Any new owner of a small local business will quickly realise that there are many more things to worry about than simply providing the product or service for which the business exists. When you have sole responsibility for everything from product development, purchasing, sales, staff management and financial matters, days can quickly become filled with distractions that don’t seem to add any obvious value.
It is at this point that savvy business owners call upon local expertise to help them manage some of these secondary, but important tasks, allowing them to focus their efforts on business matters that count. For example a local marketing specialist may not have specific expertise in a local company’s particular product but, if they have been in business for a while, they are very likely to understand the marketing opportunities that exist locally and, more importantly, will know from previous campaigns with other businesses, which work and which do not. That knowledge and experience can be worth a lot in terms of picking the best channels to use and in securing a fair market price for them.
Another area where some well-established local assistance can pay dividends is in accountancy services. For small businesses a good local accountant is almost vital. Of course they will ensure that all regulatory matters are kept in hand and any required submissions are made correctly and on time. A proactive accountant may also be able to offer a more hands-on approach to helping the business in a variety of financial matters. – credit control, invoice factoring, cash flow and asset management are all subjects where optimal practices can save time and money and reduce risk for a new business. An experienced accountant will have seen many new businesses progress through their early stages of growth, some successfully, some not quite so well. It is this experience that a new business owner is unlikely to have, so a good accountant can help avoid many of the obvious pitfalls that risk the success of a new venture.
Networking is important in many aspects of business. People immediately assume good networking can assist in sales and for many businesses that is true, but at the local level, networking can bring other benefits. One well-documented aspect of local business is the trend for local companies to support each other whenever possible. You might call it “keeping it in the family”. Many local business owners would rather support a local firm wherever possible, so long as the price and quality of what is on offer is competitive. In the past local communities existed purely on traders interacting with one another, exchanging and swapping products and services. Although that may no longer be a legitimate way of doing business, self-supporting local commerce still exists and in fact is the mainstay of business for many firms.
An accountancy firm that has built up a portfolio of customers from the local business community can provide a fast-track entrance into that network for a new start-up. The accountant will know from experience, which firms are good to do business with and which provide high quality goods and services. That knowledge is again very useful for a new company, who can take advantage of that local network from the outset.
In selecting a local accountant to support a new business, there are a variety of aspects to consider other than just the obvious ones. Most accountancy firms can deliver a basic service perfectly well, but not all have the type of approach and experience that can give a local business a head start in its early days.
When looking for accountants in Alton recently James discovered they can be very useful for many things in addition to just accountancy. Where accountants for local business firms can help is in creating networks and James has written widely on how useful this can be.
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