5 Small Business Expenses Worth Paying For
One of the problems with having a small business is that sometimes you don’t have much of one of two things: time and cash. There never seems to be enough time to get everything taken care of that you want to get to, and even if you’re making money, there doesn’t seem to be enough for everything you need to pay for.
Whereas I can’t help you specifically with the time issue, I can definitely help you start thinking better about the expenses side of things that actually might help you with time.
A big problem with small businesses is that there are many things that have nothing to do with the business that you still have to take care of. If you work from home, most probably you’re doing a lot of things around the house, especially if you’re single. Frankly, all that stuff can start to get on your mind and wear you down.
You need help; that’s a given. You’re going to have to spend some money; that’s also a given. But spending some of this money will help you immeasurably; that’s a promise. Here we go.
1. Hire an accountant. This is always my first recommendation to anyone who’s been in business at least one year, no matter the size of the business. I could do the work myself, but when business started to improve I found that the time it took to have to calculate all my expenses and do my books was overwhelming, especially because I was traveling a lot; still do. By having an accountant, all I have to do is put all my receipts in a box and take them to the accounting office once every 2 or 3 months. This way, they can tell me how much I should think about paying quarterly based on how things are going.
2. Hire an organizer. You might think this one is a waste of time but I don’t know a single person who doesn’t get behind in paperwork and doesn’t eventually end up with an office overwhelmed with paper, files, boxes, etc. An organizer can not only help you get things together but, if you’re willing to learn, will teach you methods for keeping things under some kind of control. Trust me, at the rates they charge you owe this to yourself.
3. Hire a cleaning service. This one isn’t an absolute if it’s covered under your office expenses or if you work at home and your spouse takes care of things. If not, this will not only save you a lot of stress but you’d be surprised how little time it takes someone who’s used to cleaning to finish the job. You pay based on time, and for the most part you’re looking for someone to vacuum, dust, maybe put your dishes in the dishwasher and clean your kitchen, and of course clean the bathroom. You might ask for extra services such as putting your laundry in the washer and dryer and washing windows but the more you ask for the most it’ll cost. Still, it helps you out because you don’t have to do it.
4. Hire a lawn service/snow removal service. I work from home and have a large yard. Cutting the grass meant 3 hours each week trying to take care of it. The same goes for snow removal, which could take upwards of 2 hours sometimes, as I live in the northeast in one of the snowiest cities in the country. Paying someone else to do it might seem costly, but unless you like always being outdoors it can save you a lot of time and, especially in snowy climates, allow you to just get in your car and leave in the morning, or whenever, if there’s been a heavy snowfall.
5. Join a networking group of some kind. No one can stay by themselves all the time and remain sane, let alone stay focused on the job at hand. If you work with other people you might not have this problem but if you’re a sole proprietor, every once in a while it’s great to get around other business professionals, whether they’re in your field or not, to have someone to talk to and possibly to help generate business. At best it gets you out of the house or office for a while and it’s relatively inexpensive. You might even learn some things if you join the right group.
By the way, did I happen to mention that all of these things can be written off?