Imagine you’re just getting settled into your new home and you’re faced with a choice: you can either pay for a weekly garbage service that comes and collects your rubbish each week, or you can collect the garbage and take it to the rubbish tip yourself. Naturally, the garbage service costs a bit of money, whereas if you do yourself, it’s free.
You have to admit, it would be tempting to choose the ‘do it yourself’ option to give you more flexibility and save some money. After all, you’re not that busy.
Why you can’t (and shouldn’t) do Everything Yourself
But, stop for a moment and imagine what that would be like in reality… Garbage bags constantly building up. A nagging voice inside your head always telling you that you really must get to the tip one day soon. The pile growing bigger and bigger. You even start avoiding inviting people over because of the unsightly mess. And then you finally decide to do it, but because you have left it so long, you have to make several trips back and forwards because there’s so much rubbish to take and it ends up taking all day.
In short, it would be a complete disaster!
Luckily, most of us don’t have to make this choice when it comes to our garbage. (The councils just include this in our annual rates fee and don’t give us any option.) But you can see that choosing to do it yourself, would be a very near-sighted decision.
Unfortunately though, lots of business owners make this same type of near-sighted decision when it comes to their accounts. Most of us put off hiring a proper bookkeeper or accountant to take care of our invoicing, quarterly reporting, payroll, etc and each time they need doing, we start complaining, feeling sick, and generally hating our businesses. Some of us might be very good at doing the accounts, or we may just bumble through it, but one thing’s for sure – our time could be spent much better on something else!
Why you Need Someone Else to do your Accounts
If you hate doing the accounts and managing the financial side of your business, you’re not alone. This is actually the thing that most business owners detest.
So why not fix the problem by putting proper and resources systems in place to look after this properly? If you’re the business owner, you really should outsource your accounts to someone else – whether that’s a contract bookkeeper, accounting service, or a member of your team.
I know there are some businesses that truly can’t afford this, but if you’re serious about growing your business and you can afford it by any means, please do this.
Once you have a skilled and trustworthy bookkeeper or accounting service, it might mean that you;
- stop hating your business
- smile at customers more
- talk to your customers more – just imagine where that could lead
- show more empathy towards your staff
- take more time to train and lead your staff
- promote your business more
- have more time and energy to solve the next big problem (expansion, marketing, recruiting? Surely they’re all much greater value to your business in the long term?)
Don’t you think any of these activities are a much more valuable use of your time?
And if you’re doing your accounts at night so that you don’t eat into your day, remember that has a cost as well. It’s all about the energy you have for something. Doing a low-value task in the evenings will just leave you tired and grumpy the next day. You might be able to get away with it for a while, but it has a cumulative effect. And if you’re going to work in the evenings, surely you could do something of higher value?
Outsource Your Accounts today
Obviously this thinking can also apply to other areas of your business, but from what I see, this is the first step for most businesses and it’s often where they get stuck. But it’s easy to outsource your accounts (even if it’s not everything right away). Ask fellow business owners to recommend a bookkeeper and you’ll soon have a few options to choose from. Get on the phone and ask how they work and how they’d suggest working with you. Then just make a decision and start a trial. If it’s not working well, do another trial with someone else until you’re happy.
Not ready? Haven’t got the systems in place yet?
I know, it’s tempting to nod along and think that yes, I will do that – just as soon as I’ve got the systems in place properly. I say, do the opposite. Hire someone now and force yourself to get the systems in place! Any systems you put in place won’t be perfect at first, but this will be whole lot better than you doing it yourself.
Systems don’t need to be complicated either. It could be that you find a box to put all of your papers into and hand over. Or it could be a Google Spreadsheet that you enter all of your invoices into and share with your bookkeeper. Or, you could just start using a proper online accounting system. (Your business is not so special that it will be difficult to outsource your accounts!)
Don’t be a tight arse when it comes to putting things right with your business. Save money on furniture, travel, business cards (do you need them?), but this is one expense you won’t regret. Trust me on this one and take a bit of time to outsource your accounts today. You might not get it right the first time, but once you do, you’ll be forever thankful for taking this action.
Remember, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.