Keys to Your Business Managing You
- Desperately say “yes” to every opportunity.
- Assume everybody is doing what you told them to do.
- Assume everybody understood what you said.
- Set yourself up as the only person that knows how to do it.
- Constantly allow exceptions to the rules.
That list comes from David Gaither of HSPG & Assoc. CPAs. At the Oklahoma Entrepreneurship Conference last week, he presented a great session, “Manage Your Business… Don’t Let It Manage You.”
His central message was to find the right people to help you in your business. No matter how small or large your business is, you need to build a team of people you can trust and you can count on. Seek people who are honest and capable, willing to ask questions, and driven to succeed, Gaither said.
Small town people are good people
“I grew up in Henryetta,” Gaither said. “We have a lot of success in hiring people who came from rural Oklahoma and came through college. Because to them, they are in the big time.”
Empowerment is much more than just giving people the tools they need. It’s giving them them the responsiblity, accountability and constantly following up, Gaither said.
Finding service providers
You need a really good tax accountant, Gaither said. In his opinion, they give you the most breadth of experience for the least amount of money. They process things through a filter of how it will work on a tax return.
“When it comes to something to outsource in your business, you need to outsource your payroll,” Gaither said.
Payroll requirements are always changing, including frequent rule and rate changes. Errors in payroll tax, especially in withholding tax, are extremely serious matters with the IRS, Gaither said.
Unless you have a really unusual situation, you don’t need an attorney to write contracts, Gaither said. Your accountant can connect you with someone who has a similar contract that you can plagarize, he said.
He has an engagement letter with every single client. It outlines what work will be done, and what the cost will be. It takes a lot of finger pointing out of future discussions, he said.
IT is another good outsource, Gaither said. Find a good, knowledgeable tech person who knows your network. It’s expensive per hour, but worth it. Computer problems absolutely wear you slick, he said.
Get to know a banker long before you need to borrow. They need to know your story. They need to know you. Start with where you do your business banking. Talk to their business banker. Ask them about setting up a line of credit, before you need it, Gaither said.
Part time stay at home mom CPAs are the best and brightest, a bargain, and interested in working 25 hours a week, Gaither said. They are a good fit for small businesses. How do you find them? You talk to everybody you know.
You will outgrow your initial accounting setup, whether it’s a person or a software package, Gaither said. You will have to get over that and upgrade when you grow.
QuickBooks is easy, has lots of qualified users. He said he recommends it to all his small business clients.
Any new business starts out with you personally spending a lot of time planning, setting goals, and communicating your direction for the business.
Desperately saying yes to every opportunity is one symptom of your business managing you, Gaither said. You may have to do that at the start, but then it becomes a trait. You get to a place where you don’t have to say yes to everything that comes in the door, if it’s not in your core competency. You have to develop the ability to evaluate every opportunity. Be willing to say no. People will respect that. They aren’t not going to call you next time. If you say yes to every opportunity, your business will run your life.
Where do you agree, or disagree, with Gaither?
- About the Author
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.