Taking advice from family and friends sometimes works, but is now the time to pay for expert business advice?
The uncertainty the business world faces during this pandemic is like nothing we’ve seen before. So how can we create a plan for our business when the rules and conditions seem to change almost daily? There are no easy answers. We can only make a best guess.
So why is expert advice so important now?
Because there are still business principles that can be relied upon expert advice can help us to develop an informed best guess, which is all any business can hope to achieve until conditions become ‘normal’.
“One of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make is trying to save money in the wrong area,” says Bruce Pasetti of The Solvers “and it usually ends up costing them more in the long run.”
“The idea that a penny saved is a penny earned is a cliché, and you shouldn’t run a business based on clichés.”
Most business owners go into business because they are good at something. From being a superstar hairdresser to a champion lawyer, they have outstanding skills in a field and want to use those skills to create a life and future for themselves and their family.
What they didn’t go into business to do was to become an expert at every single part of running a business; tax, compliance, employing staff, marketing, sales, cash flow and debt, asset protection and management and all the other areas a business owner has to understand to be able to build a viable, sustainable and profitable business.
And where most business owners cause their business and themselves the most stress is when they try and save money on expertise and to do things, they are not naturally good at. We caught up with Bruce Pasetti to discuss why spending a little money on experts will save dollars in the long run.
It is a False Economy
Trying to do everything yourself is a false economy according to Bruce “We all have skills, strengths, weaknesses and things we are not good at doing. What we need to do is be honest about what we can’t do or do well and work out whether we should learn to learn the skill or find someone who can help us.”
“If you are not great at numbers and don’t understand accounting then you have two choices; have a go and see how you get on or engage someone who knows what to do and how to get the best outcome for you.”
“Option two will surely be cheaper in the long run, and you may even get a better result through employing someone who knows how to do it. These ‘Subject matter experts’ understand the full picture, so there is much less risk of a nasty surprise sooner or later for you as the business owner.”
Trust is Key
“Steve Jobs said it best,” says Bruce “Hire smart people and let them tell you what to do.”
“For business owners, this is vital. If you do decide to hire an expert, you must trust their expertise; otherwise, you may as well not bother employing them. We have to learn to let go of what we can’t do and focus on what we do well.”
Bruce believes that the simplest way to think about it is to look at from a cost perspective.
“Business owners need to put a dollar value on their time. And then use that value to work out if they should be spending their time trying to sort out things they don’t know much about, or just using their time to get on and grow their business. For one client who needed business legal advice, we worked out that rather than spending the two hours they wasted trying to understand a legal issue themselves (and getting nowhere), they’d have made more money flipping burgers.”
“As a business owner, time is your most precious commodity, and you need to be ruthless where you invest it because it is the only commodity that we cannot get more of,” said Bruce.
Don’t set yourself an impossible task
“Business owners need to be realistic,” says Bruce. “We are not superhuman, we can’t know everything and do everything. Nobody can. Therefore, why set yourself up for failure?”
“To be an expert everything in business, you would need degrees in accounting, marketing, law, human resources, business and more. The most successful business owners understand that is not achievable and surround themselves with smart people who can act for them and bring their knowledge to bear,” said Bruce.
Your Friends Are Not the Answer
They can be a good source of a second opinion for sure. Bruce says that for business owners asking their mates can help, but friends and family are not always right!
“I meet business owners all the time who try to solve a problem in their business and fail. Then, rather than employ an expert, they ask their mates, someone from a networking group, a member of the family or a professional from the wrong field to help.”
“It’s just making the problem worse If you are unwell, you seek a medical professional, you don’t ask a mate to diagnose an illness, and you certainly wouldn’t let an unqualified family member break out the scalpel and perform surgery. So, why trust them with your business when they are not business experts or qualified professionals?”
Who to Trust?
When it comes to finding the right people to help you, Bruce has some sage advice. “There are a few things to bear in mind, firstly if you need a professional, pick a professional who is qualified and is a member of a reputable professional body. Secondly, research that professional, are they experts and do they have experience working with a business like yours in the industry in which you operate? And finally, meet them for a coffee (or even just do video call) and see if you get along; you don’t need to be best friends, but you do need to have a strong relationship and be able to trust each other.”
Business owners rely on expertise. It is why they started their business and every day they ask their customers to trust their expertise. Because business owners cannot do it all is why The Solvers exists. We provide a panel of trusted, experienced professionals who are subject matter experts who have a proven track record of giving the support a business owner needs. So, rather than do it all yourself, contact thesolvers.com.au and discuss with our experts how a small investment in their knowledge can save you money. The first consultation is free, what is your time worth?
As you come to terms with the new normal, you need to access the experts who understand legislation, can advise on up to the minute changes and have a proven track record in helping business just like yours. Your mates have their role to play – as your mate just not as your pseudo accountant, lawyer, tax or restructure professional.