This guest post is brought to you by Outright, the simplest way to manage your small business finances online. Sign up today for a less taxing tax time!
Hey, do you remember all those “How to Run a Business” courses you took in high school? Or your mom and dad sitting you down at the dinner table and teaching you how to write an invoice? Of course you don’t, because when it comes to business education, we are often woefully unprepared.
Sure, we all know how to do what we love – whether it’s repairing bicycles or baking cake pops– but negotiating with a vendor for a better rate? That’s something that you just have to pick up on the fly. If you feel like your business isn’t swimming along as well as it could, why not call on one of these three experts?
Oh no! I have to call an accountant; does this mean my business is going under? Or am I super successful and can just throw money around? Most business owners get the idea that an accountant is only for specific circumstances – like dealing with Tax Day. The truth is if you ever need any financial advice at all, you should feel free to call one up.
What’s important to remember about an accountant is they know so much more about finance than you could ever learn. They know tons of tricks, loopholes and workarounds that you can use to save tons of money. Don’t feel like you have to wait until the last possible minute or when you’re a rich CEO on vacation in Bermuda to contact an accountant and get some advice.
Finances are notoriously the hardest part of an entrepreneur’s daily life, as many just don’t know how to handle them. The sooner you get them under control, the better off you’ll be.
Who inspired you to get into business? Did anyone help you along the way when you were first getting started? When you had your first big breakdown, who did you call to walk you through how to not collapse under the pressure?
We’ve all had someone along the way who’s either helped us get started with inspiration or help or has shown us the ropes. Mentors are important because they know you and can dispense the sage wisdom that you need at that moment.
Don’t have a mentor? It’s never too late to find out. You probably know someone who has achieve the business life that you dream of. Introduce yourself, ask to take that person to lunch or coffee, and ask if you can pick their brain. Keep it low key and make your intentions clear, and you might just end up with a new mentor.
What if you don’t have a mentor, and are not sure who to turn to in your time of need? Well, you’re in luck – you have an entire non-profit full of people waiting to help you at a moment’s notice.
SCORE is a network of volunteers who live to help other businesses get the help they need. Supported by the Small Business Administration, the non-profit has over 11,000 mentors and counselors with a wide variety of experience who can get you on the right track.
It doesn’t just end there, though. They hold regular webinars and workshops around the country to get you educated. They also provide free business tools, templates and tips from their website. If you can’t find the solution to a problem with SCORE, it likely doesn’t exist!
There are also numerous other resources available that we didn’t cover, like local networking groups or trade associations, for example, the Freelancers Union.
Where do you turn for outside business help?
Image via Flickr