If you run a small business, you’ve no doubt thought about all the software and non-software solutions available to you. Most entrepreneurs are swamped with offers and special deals over the phone, through snail mail, and via email. To the sellers of products like accounting, budgeting, HR, tax, network security, and other software packages, you are the target market. Small business owners are the golden demographic for anyone who sells products and services in the entire solutions arena.
So, what do you do with all the pitches and offers? Is it possible to know which ones make sense and which are throwaways? The good news is that you can filter out the junk and focus on the good stuff. That’s because most small entities, especially startups, only need a few core apps, suites, and other products to get up and running. If you know the following four things about the state of the current solutions marketplace, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition.
Get Help with Accounting and Taxes
Unless you have a college degree in accounting, it’s difficult to do your own business tax returns, payroll, or budgeting. Either hire the entire job out to a company that specializes in those chores or buy a top of the line software product and get trained on it. Numerical chores like these are one area of endeavor where you don’t necessarily need a living, breathing being to do the work. Many of today’s tax and accounting suites are both competent and inexpensive for what you get.
Hire an SEO Pro
It’s tempting to just load up on apps and put everything on auto-pilot, but that method doesn’t work well for new companies. It’s especially ineffective for search engine optimization tasks that are better left to humans. Ironically, it’s easy to pay way more for an SEO solutions app than for a person who can do the job much better. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs fall under the spell of automating as many tasks as possible, even when automation costs more and is less effective.
Hire an SEO freelancer with confidence because humans can do so much more than any off the shelf package, no matter its price or promises. The beauty of working with a human professional is that you’ll get personalized SEO work and can change course anytime you like. If something’s not working or you decide to alter the marketing plan, an SEO freelancer can turn around on a dime and calibrate the marketing effort perfectly.
Avoid All in One Software Products
There’s a sales push aimed at entrepreneurs to get them to buy all in one products that handle major jobs like planning, budgeting, accounting, legal issues, human resources, cyber security, and more. At least for now, there aren’t any out there worth the price tag. You’re better off doing a few things yourself, outsourcing some key tasks, and purchasing a software package for others. Don’t put all your eggs into a gigantic solutions product. There are too many things that can go wrong, prices are too high, and the quality just isn’t there.
Build a Credit History
As a new owner, you probably haven’t yet built a credit history for your company. Begin by using a few vendors, obtaining a tiny loan from a local lender, perhaps applying for a secured credit card, and checking your score regularly. It can take about a year to get your organization on all the credit reporting maps, so be patient and remember to pay all bills on time.