A few days ago I visited the shop of an auto body specialist who asked me to discuss how I could help protect and grow his business. He was in the middle of a project, so I talked while he worked. I was so fascinated by the ease with which he applied compound to the work area, smoothing out the damage with the skillful touch of a modern-day Picasso, that I almost forgot what I wanted to say!
Most small business owners are like that body mechanic. They start in business because they love what they do, and they do it well. Even during the tough times we’ve recently experienced, love for their craft made them tighten up their belts and figure out ways to push through the challenges. That impresses me every bit as much as watching a skilled craftsman doing what he or she loves.
What most owners do not love is keeping up with all the other things necessary for keeping a business afloat. There’s an endless array of filings to submit, records to keep, and notices to read, understand, and act upon. Spot inspections threaten to levy fines, and changing regulations often catch business owners unaware. Then there is the matter of growing your business. When a sector experiences a soft economy (something everyone is crying about right now), there is fierce competition for dollars consumers are not spending as freely. Yet, although we are in a soft economy, people are still spending (see Barbara Farfan’s “2012 Christmas Holiday Shopping U.S. Retail Industry Sales Results Summary” on About.com). What will make those consumers want to spend their money with you? How do you stand out from the crowd and attract new customers?
Competing in a Soft Economy
Even in tough times, there are companies that excel. Amazon, Ford, and Lego are great examples. They posted robust sales for most quarters during the recent recession (see Claire Bradley’s “6 Companies Thriving in the Recession” on Yahoo! Finance). They did this by embracing innovation and a willingness to change. Of course, they also had access to great marketing research and consultants to help craft new marketing strategies. When you have deep pockets, it makes sense to dip in and shell out big bucks now, knowing you’ll make it back many times over in the future.
It makes sense for a small business to do the same. There’s a catch, however: Most small businesses have pockets that are anything but deep. In fact, “shallow” might be a generous description of the pockets they dip into for advertising research, campaign strategy, and product development. The reality is that small businesses have big business problems, but don’t have big business budgets.
I’ll let that sink in. If you read that and thought, “He just said we don’t have the dollars to compete head on with the big boys,” you’re right. If success was a matter of how much money you could throw at a problem, then the one with the biggest pocket-book wins! Thankfully, success is not based on that. So, what does a small business owner do to bridge the financial gap and stay in the game?
What if there exists a pooled resource of experienced consultants with expertise in all areas of business (legal, tax, accounting, marketing, finance, advertising, marketing, general business) that a small business owner could tap into for one small monthly fee? What if that fee gave you unlimited access to said consultants for advice in order to make better decisions on future plans? And what if that access also includes unlimited advice on any business legal matter, the ability to have a set number of contracts and documents reviewed on a monthly basis before you sign, free or reduced cost legal representation if the business is named in a lawsuit, and assistance in collecting outstanding receivables? If that sounds great to you, then you’ll love this: the service exists!
I’d love to take credit for creating the system, but it’s been in place for quite some time. By partnering together, LegalShield℠ and GoSmallBiz bring all that I’ve mentioned above and more to the table for a monthly fee that is less or equal to what many of my clients charge for one hour of their services. That’s why I’m proud to offer those services, and thrilled to mention them here.
How does it all work? More importantly, how can it help you and your business? Great questions! Let’s discuss the answers together. Give me a call at 646.340.8087, email me at kerwynhodge@LegalShield.com, or click here to visit my website for an overview.
PS: There’s still a contest to win a Business Plan Executive Summary! Click the “Follow” button above to enter and receive updates on this blog. For details, see Out With the Old, In With the New. Also, please Comment below with any questions or concerns you have. All feedback is very much appreciated.
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