Can Small Business Owners Really Do It All?

/ Jul 17, 2012

Are you chief cook and bottle-washer at your small business? A new survey by business insurance company Hiscox found that the majority of entrepreneurs handle just about every task in their businesses – from making deliveries and creating invoices to cleaning the office and ordering supplies. But are you being penny-wise and pound-foolish when you try to do it all yourself?

Hiscox found that although 64 percent of small business owners agree legal issues should be handled by professionals, just 26 percent actually use legal and/or accounting help. Overall, entrepreneurs in the survey admitted they lacked key knowledge in areas including legal (56 percent), taxes (36 percent), IT (34 percent) and insurance (31 percent). But only 8 percent employ a full-time accountant.

The small business owners aren’t worried, however—more than 75 percent believe that either their skills gap is not a threat or that they would be able to plug the gap with professional expertise when needed. But although the entrepreneurs in the survey say their passion for the business enables them to “do it all,” are they fooling themselves?

Trying to handle all facets of your business yourself can put your company at risk—especially when it comes to legal, tax or insurance matters. Don’t let your passion for your business blind you to the reality that sometimes, you might need outside help. If you can’t afford to hire a full-time employee to deal with issues like accounting, and you’re not good at it yourself, at least consider getting some part-time help or meeting with your accountant once a quarter.

The good news for the small business owners who don’t know it all, (and that’s most of us, right?) is that there are plenty of experts out there to help—including the mentors at SCORE. Visit the SCORE website to get matched with a mentor and get free business advice 24/7. You’ll find the expertise you need—and put your business on a much safer path to success.