Being in the Business of Helping Small Business

With all the talk of Bay Street vs. Main Street, words like ‘outsourcing’ and the rising costs of doing business in general, it’s no wonder more and more small businesses are being forced to close their doors. Consumers like small businesses, but small businesses simply can’t afford to operate against the competition.

There may be a way out of this dilemma; a way to keep Main Street’s doors open and create jobs for others as well….

Most small businesses don’t have the cash flow to allow for more than basic employees to cover the floor, answer the phone, take care of customers, or other general work needing to be done. ‘Luxuries’ like a bookkeeper/tax specialist, someone to handle advertising, coordinate employee benefits, conduct training, etc. are unthinkable. As a result, the small business owner ends up doing it all; doing things they’re not equipped to do and getting burned out. Enter the “Small Business Services Team”.

A small businesses service team is made up of freelancers who have joined forces to bring their expertise to small business owners otherwise unable to afford those services. These freelancers could be retired professionals wishing to supplement their income, college students majoring in business, accounting, marketing, or other areas needing experience and extra income, or professionals out of work or needing to make extra money.

Using a small business service team or individuals on a freelance basis eliminates the need for payroll taxes, providing benefits and paying a full time employee for part time work. The service team could be made up any or all of the following:

  1. A bookkeeper/tax specialist hired quarterly for services such as payroll/quarterly taxes, HST returns, etc.
  2. For some businesses, a knowledgeable administrative assistant or Virtual Assistance can be extremely valuable.
  3. A writer or advertising professional to help with advertising and promotions.
  4. Human resource person–  someone to meet on a quarterly basis with the business owner and employees for job evaluations, employer-employee relations, safety, etc.

Forming a service team will require a rock-solid set of expectations, guidelines and team work.

If you’re a small business owner and are thinking this type of service would be beneficial to you, either ask qualified people in your area to consider forming a service team or decide what services you need help with and ask these individuals to work on a freelance basis on their own.

The bottom line is this: the small business is still a viable way of commerce. But just like anything else, as life changes, we need to find positive and creative ways to change with it.

Cindy R. Mount, Referral Engineer, connecting ideas, people and opportunities to more referrals.  What a great way to do business! Cindy is also a contributing writer to two NY Times bestselling books and Managing Director with BNI GTA plus.  Let’s have coffee cm@marketingbyreferral.com


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