January, New Year, New Decade.   The new year often draws people to look for the latest bright and shiny objects. However, Tonya Echols of Thrive Coaching Solutions, recommends that leaders take a step back and assess what is already in front of them. “What are you taking for granted? What resources and people are underutilized? What areas have you been avoiding working on because they feel too big of a challenge. Your greatest opportunities are usually right in front of you.”
  
You probably have already defined this year’s goals for your business, but may still be strategizing on how best to accomplish them. Considering the 2020 business trends that will challenge small business this year, e.g., User Reviews are King, Social Media Marketing Dominates, Personalized Customer Service and Cybersecurity demands. Many small businesses may need some expert help to crush their goals and keep pace in a rapidly evolving tech environment.
 In this post, we will look at some of the necessary services small business needs to ensure success, along with some of the budget-friendly ways to secure them.

Accountant

Many business owners tend to think that they are saving on costs by not hiring an accountant. On the contrary, they are setting up trouble for themselves. According to a study by a U.S. bank, 82% of businesses that fail to succeed lack proper skills in cash flow management. Many business owners wear many hats, functioning as the marketer, manager, and accountant. You can even outsource your bookkeeping tasks for less than you think. It is best to get your accounting services on day one of your business. A good accountant will show you various tax advantages you can use to lower your overhead and keep you profitable. 

An online bookkeeping service you might consider is Bench. Bench offers full-service bookkeeping services for small business—with all of their plans including both a dedicated bookkeeping team and an easy-to-use software system.

 

Lawyer

A good lawyer is an investment against the inevitable legal obstacles any business encounters as the company grows. It is a good idea to find a lawyer who already has clients in your particular field since their experience is an edge in understanding potential legal challenges your company could face.

To find a local lawyer,  LegalMatch is a great way to meet pre-vetted attorneys located near your business. There are lawyers available to help in all specialties, such as patents and trademarks, employment law, immigration, and more.

For online services, Legal Zoom is the top of the heap.  Access to a network of vetted attorneys for legal advice and document review.

 

Human Resources

Since managing human resources efficiently and intelligently is critical to your company’s success, it’s vital to find a service provider who can offer the right mix of services. Paychex Flex offers the full range of services for HR outsourcing, including payroll, taxes, benefits, recruiting and training; and they do so without requiring a long-term contract.

While many outsourcers offer services like employee handbooks and guidelines, they’re often nothing more than boilerplate. Paychex will create a robust set of guidelines customized to meet the needs of each client.  They also offer special programs for businesses with fewer than 50 employees, making them a standout provider for small companies. 

Marketing

Digital marketing has replaced traditional marketing with few exceptions. Business has been forever changed by the digital transformation. One of the main benefits to the change is the ability to grow your business without geographic boundaries. It has been a great equalizer, too, because online marketing rewards focused effort, not huge budgets, small and mid-size businesses in local markets can compete for their share of consumers.

Going digital does, however put a lot more pressure on business to be faithful in offering consistent, visually engaging content across all digital channels if they want to preserve and cultivate their customer following.

Unless you or someone on your team has expertise in digital marketing take a huge load off and hire someone that does. In our gig-economy there are many freelance digital marketing gurus that are trying to build a business, too. Check out our friends at Fivver to find someone that can help you grow your business with digital marketing.

 

Social Media Marketing

Social Media marketing is the 3000 lb gorilla of your marketing toolkit. It is so specialized and so impactful that I felt it deserved its own standing. Social interaction between business and customers is a dominant trend that is proven to increase sales and promote brand loyalty. It is an inexpensive and effective way to advertise.
All Good, right? The downside is that 3000 lb gorilla has to be fed a steady diet, in this case, of visually engaging messaging across up to 5 of the major social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and What’s App.  Investing in a freelance Social Media Manager that knows the best practices of SMM can help you move the needle on your revenue numbers.
Again, Fivver is a great source for finding social media talent just waiting to be tapped.
  

Cybersecurity

Over 77% of all cyber crimes target small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) and yet, research shows 42% of small and midsize businesses don’t see cyber crime as a risk. Remember Yahoo, Target, and Equifax? Nothing small about those brands. Even with sophisticated IT staff, each of these companies experienced a serious data breach that cost them millions of dollars and damaged their reputation.

The importance of securing your business network with the latest cybersecurity measures in place cannot be overstated. An expert cybersecurity analyst can help you anticipate and thwart any threats your company can face online. Fireeye offers a cybersecurity solution that is tailored for budget-conscious small business.

 

Carolina Business Center focuses our services on the small business community. We know the hefty demands on small business owners and we try to deliver content that benefits your efforts. We would love to hear from you on what you find helpful, interesting or, even, dare we say…boring or pointless. We are here for you, so give it to us straight.

Until then, keep crushing on your goals! We’ll be here with news you can use.

Carolina Business Center