The Bridge
Business Bridging Solutions
Small Business Consultants
Call us at 619-850-6518
HomeAbout BBSServicesThe Bridge - BBS BlogWorkshops & EventsContact Us

The Bridge 
The Blog of Business Bridging Solutions

The Bridge

7 Reasons to Hire a Consultant for your Small Business

by Dan Roberts on 04/15/18

If you’re a small business owner, you’re already pre-disposed to keeping a tight watch on expenses. Naturally, any financial decision is on that comes with some considerable thought and even some hand-wringing. After all, you’ve gotten this far on your own. You wear multiple hats on a daily basis, and have been successful to this point. Why should you spend the money? Is it worth it? The simple answer is yes, but here are seven reasons why:

1.       A Consultant removes emotion from challenges and difficult decisions

Sometimes business owners can be faced with challenging and emotional decisions. Countless hours were spent building the business into what it is today. Many folks – whether it be employees, vendors or family members – helped to get it to this point. But it may be time for some hard choices. A consultant can come in with a fresh perspective and give you the unemotional and unabashed advice needed to move forward in the growth of your business.

2.       Consultants are Professional Problem-Solvers

Let’s face it – this is why you’re even considering a consultant to begin with: there something amiss in your business. Consultants are able to come in and help diagnose the challenge in front of you, and develop a plan of action to help you get moving.

3.       Consultants are Teachers

This is our personal favorite, and not just because we both had had experience leading trainings or teaching classes. No – the real value a good consultant brings to the table is that they help you the small business owner learn something new. Perhaps it’s a sales strategy, a client relationship system or a new payment processing platform – the consultant should give you the knowledge needed to help your business become more efficient, and profitable.

4.       You don’t have the internal staff to level up

This is one major reason why hiring a consultant makes sense: you need a rock star to help you get to the next level in your business. The other major reason…

5.       You don’t have the expertise to level up

This is an extension of number 3, really. And it’s a common challenge for many newer small business owners as well, particularly those who are amazing in one particular area. The need to be competent in so many areas of a business (HR, Accounting, IT … the list goes on) can be too much. A consultant can make up for that shortcoming.

6.       To help launch a business

Launching may be the toughest part of getting started for some, particularly if you are doing it alone. A consultant give you an opportunity to bounce ideas around, strategize around financial decisions, and hone in on your marketing message and target audience to name a few. And of course, it’s great to have another set of eyes to review documents, licenses, and leases.

7.       To facilitate change

Finally, one of the hardest challenges to overcome is that of change. It is human nature to resist change, often times because it is so uncomfortable. A good consultant knows this, and helps businesses navigate the emotional minefield that is filled with fear, anxiety and uncertainty. They also can inspire a business to tackle the change by setting digestible goals.

 

Finally, if you’re a business owner looking at bringing on a consultant – do your homework. Line up a few choices, ask about how they work with their clients, and seek out testimonials. When you make your choice, make sure you are ready to dive in head first with someone you like and trust.

The 2 Factors B2B Small Business Owners Must Embrace

by Dan Roberts on 04/12/18

It should come as no surprise that 2 of the top 5 reasons a small business might fail has to do with money. Specifically, small businesses struggle with cash flow and/or run out of cash altogether.

Now, there are many contributing factors as to why a business might fail. Hiring the wrong people, poor management decisions, never even writing a business plan are some of the biggest offenses. That said, if you really want to give your small business a chance at success, there are two key pieces that must be addressed:

1.       Know your Price Points

We have found that B2B Small Business Owners are some of the most talented people in their field. But, when making the switch from a W2 career, they most always undercharge as soon as they launch. Why? It is a myriad of reasons, primarily rooted in fear. The solution here is simple: know your market, deliver value and understand the total cost of what you are providing, not just the face-to-face time with the client.

2.       Get Good at Sales

Depending on your previous W2 life, sales might not be your strong suit. If it isn’t, understand a few things. As the business owner, you are now and always will be its chief sales person. If sales is not your forte – seek out trainings and mentors, and do it immediately. From dedicated sales coaches and customized trainings to small business consultants that provide personalized plans, there are countless ways to build and grow your sales skills.

 

The Small Business failure rates are constantly updated by the Small Business Administration. Nearly 1 of 5 small businesses fail in the first year and 5 in 10 fail in year five. The reasons for failure are equally well-documented. Charging appropriately for your products and services, as well as developing a successful skillset in sales are two factors that B2B Small Business Owners must embrace early in their ownership journey.

Do I need a business coach or consultant?

by Dan Roberts on 04/11/18

When we are out networking with other business professionals, we are inevitably asked "the question."

 

So tell me, what do you do?

 

After delivering our 60-second commercial (We specialize in helping small businesses through process development and improvement, building scale, developing revenue streams and increasing profitability), the follow-up often times is the same.

 

That sounds great, but I always wonder: do I need a business coach or a consultant like you?

 

Of course, we want to scream: "A CONSULTANT LIKE ME!" But that might be a little too, um ... obvious. And to be fair, this is a legitimate question.

 

This article does a nice job of clearly defining the role of a coach and consultant. It is best summarized like this:

 

 

"A business coach helps you develop your purpose, brainstorms with you and motivates you in your business. Many business coaches also address mindset issues such as: limiting beliefs, fear and self-sabotage (which are extremely important to address).

 

A business consultant is more of an expert you turn to for help with your business. They teach you skills you don’t know, analyze your business and create an action plan for you to implement.

 

They are well versed in business planning and strategy, which they use to help gauge the direction and scalability of your business. They also work with you regarding customer acquisition and retention, processes & systems, packaging of services, pricing, sales and marketing.

 

Business consultants analyze the goals you have for your business and help you create the plan of action required for you to actually accomplish those goals."

 

If you're looking for a business consultant to help create a plan of action to achieve your organizational goals, contact us today for a complimentary meeting. We will sit down with you and discuss whether working with a consultant or a coach makes the most sense.

 

 

 

 

 

Contact us at info@businessbridgingsolutions.com

 

3 Items Every Small Business Owner Must Ask at Tax Time

by Dan Roberts on 03/28/17

It’s that time of year where every business is getting update calls and questions from their tax professional. But if you’ve just recently launched your business, here are 3 items you must know and ask during Tax Season.

 

1.       I work from home – can I use the workspace as a deduction?

According to Craig Fortin, a tax specialist for small businesses, well … maybe. “Is it exclusive use? That's the 1st question to answer. If yes, then you probably can.  Don't forget to include all utilities and maintenance costs to maximize the deduction. Also if you have a direct expense such as a built in desk or bookshelf you can take 100% of that expense."

 

2.       What is a direct expense? How is it different than a capital expense?

To answer these questions, says Fortin, you need to look at the period of time or use.  “If it's copy paper it's reasonable to "expense" that directly as you would likely use that up within the tax year.  Also, it's inexpensive and capitalizing it just wouldn't make sense.  If it's furniture,” said Fortin, “that will not be ‘used up’ within the year so that would be capitalized or expensed over its lifetime.  IRS has guidelines for these assets.  Finally, capital assets often can be expensed using Section 179 of the IRS code. That means even if you would normally depreciate an asset over several years you may be able to expense it directly. This can often provide large, immediate tax savings. For instance one of my clients purchased a piece of equipment in late December for almost $50,000. He was able to deduct the full cost even though the "useful life" according to the IRS is 5 years.

 

3.       What can I do this year to make my tax picture better next year?

Fortin recommends that you ask your accountant that question now as he or she is preparing last year's taxes. “Make sure and be upfront with your plans,” he said, “even [consider] what's going on in your industry and individual business.” He goes on to recommend that you talk about personal plans and concerns too as they are so closely intertwined with your business. “If you are having a hardship bring that up. Don't be afraid to own it.  You may be surprised by the wealth of knowledge (or lack thereof) that your accountant has. I spent many years as a banker lending to small business owners before starting me tax practice so I have seen many different companies resolve their problems in ways I may not have thought of.”

 

If you have just recently launched your business, and you’re overwhelmed with the operational tasks – we can help. Contact us today at 619-252-6518 or click here to request more information.

The Proof is in the Process

by Dan Roberts on 02/05/17

A good friend recently launched an organic drink company. We've been helping out from time to time on various projects or just giving feedback and ideas as questions and issues arise. Last week, we were chatting about his growing email list. "The challenge," he said, "is that I'm just not sure all the work I've done to get over 1,000 contacts has translated into sales." 

A challenge for any business owner to be sure...what's my ROI?

THE THREE P's

We are fond of looking at a business and considering the three P's:

- Purpose
- People
- Process

Typically, when an issue or challenge arises, a business owner will find that it falls into one of these three areas. For our friend, we were familiar with the people and purpose associated with the organization. So it was easy to understand that looking at the process was the first and really only place to start. 

My friend has gathered the majority of these contacts at festivals and community events. So we began reviewing the steps he takes for these events, from registration to day-of-event activities. After about a 15-20 minute conversation, it was determined that the opportunity/detail he was missing resided in the contact collection. Simply, he needed to ask: where do you shop, and have you seen my product at your store? These questions will help him connect day-to-day activities to real sales.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROCESSES FOR SMALL BUSINESS 

Like my friend, most small businesses have less than 3 employees. According to this Voice of San Diego article, over 55% of San Diego small businesses have 4 employees or less. This means that the owner and employees have multiple roles throughout the day. Many times there is crossover, with the same tasks being carried out by different people. It is very likely that the process for these tasks are not being carried out the same way every time. With multiple workers, it gets increasingly difficult for business owners to manage those processes.

The best way for small business to ensure precision and continuity is to install and monitor processes. This will ensure efficiency and increase chances for profitability as well. Business owners now have a chance to delegate tasks so that they can concentrate on growing their business. Establishing processes ensures that work in your business gets completed the right way the first time.
Are your processes working?
Schedule an appointment with Business Bridging Solutions today to see how we can help your business processes.
Complete the form to the right, or e-mail us at info@businessbridgingsolutions.com

FOLLOW US:
BBS on Facebook
BBS on Google+
BBS on LinkedIn
BBS on Pinterest
BBS on Twitter
BBS on Instagram