Professional Services for the One-Man Business

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If you’re working as a sole trader, then it’s likely that you’ll want to keep your overheads low to maximise your cashflow. However, there are instances where spending money on professional services can help you win business or improve your offering. Here are just four examples of this.

1. Accountant or Bookkeeper

Using an accountant or bookkeeper may sound frivolous if you can do your own tax return, but one thing you should really consider is time. This is particularly true if you charge your own labour out at an hourly rate.

Every hour you’re working on your tax return or chasing an invoice is time where you’re not charging out your service, which costs you money in the long run if you’re turning down bookings. Hiring a bookkeeper to complete your return for you may cost you less than your lost earnings.

In addition, you should also consider accuracy. If you’ve never filled in a tax return before, you may complete it incorrectly, leading to a large bill next time. Alternatively, you could claim expenses inaccurately, costing you money.

2. Delivery Service

If you send out products from your home business, then you need your delivery services to be accurate. After all, if you’re using an unreliable third-party to post your items, then you could end up offering refunds or having to send multiple products to fulfil an order; something that certainly eats into your profits.

By using a reliable fulfilment service, you’ll be able to ensure that all your items arrive safely and on time. Plus, if you opt for a national or international courier service, you may even be able to expand your delivery service, taking your business to multi-national levels.

3. Serviced Offices

If you’re regularly meeting clients and pitching to high profile businesses, then it may be worth considering changing your appearance. Your home is a great place to work from, but it may not help you land the big clients.

So instead maybe consider renting a serviced office for client meetings. You don’t need to rent the office permanently, and it can create a much better impression than your home or the local coffee shop, showing that you take your business seriously and really are a professional.

4. Insurance

If you work for yourself, you can be tempted to think that you don’t need insurance and that it’s all just an extra cost you cannot afford. However, there are some scenarios where you simply cannot afford to not be insured.

For example, if your business involves you working with people or in their homes, then liability insurance is essential for if something goes wrong. Likewise, you should also consider income protection insurance regardless of your trade. This way, you’re protected in case the worst should happen and you’re unable to work. Spending a small amount on these professional insurance services could save you a lot of money in the long run.

All of these professional services can help you improve your business, either increasing your professionalism, protecting you or improving your cash flow and profits. So, consider each carefully.

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John is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.