Giving you a
little time for

Talking Cents


Tips on Small Service and Consultancy Based Businesses from Small Business Accountant Sydney

Tips on Small Service and Consultancy Based Businesses from Small Business Accountant Sydney

Inspired by meetings with a number of small business clients over recent weeks, todays blog from small business accountant Sydney is a lesson for small service or consultancy based businesses on the growing pains and how to manage them. For individuals with talent in building websites, preparing design related work, marketing campaigns and so on the allure of starting your own business is often quite strong. Many such creatively talented people also have a keen independent streak in them and are well suited to freelancing work or being their own boss.

Freelancers, or at least the successful ones, often become swamped with work opportunities. The struggle then becomes real when they realise there are only so many hours in a day for one person to produce billable work. Do you:

  • Limit yourself to your existing clients and be content with your income levels from your own labour and talents
  • Become a slave to yourself and your clients and work yourself into the ground as you take on more and more work, or
  • Move down the path of building a real small business with employees, fixed expenses and so forth?

It is no coincidence that I have listed the above three points in the order in which they normally happen. The struggle isn’t in the initial transition into phase one or from phase one to phase two. It is in the transition from phase two to phase three. The transition from designer, web developer and so on to a small business owner. Running a small business with fixed overheads, staff to feed and so forth creates a completely different scenario to the sole trader earning his fixed hourly rate with minimal overheads. It is also no coincidence that it’s the creative people who struggle the most. Often letting go of the creative process and hands on design work and empowering staff to do the hands on work creates a massive road block to business growth.

The key lessons for anyone in this position

  • Learn to diligently delegate. Specifically, read my past post here
  • Build a clearly structured team and clearly define the role of each staff member. This may also include assigning specific clients to specific staff members, depending on talents, availability and so on.
  • Build a business you can sell. That’s where the real long term payoff will come from.
  • Use your experience where it can be maximised:
    • In overseeing staff and training and developing them until they are as good as you are, if not better.
    • In maximising client interactions and satisfaction. You’ll also be surprised how much “extra” work develops as your client relationships deepen.
    • Keep everyone targeted on the businesses core focus. If your team is all pulling in the same direction their effectiveness will multiply exponentially.
    • Learn to “manage” a business. This entails knowing what your business numbers are and what they mean. Key factors include breakeven points, job costings and positive cash flow.

For more information on how to operate and manage your small business, contact mas accountants, the original accountants the accountants for small business in Sydney.