There are many theories about what is required to develop a highly successful, profitable small business. Beyond the most obvious things – e.g., time and money, I believe that the thing most small business owners need in order to be successful is expertise.
Where Small Business Owners Can Find Expertise
Let’s face it. No matter how smart and well-rounded we might be, there’s just no way any of us can be experts in all of the functional areas of a business. The requirements are much too vast and the expertise required in sales, marketing, accounting/finance, customer service, HR, etc. just too diverse.
If you examine the landscape of most small businesses today, particularly in the early stages, the most pressing needs for additional expertise fall into the following areas.
- Sales & Marketing
- Creative Services
- Website Design
- Social Media
Outsourcing: An Effective Tool for Small Business
When evaluating the need for additional expertise, the subject of insourcing versus outsourcing should come into play. Insourcing is typically done from within the company’s own operational infrastructure, while outsourcing uses external resources to perform work where the expertise does not currently reside in-house. Small businesses typically outsource accounting, creative services, customer service, HR, benefits and payroll, and IT and website design for both timing and cost considerations.
So, where does a small business owner go to get the additional expertise that is needed to fill the gaps?
Before you can answer this question, it’s important to have done a realistic assessment of your core strengths and the additional needs of the business. Ask yourself the following … “What are you really good at in the context of the daily operation of the business, and what else is needed to support current and future business needs?” Once you have identified and prioritized both the short- and long-term requirements, then you’ll be in a better position to source additional expertise where it is needed most.
Like Any Team, Small Business Can Profit from Coaching
I would highly recommend that you complete the required business needs assessment with a business coach. Particularly, if they have in-depth experience working with other small business owners to develop and grow their businesses. In most instances, a business coach will already have access to many of the external resources needed to address the expertise gaps, so you don’t have to do extensive research on your own to find them.
Your local city will have a number of resources for businesses which can provide or lead you to services, support, and peers. These resources include important organizations to consider for additional expertise when and where any small business may need it.
Organizations with Expertise Resources
- Chamber of Commerce
- Networking Groups
- Better Business Bureau
- Small Business Administration
- Trade Associations
- City Economic Development Office
- Colleges and Universities
- Business Incubators and VCs
Finding the Right Experts for Small Business Needs
The good news is there is an abundance of great resources out there with the expertise and willingness to help you move your business forward and address the gaps. The challenge will be to determine the what, when and who best fits your business needs. This is why relying upon a business coach, mentor or trusted advisor for assistance in this process is important.
So, don’t go it alone, get help.
Where do you find expertise when you need it?