If you have more tasks on today’s to-do list than you can complete in a month, you just might be an entrepreneur.
We’re the furthest thing from a procrastinator, but when it comes to completing every task we have to take on as entrepreneurs, there are some things that either don’t make our to-do lists, or keep getting shoved to the bottom.
They’re left at the bottom or off of the list until they’ve been so neglected that they become a priority. The prime example of this and the first topic on the below list of things entrepreneurs avoid is bookkeeping. Avoid bookkeeping for a few months and your tax season all of a sudden becomes a stressful and time-consuming mess.
Here are seven things that most entrepreneurs and small businesses avoid or allow to go unaddressed until it’s too late.
We all got into business because we love paperwork, right? Probably not, but your business could end prematurely if you’re not doing it. Bookkeeping takes time to keep up with, and is at the very least required for taxes and legal purposes. If approached as an asset to a business, which financial information should, your bookkeeping and accounting reports can provide insight into what’s needed to accomplish business goals and raise profits.
– Succession Planning
If taxes are a stressful enough topic that they cause us to avoid them like the plague, then it’s only natural to not want to discuss death, right? Succession planning may determine the life or death of your business, whether you are no longer here, no longer want to work in the business, or something else happens where a change is needed. Since we don’t want to think about leaving our beloved businesses, we don’t. Do!
– Financial Planning
Due to the information needed in order to properly plan financially for your business and the amount of uncertainty around this topic among entrepreneurs, financial planning is tossed aside. Some justify this ignorance by just trying to focus on sales and marketing, figuring that any financial problem can be solved with selling more products or services. The truth of the matter is that if your financials aren’t in order, you could be digging a bigger hole instead of digging yourself out of one with each sale you make.
– Personal Branding
People connect with people. If you’re only promoting your brand to customers and prospects, it will be hard for them to develop any kind of connection with you and your business. This is where personal branding plays a very important role.
Don’t hide behind your business’ brand, because you’re missing out on opportunities to connect with other people that may buy from you because they like you. Even if you don’t like bragging about yourself, you need to provide relevant information about your background, why you care about your business and the customers you serve, and your personal goals for the business in order to create a foundation that relationships can be built upon.
– Updating Website and Informational Resources
Have you ever been scared to visit your own website because you know it’s a mess and incredibly outdated?
Having a website that was last updated five years ago is not a good look for your business. Having the wrong information on your website will turn away potential customers and reflect negatively on your brand. Website information should be updated regularly (at least once a quarter), and your website copyright (usually located at the bottom of each page on your site) needs to be updated each year.
– Regularly Evaluating Costs and Margins
Your business changes every month, but how often do you evaluate your margins? Some entrepreneurs rarely or never calculate their profit margin to see how each sale impacts their bottom line. Ignoring this important statistic will impact your business and prohibit you from optimizing your products and services to earn the most profit possible for your business.
For more on margins, watch this tutorial on Increasing Business Profits Using Gross Margins by Kahuna Accounting.
– Social Media
93% of marketers use social media for business. Whether your business sells muffins downtown, provides writing services to businesses, or represents clients in the courtroom, you can gain business and further establish your brand through social media.
While seemingly simple, building a strong social media brand and engaging with an audience takes a lot of time, skill, and effort. The majority of small business owners try to build an audience on social media only to abandon accounts in favor of more pressing needs. These “ghost town” platforms make you and your businesses look bad. Make sure to either stay active with your accounts or delete them for good.
How to Avoid Avoiding Your Avoidances
You don’t have time to do everything, but your business can fall behind or be exposed to risks if you’re not taking advantage of opportunities or keeping up to date with important tasks.
Not all of the activities above might be a good fit for you or even your business, but the majority of them are a requirement in today’s ecosystem. Go through the list and decide which of the tasks are essential to your business, and then plan out how you can successfully manage these while taking care of the other functions of your business.
Consider outsourcing tasks that are important to your business but are either not in your area of expertise or would be more efficient (cheaper) to hire a freelancer, intern, or online company.
Here at Kahuna Accounting, we take on bookkeeping for small businesses and law firms. If you’d like to get bookkeeping off of your plate, contact us today and we’ll discuss how working with a virtual team can help you and your business.