Thursday, 9 July 2009

New magazine for home business

At a home business event yesterday, I was handed a copy of a new magazine for home business owners. It's the Home Business Network's magazine which is being distributed monthly with the Saturday Telegraph - or you can register FREE on their website and get the magazine online without having to buy a newspaper.

I've registered so that I can have a good read of the magazine, which is full of useful articles, case studies and tips, all written in straightforward, non-patronising terms, and share some thoughts.

Here's my thinking about the first issue.

There are some "Top Tips for Business Sellers" aimed at businesses trading on eBay. One of these tips is;
Think and act like a business
Starting your own business means you need to master a whole load of skills from basic accounting to marketing. Too many traders don't know basic maths and this can cost them dearly in the future.
It is true that you do need to learn a lot of new skills when you have your own business. You'll be chief sales(wo)man, chief marketer, production manager, chief coffee-maker, etc. etc. Some of it you can outsource (see below), but some of it you'll want to keep and do yourself, because nobody else has the same passion as you for your business. It's your baby.

But you don't need to learn basic accounting, even if you choose not to outsource your bookkeeping. You didn't go into business to be an accountant. Instead I'd recommend you use a nice simple software package that will help you with your figures and add everything up for you. I use FreeAgent for my clients, or you could try KashFlow.

And talking of KashFlow, the Home Business Network site also mentions that you get a free trial of KashFlow if you sign up to the HBN. Sorry folks, this isn't a benefit of HBN. Every new user of KashFlow gets a free trial!

Also in the magazine was an article about bespoke tailor Harold Rose. He mentions how he doesn't directly employ staff, but instead outsources his bookkeeping, "web design, SEO, website management, accounts, warehousing and 'office reception'."

That's what I do too. I outsource my telephone answering to the excellent Moneypenny and my websites to 1973 Ltd (for my video business) and Greg Coltman, my brother-in-law, for Home Business Accountant. I'm not a web designer, and Chris, Dave and Greg know far more than I do about websites, CEO and design.

Don't be fooled by the government organisations who judge a business by the number of employees it has. You don't need to employ anyone if you don't want to. There's bound to be someone whose business it is to provide the service you need.

To quote Emma Jones at Enterprise Nation:
Do what you do best, and outsource the rest!

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