your business and your life.
…And understand, you’re not abdicating your responsibility as a business owner, you’re actually being MORE responsible.
You’re becoming a leader, not just an owner.
Let’s schedule a time to discuss how to not only save you time, but to allow you to NOT create bad habits!
Have a great day,