I came across this piece on Forbes, Micropreneurs: Don’t Waste Your Time On These 7 Business Tasks, and as a micropreneur, took a few minutes to check it out. After all, what small business couldn’t learn to be more efficient, right?
Like the author, I sometimes loathe paying for services, but there are times when it makes sense. For example, before I even started my business, I had lined up an accountant who specialized in working with SOHO (small office/home office) types. I had heard enough horror stories about others who’d failed to pay quarterly taxes or put aside enough money to cover year-end taxes to know that I didn’t want to find myself in that position!
Even so, I can see where #6 (writing) and #7 (marketing) might be tougher sells for the micropreneur. After all, his or her day-to-day business probably isn’t dependent upon either of these (don’t pay your taxes and you’re in trouble!). But, thinking of the many examples of poor writing or missed marketing opportunities I see on a daily basis, I wonder how much this is actually hurting many businesses…?
Let’s take writing. I’m sure many micropreneurs are thinking, “Eh, it doesn’t matter if I can spell or punctuate correctly, no one will notice.” But, they DO notice. And it makes you look unprofessional. Some folks just can’t string a coherent sentence together to save their lives. While they may be brilliant at what they do, they’re just not good writers. When that’s your reality, it doesn’t hurt to find someone who can write for you. Write your site copy, write a company description, or write other documents you may need. Or, if your writing just needs a little finessing, you can hire someone to proof your work and fine tune it by making minor adjustments. It shouldn’t be terribly expensive (if it is, you’re talking to the wrong person) and can truly help you polish your professional image and that of your business.
Then there’s marketing. Of course, there are many aspects to marketing. The truth is, if you try to tackle them all at once, you may go broke. One approach is to take a look at the marketing mix and choose a couple of areas you think would help your business most to focus on. Depending on your industry, there are marketing tactics that may be more helpful than others. For some, it’s paid search marketing. For others, social media promotion or SEO may be more effective. And let’s not forget PR. PR is applicable to any business that wants to raise its visibility and drive traffic and sales. While PR isn’t rocket science, I don’t know many micropreneurs who know much about it, which is when it can be really beneficial to hire an expert.
A PR consultant can work with you in a variety of ways, mapping out an approach and carrying it out—or maybe just providing some coaching if you want to try to do it yourself. Sometimes, micropreneurs need help with PR on the writing side of things. Others may need more help with the media pitching. You can find help with this at a reasonable cost. There are consultants and freelancers who work with smaller businesses and understand their budgetary constraints.
So, I would add another item to the list of things micropreneurs shouldn’t waste time on—and that’s worrying about finding help that won’t break the bank. There are cost-effective alternatives out there if you look.