Updated: Sep 22, 2020
Would you live in a house that you built yourself? If you are an experienced construction, HVAC, and plumbing professional the option is valid, but if you are an insurance sales account manager and watched a few YouTube videos on how to build your own house, I don't think you would want to make this your permanent residence. The same goes for your business. Yes, you can DIY pretty much anything and everything, but the results are what really matter. If you plan to make a living from your business and want to provide the best for your customers, then your business deserves dedicated professionals to work on tasks or projects that are not your areas of expertise.
So, you might start your business with the help of some decent capital, but what is your plan to get the maximum ROI and expand your business further? The key is simple – invest in hiring or contracting professionals. As an entrepreneur, you may want to do as much as you can on your own and within your tight budget, but you will never 100% return-on-investment of your efforts because you are not devoting 100% of your time to those said tasks. Hire a professional to focus on one of these areas so you can focus on running your business.
The need for professional services – an unwanted cost or an ROI accelerant?
Let me take my own example. In the digital world of today, having a website is necessary for any successful businesses. But can it be a DIY exercise? If you create a DIY website, then it might not outperform your competitor’s website. If the website is not able to accomplish its goals, then no point in taking this DIY route instead of opting for a professional web designer.
Considering that 75% of people never scroll past the first page, you need to be on the first page of Google search results. If this is not the case, then your potential customers will never know about your business. But, if you choose professionals to build your website, then you can have a superior SEO optimized website. Such a website will rank on top pages, get more customers, and help your business flourish.
And the same logic applies to other aspects of your business. Be it finance, legal, digital marketing, or branding, hiring professionals can always give you an upper edge over your competitors and help your business excel. Further, in this blog, you can read about why you should hire a professional CPA, business attorney, web developer, digital marketer, and branding agency.
Why do you need a branding agency?
As a small business, you step into the industry with an ambition to turn into a massive company. You would want more people to know your company, make purchases and be famous. Some of the famous examples of such businesses are Apple, Nike, etc. Well, what makes the business successful and massive? The key is getting wider audiences to your business, and you can accomplish that through branding.
Branding doesn't mean printing out fancy business cards and wearing t-shirts with your logo on it. Instead, branding is more about how people perceive your business and what they feel when they see your logo, or a website, or a product, etc. Branding is vital for any business that aims to go big. Keep in mind that a significant 91% of people trust their favorite brands. People tend to buy and interact with brands that they trust.
Thus, if you have recently ventured into business, it's the best time for you to create your brand image. And you can accomplish that by hiring a professional branding agency. If you're still not sure about branding your company, then read the seven points below that may convince you.
Whether you are into healthcare, sports, finance, digital, legal, or anything else, each small business has some competitors selling the same products. Not to mention, giant online retailers are also keeping an eye to divert and attract your customers to them. In such a highly competitive market, you need to make your business unique and identifiable.
By branding your business, potential customers can recognize your business and what products or services you offer. When people start noticing your brand, and they know what it stands for, then people are more likely to choose you over other competitors. In simple words, branding improves recognition for your business.
2 – Customers develop trust in your company
The fundamental factor in creating trust with your business is consistency. The branding agency you hire will design an apt logo for your company. Further, the logo will get printed on physical things like business cards, staff uniforms, storefronts or business building, etc. In digital space, your website will get optimized to project your brand image perfectly.
You might not know, but 81% of customers say that trust in a brand is a necessary element to make purchases. When customers see what your brand stands for across real-world and digital space, then they start developing credibility in your products and services. The same look, feel, and colors get used to making your brand appear professional and authoritative. And customers are more likely to trust brands that seem more polished and professional.
3 – Advertising and branding go well together
With little branding when you make a mark in the market, it becomes more convenient to advertise your business. Since your brands have already established its values, its look (logo, colors), and its tone, people are more likely to recognize your brand when they see spot your marketing campaign.
When your brand gets established, your marketing will get more time and cost-efficient. You no more need to create campaigns from scratch. Instead, you can refer to the brand guidelines to make your efforts count. Whether it's apparel, packaging, printed materials, or online content, hiring a branding agency can indeed make it easy to advertise your business.
4 – Customers find it convenient to approach you
Being a small business owner, you might not be selling your products or services online. But, a vast majority of customers out there expect you to have an omnichannel presence. It includes e-commerce and social media presence too. When your brand has an excellent online presence, then customers find it convenient to look you up online and engage with you.
Also, when you have a social media presence, your customers can closely follow your brand. When people see others following and interacting with your brand, and they spot your logo on different profiles, then your company appears as unique and authentic. If you want to ensure an omnichannel presence, then hiring a branding agency is your best bet.
5 – Motivates your employees
Often, employees need more than work; they want to follow and work towards a bigger picture. Branding helps your employees learn the mission of your business and its core values. Also, when your brand receives acceptance and love from people, employees too feel pride working for your company.
Also, a reputable image of the company motivates the employees to work harder to achieve the goals you have set. A strong branding not only attracts customers but also motivates your staff. That's how hiring a branding agency can motivate your employees.
6 – Generates new and loyal customers
Whether or not your new customers will return to you depends largely on your brand image. When customers first spot your logo, they get an idea about the attitude and environment of your business, which helps them form first impressions. And you should know that first impressions influence the loyalty of your customers towards you.
A branding agency ensures that your brand has a professional image across all channels. So that when people spot your logo or watch your ad, they can find you as trustworthy. Further, customer loyalty leads to referrals. It means your loyal customers will go about spreading a word about your company and get you more business.
7 – You can influence people's perception of your business
Your customers form opinions about your business after their first interaction with you. But, there are things you can do to influence how they perceive your business. Essential elements like color, logo, theme, and tone make up your brand image. You might get surprised, but using a signature color can improve brand recognition by a whopping 80%.
When you hire a professional branding agency, they will make sure that your logo, color, and tonality, etc. work to create a spell around the customers. Professionals at the agency ensure that when people see your brand, they instantly fall in love with what it offers, which further results in high conversions for your business.
Why you need a CPA and financial advisor
If you want your small business to remain sustainable and stay competitive, then you need to have a robust financial system. CPA and financial advisor are two integral roles in the world of finance. A Certified public accountant or CPA can help your businesses with accounting and taxes. A financial advisor can provide you with smart suggestions for investing your capital and saving it.
Photo from Nappy.co
Check out these reasons to enlist the assistance of a professional financial advisor and CPA:
1 – Professional licensing
The CPA gets his/her license from the state after appearing for rigorous examinations. As a requirement of their license, CPAs must stay updated with the tax code. They must continue their learning to maintain their state of license.
Typical accountants do not have any such requirement; thus, you can trust CPAs as they know about the latest financial regulations and tax codes. You never know whether the accountant had continued their education.
2 – Seamless tax filing
Indeed, every CPA does not specialize in tax filing for small businesses. However, CPAs tend to be more knowledgeable about tax laws than accountants. CPAs need to take licensing exams and yearly continuing education that deals with the latest tax codes. It means CPAs know about the current rules in your state. Plus, if anything is missed, your CPA will help or directly handle inquiries from the IRS and state tax authorities. Turbo Tax won’t do that and if they do, they are hiring a CPA to work on your account, but it is someone that you do not know, nor have you vetted. The IRS does not want to hear any excuses, if you do not know what to say, what the codes are and the implications your business could be at risk. I mean the IRS took down Al Capone, if they find flaws and issues in your return even an honest mistake, they are good, and they will find it.
So, when you hire a professional CPA, they can ensure a seamless tax filing for your business.
3 – Reduces your burden
As a business owner, you must be playing many roles at a single time. Especially if you're an entrepreneur, then you alone need to take care of product development, marketing, customer support, and quality assurance, etc.
Often, you might get occupied with the management of your business that you end up ironing the financial needs of your company. That's when the financial advisor comes into the picture. You can have great peace of mind when you have an expert taking care of the finances of your business.
4 – Help cut costs
Financial advisors are famous for making the optimal use of your resources. They prioritize cutting costs wherever possible and work on eliminating the wastage. A financial advisor and CPA both can develop an accounting system for your business to manage costs. Actually, saving you money
When you have such a robust system in place, you will be better off monitoring costs and take prompt actions. It ensures that the cost fluctuation does not exceed your budget.
5 – Develop plans for your business
As an owner, you're likely to get consumed by the everyday management of your business. And you might miss out on the bigger picture or long-term goals of your business. A financial advisor ensures that you have clear plans for the future. And they also help your business to move ahead in the direction of growth and stability.
Your financial advisor studies market conditions and competition to predict the success of your business. It helps you create a better plan for your company.
Those were five significant reasons why you need a CPA and financial advisor. They both can save a lot of your business costs and act as a catalyst for your bottom-line.
Why you need a business attorney
As a business owner, you start your company in the hope that it will thrive and flourish over time. Unfortunately, you don’t live in a society free from threats. Your company might make mistakes, issues may arise, and you will reluctantly need an attorney from time to time.
Hiring a professional attorney is the best way to mitigate legal risks and safeguard your business from unwanted legal implications.
The following are the five benefits of hiring a business attorney.
1 – Law is complex
If you are not an attorney, then you need not pretend to be one instance. Especially the more complex your industry and your long-term goals. The experienced lawyers do not represent themselves in the court too. Law is vast, and it has a multitude of dimensions; lawyers often specialize in legal areas like criminal defense or tax law, etc. Any case against you can quickly unravel when you have a trained attorney by your side. Always think long-term. The longer you are in business, your attorney will easily become your most trusted advisor and there are many affordable legal outlets for small businesses.
2 – Safeguard against lawsuits
Yes, having a business attorney can safeguard you against lawsuits. It’s like the whole insurance thing in case something happens. In real life, if you approach the attorney after you get sued, then it is probably too late. In such cases, a competent attorney can help lower the charges, but they may not be able to save you entirely.
So, it helps if you hire or get timely consultation from a professional business attorney. It helps you prevent lawsuits and protect you from bigger losses.
3 – Not having an attorney can cost you more
Many issues may arise in your business where you need legal help. It can be an employee suing you, the government investigating your business, sale or acquisition issues, etc. In many such cases, you might have to bear a huge loss, which is avoidable with the help of a business attorney. In some cases, you can claim your legal fees too. So, by hiring a lawyer, you can save money, which you might lose otherwise.
4 – Attorneys know how to protect from legal tangles
Without proper legal training, you may not have the knowledge to protect your emerging business against the risks of liability. It will be difficult to know how to keep operations and personnel running smoothly without falling into a legal issue. Without knowledge of the legal intricacies, your documentation and paperwork (like NDAs, SLAs, or invoices) may be subject to scrutiny from IRS or a business rival. For these reasons, it is crucial to hire a professional attorney. He will suggest the best way to prepare the paperwork and manage staff so that there is no risk of liability on the business or the founders.
5 – You’re better off negotiating settlements with a lawyer
An experienced business lawyer has seen many legal cases like yours. He/she can predict closely about how your case can get resolved at the trial. Many times, a settlement is the best choice, and other times, it’s better to see your case through trial. The business attorney knows the best possible way to handle your case. And they can also get you a reasonable settlement.
That’s how having a business attorney can add immense ROI and safety net to your business. You must already know that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ By hiring the business attorney, you can protect your business against lawsuits and mitigate damages.
Why you need a professional web designer
I have to tell you this – in the fast-paced world of today, the internet holds a prominent place for small businesses. Over 58% of the global population uses the internet, and it makes perfect sense for business owners like you to have a website. A significant 63% of people use a company’s website to find and interact with a business.
Either a professional, freelance web developer or website development company can help you have a robust online presence, saving you a lot of money over time. If your audience is predominantly online, then a web designer can work his magic in creating a memorable web presence and unlock phenomenal lead generation opportunities.
There are many advantages to hiring a professional designer apart from having an excellent website:
1 – You get a high-quality website
A high-quality website is one of the significant advantages of hiring a professional web designer. You can find many of the free website creation tools out there. Not to mention, website templates with drag-and-drop tools are available in abundance. But all those tools are ordinary, and you can’t create an excellent website with such free, basic tools.
You might not know, but a whopping 88% of online consumers are unlikely to return to your website after a poor experience. My professional opinion is that a web designer can help you alleviate this problem to a large extent with a quality website. A professional web designer has the skills to create your website with quality user experience (UX) in mind, easy to navigate user interface (UI), and professionally designed visual content (graphic design). Your customers will want to return to your site because of the quality of the experience.
2 – Your business gains more credibility
These days, most people search online for the things they want. They often use the internet to check the pricing of products, solutions to their problems, or learn about a business or a restaurant before buying anything from them. If you want to attract customers to your business, then you need to offer them a beautiful website.
A web development company can create a website for you with the latest features that help you generate revenue from day one, including lead-capture forms, meta-tag headers, plug-ins, and chatbot, and follow-up automation that make your life incredibly easier as a business owner. Such a site can provide your customers with a flawless website experience and build trust in your company from every website visitor.
3 – Mobile-friendly website
People, more often than not, use their mobile phones to browse the internet. So, you need to have a responsive website that runs seamlessly on all devices, be it mobile, laptop, or a computer. Keep in mind that if people have a bad experience on mobile, then they are 62% unlikely to buy from you in the future.
By hiring a professional web designer, you can get a mobile-friendly website. A professional website not only has a faster loading time on mobile, but it also offers a smooth web experience. It will indeed encourage more traffic to your site and, ultimately, more conversions for your business.
4 – Saves your money in the long-term
As a small business owner, you might not be sure about hiring a professional web designer. You might feel that you cannot afford a professional website. But the reality is you cannot afford not to have a professional website. The designing costs vary depending on your needs, but, once it gets on the internet and running, your investment starts making sense.
Also, you need to consider the costs of conventional advertising, which includes TV, radio, newspaper, etc. When you compare the cost-to-benefit ratios of a professional website to traditional advertising, then the latter one comes nowhere close to the former.
5 – SEO benefits
You must have heard about SEO or search engine optimization, and do you know what wonders it can do to your business? In simple words, SEO comprises techniques that help your website rank on the top page of search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and of course the Holy Grail of search Google. And it’s important to rank on the top because 75% of people never look beyond the first page of Google search. So, think about it if your page shows up on the 2nd or 3rd page of Google, you have less than a 5% chance of someone seeing your website. Keywords, meta-tags, site mappings, load times all affect your website's SEO and how people find your business for FREE online. So, if you are scratching your head about these terms or don’t know how to do this yourself, do not hurt your business by DIY-ing your SEO, it’s not worth it.
A professional web designer can give you a search engine optimized website from the beginning. Start out strong and then learn as you go. You will be better able to target your customers and attract them to your site from every search engine without paying a ton of money for ads. By ranking better, you will get more visitors and more business too.
6 – Keeps your customers updated
You can consider your website as a digital brochure or catalog, which you can update at any given time. The good news is, it’s far more convenient to update information about your products or services on your website than printing it out on a physical brochure. Your website is the best way to introduce new products/services to your customers.
You can also tell them about upcoming sales, special promotions, and other events. You can also add useful content on your site; you can share various tips, solutions, how-to’s in the form of a blog. The website content never gets stale and keeps on attracting more audience to your site.
7 – Gives you an edge over your competitors
When you choose to hire professional website services over DIY, you automatically get rewarded with a competitive advantage. Professional series lets you have a high-quality and well-functioning website. Many business owners try to save money by DIY their website. However, the final result shows a lack of expertise in web development.
On the other hand, a professionally created website can easily beat your competitor’s site on the internet. You might not know, but 94% of the first impressions depend on the design of your website. It means a professional website can make strong first impressions on your customers and develop trust too.
The advantages of hiring a website development company are countless. A professional designer can indeed help skyrocket your business profit and enable you to reach your potential customers through a website.
Why do you need a dedicated digital marketer?
Well, you may or may not know, but 4.57 billion people across the world are active internet users. That is more than half of the world population. And it also implies that most of your potential customers are online. So, if you want to ensure effective marketing for your business, then you must focus on the online or digital marketing instead of traditional marketing through TV and newspapers.
More than ever it is important that your business is not just online, but is reaching the right people, has a consistent message, and generating sales regularly, that is what a professional digital marketing specialist does for you.
The following are the eight solid reasons you should consider hiring a digital marketer.
1 – Online is the best place to reach your customers
These days, every alternate person is using social media, be it Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp, etc. On average, people spend about 3 hours a day on social media platforms. Social media gets used for everything from academics, work, entertainment, and hanging out with friends, etc.
Also, you need to consider the fact that 63% of shopping begins online. So, it’s apparent that people not only spend most of their time online, but they also use the internet to search for businesses. That’s why; online is the best place to reach your potential customers, and digital marketing helps you achieve the same.
2 – Opportunity for small businesses compete with bigger ones
As a small business owner, you are aware of the market conditions and how conglomerates rule the business world. E.g., when Walmart came into your town, it instantly wiped out hundreds of local shops. You have also seen it happening in the online space, and it can be challenging for you to compete with brands like Amazon.
However, digital marketing allows you to level the playing field. It can be your beacon of hope as you can rank on the top of search pages too. All you need is a proper digital marketing strategy. And then, your business can indeed get more leads and conversions.
3 – Changed consumer behavior
The internet has information which is far more accessible to people. And it has resulted in a change in consumer behavior. Here are some stats –
● 90% of customers rely on online reviews before approaching a business.
● Online reviews have a significant impact of 67.7% on purchase decisions.
● 84% of people treat online reviews like a personal recommendation.
Apart from online reviews, people rely on social media, search engines, and chat forums. Digital marketing allows you to market your brand online effectively. Further, it attracts more customers to your business and boosts your revenues.
4 – Better ability to target
When you run an ad in a magazine, you do some targeting. You have some control over the ad placement, and you know whether your target audience reads that magazine. But, you would never know the number of targeted people who saw the ad? And whether or not it influenced their purchase decisions.
But, that’s not the case with digital marketing. Here, you can target people with certain demographics, profession, education level, buying behavior, and so on. Not to mention, digital marketing is highly scalable. You can effectively monitor and change your digital campaigns to get more conversions.
5 – Highly personalized marketing
When it comes to targeting your audiences, nothing can beat digital marketing. Email marketing, which is an essential component of digital marketing, can communicate with your customers on a personal level. It’s a wide known fact that people like to learn about their favorite brands through emails as it gives them more control and comfort.
Also, personalized emails can have an open rate as high as 50%. So, by sending relevant content to your customers via e-mails, you can encourage more purchases. Further, digital marketing uses methods like segmentation and automation, along with personalization. It enables you to study consumer behavior and send them personalized suggestions to motivate more sales.
You need to think of digital marketing as a way of making your business accessible to people. To make money, you need people to buy your products and services. And to make people aware of your brand, you may try different ways of advertising. But, what you must know is people look at advertising as an intrusion in their life.
What most customers prefer is convenience and control, both of which are available through digital marketing. Digitally, your business is accessible 24/7, and customers can make purchases at any hour by visiting your online store. Customers can also send you emails to resolve their doubts, and people who are far living from the business location can still interact with it.
7 – Better analytics
Can you determine how the TV ad about your business has performed so far? Well, you probably can’t get any solid data. But you can consider the reach of the channel and study the fluctuations in your overall sales. It can get a rough idea about how much the TV ad has benefitted your business. Nonetheless, digital marketing gives you a complete analysis of your marketing campaigns.
With digital marketing, you can know who saw your ad? If they liked it and that further led to any purchase. You can also know if people did not like your ad, and they ignored it. Also, when someone likes your ad, you can get more info about them, such as their likings, buying interests, and buying behavior, etc. Digital marketing gives you an ocean of data about your customers, which helps you take your business on another level of success.
8 – Excellent return-on-investment (ROI)
When talking about return-on-investment, nothing comes as close as digital marketing. Take this for an example; you can get a lucrative return of $42 by spending a mere $1 on e-mail marketing. Another one is, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, and it can still give you 3X as many leads.
As an owner of the small business, being cost-efficient must be top on your list. Every single dollar that you invest in your company shall give you a profitable ROI. And digital marketing, indeed, provides the highest ROI as compared to other ways of marketing.
As a new business, you might get tempted to save as much money and opt for cheaper services or do the task yourself. But you need to consider the significance of hiring a professional. As you read above, hiring a professional CPA can ensure a hassle-free tax filing and save you a lot of money. The same with the professional digital marketer, they can build a robust online presence for your business. And a professional branding agency can ensure that your brand reaches all the right people with the right message. So, using professional services can indeed get more customers to your business, which means more sales and more profits. On a tight budget? Find a contractor on Upwork or Fiverr for a campaign to get you going in the right direction. Utilizing dedicated professionals to concentrate on your tasks provides peace of mind and professional results, this way you can focus on sales and running your business.
Got questions about branding? Got some knowledge to drop? Hey, stay in touch. Drop me a line. I'm always happy to work with entrepreneurs and help them accomplish their goals. It's my passion and a part of my brand.
I'm Ehren Muhammad
Founder of EMPro, Ltd
EMPro, Ltd - Branding & Digital Marketing
We Help Brands Grow