Being a small business comes with pros and cons. The obvious benefits are being nimble, being able to control and oversee pretty much any decision being made, having a direct feel with the customers, and the work floor. Small, in this case, means that you should be more agile and responsive to changes both externally and internally. There are, however, also downsides to being small.
Things such as having to scrutinize every single expense as cash flow might be tricky, not having deep specialists to take care of finance, marketing, or logistics as you can’t afford to hire these people (yet). When you are small, it’s like trying to be everything at once, but you know that everything will be done at a minimally acceptable level. You look forward to the day you can hire a dedicated specialist to take care of those topics that you feel could use a professional touch. In the meantime, you can find people to help out, preventing you from going insane.
First of all, consider freelancers to plug gaps when needed. Some things can wait, such as creating a new house style or a brand book, but other things will need attention straight away. One urgent thing would always be finances and taxes. You will need someone to make sure there’s a plan to deal with the cash flow of your company. From having enough money to pay suppliers and employees, but also the operational capacity to chase invoices if they are not being paid on time.
It’s not the most exciting thing, but for a true professional, making the financial puzzle pieces fit is one of the most exciting puzzles out there. And having someone to ensure the taxes are done correctly will not only put your mind at ease, but it also means you have someone to help find beneficial arrangements that could help the business be more profitable in general. And it’s not only financial freelancers that could help, but you can also get support from marketing, copywriting, creative, and IT freelancers to kickstart your business.
Lean into Your Network
It’s also smart to lean into your suppliers and create win-win situations. For example, as you develop relationships with other companies that play in a role in your business, you can always look for ways to find win-win situations for both yourself and your suppliers. Your suppliers will benefit from a healthy client, and opening up these communication lines can lead to unexpected benefits.
Think of better payment terms, being involved in a new product line your supplier is launching, or sometimes even new referral business. You could also think of those printing services that you use for printing your business cards. Most companies that offer these services can also help with design and website issues. Bundling the services can lead to substantial discounts while still getting plenty of value for your investment.
Being a small business might come with plenty of constraints in terms of what you can spend money on and who you can hire. The smart money is on embracing your own size and celebrate the agility your business has. The best way to do this is to work with freelancers and lean into your own network.