As a part of your expertise in a niche business like the appraisal industry, there are many things you probably don’t need help with. Things like setting fees, choosing comps, pulling flood maps, or finding sources for data all come second nature now. However, there are other elements of running a business that aren’t appraisal related and that’s where most small business owners struggle. You don’t need to outsource all of these items, but as an example; you may find that hiring a tax accountant will be more beneficial than tackling your own taxes, especially during the busy spring season. Here are some things to consider.
Time Management – There are several great books on time management. The most efficient way to read them is through an audible book that you can listen to while you drive from appointment to appointment. Invest this lost time in enriching your work life. I think you’ll find It will also enrich your personal life.
Diversify Client List – Who ever said “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” was exactly right. Diversifying your client list means having a variety of products and services. Not only will this serve you well when one segment of your business falls off or you lose a client, but it keeps things exciting. Not all appraisal work is alike.
Update Technology – Providing your own IT for current systems is just a small portion of what business owners do. Increasing efficiency through new technology is critical to staying on top of trends. If you look at the most successful companies you do business with, you’ll notice that they are continually upgrading and modifying their systems to improve customer service and efficiency.
Marketing Plan – Do you have a plan for establishing yourself as a subject matter expert in your community? A strong marketing plan can do just that. When the local attorney needs a divorce appraisal or expert witness to refute a poor real estate appraisal, how do they know to think of you?
General business services – There are experts who can help make your business stronger. A weak link in any one of the professionals below can leave your business limping.
- Accounting – The only people who like to do accounting are accountants. Find one that can take this task off your plate. This would include collection on accounts receivable.
- Tax Preparation – What deductions can a business take that will benefit the bottom line? Should you purchase a car through the business, take mileage or lease a vehicle? Taking the tax advantages into account can make a big difference.
- Insurance – In a litigious society, having the proper type and amounts of insurance is critical.
- Attorney – Having a relationship with an attorney will give you peace of mind when you really need one.
- Banker – You don’t need to understand every aspect of finance, but having someone in your corner who does can make a difference.
- Financial Planner – You’re going to retire someday. Be ready.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but things to consider. We’d love to hear what you’ve done that has made your business more successful. Feel free to comment below.