For most self-employed individuals, the key to long-term success is through self-sufficiency. While it’s almost impossible to avoid outsourcing somethings at some point, the self-employed individual typically cannot afford to pay other people to do things for him when they first begin. Ultimately, he needs to learn how to do most of these things on his own.
Here are the key areas where self-sufficiency proves especially beneficial in a self-employment setting:
Hiring an administrative assistant is expensive. Even if the person is only working part-time, this can easily cost a small business owner upwards of $10,000 over the course of a year. If this is an affordable figure opt for an employee, but most of the self-employed reading this are thinking “No way.” If this is you, the task of staying organized, focused, and on schedule is ultimately on your shoulders. The first stop for those on this journey is at Evernote.com to nab some optimum note-taking tools. Such tools will prove to be a substantial replacement for hiring a person to keep the business organized and on-task.
Are systems cost-effective? Is the way the business is operating conducive to drawing a profit over the long-term? Will the company eventually run out of money? These and other crucial questions about operations are the responsibility of an entire department of individuals at large corporations, but self-employed small business owners probably can’t even spring for a single part-time financial analyst, let alone a whole team of them. Self-employed professionals will want to look to self-service business intelligence tools available. These will help small business owners see the bigger picture and make corrections before it’s too late.
Those running their own business who think they don’t need to worry about the law are sorely mistaken. Many aspects and avenues of commerce are regulated and failure to abide by these rules can land a business in serious trouble. Make the investment in meeting with a business lawyer for a few hours – this could cost anywhere between $50 to $1000 depending on various factors. However, rather than allow the consultation to turn into a long-term business relationship, treat it like a learning experience. Take notes (see note-taking software mentioned earlier) and ask the right questions – which will vary slightly depending on what sort of business you’re in. Afterward, seek out reliable online resources for business law information to further your education. Brush up now and then to stay up to date.
One of the most intimidating aspects of self-employment is undoubtedly the taxes. It’s incredibly tempting to outsource your self-employment tax filing responsibilities to a certified public accountant, but this can prove to be a costly proposition over the course of several years. Furthermore, doing your taxes yourself is really not that hard. The biggest hurdle to overcome is being too afraid to take the deductions you deserve, from fear of being red-flagged and audited. The tax rate for self-employed people is usually pretty high, so paying more than you owe is a sure way to rob yourself of profits. Use tax software and online guides to self-employment tax to handle this part of the business yourself and do so with confidence.
The inherently lean way in which most self-employed professionals run their business means there probably isn’t much room in the budget to outsource duties to someone else. The result, for many, is a need to do these tasks themselves.