Money Talks | November 2016

By Melissa Myers and Michael J. Tucker, November 2016 Web Exclusive.

Melissa Myers: Isn’t it great that a lot of your LGBTQ clients own their own businesses?

Michael Tucker: Indeed, they do. From personal trainers and real estate agents to lawyers and doctors, statistics show that a disproportionately large number of LGBTQ folks are business owners, by comparison to the general population.

Myers: When it comes to their work, many LGBTQ people are accustomed to grabbing the bull by the horns. They often exhibit a can-do attitude.

Tucker: Also they tend to have a lot of personal experience in thinking outside the box.

Myers: Sometimes they are early identifiers that they’d prefer to work for themselves than for someone else’s business.

Tucker: Where can those qualities or personal tendencies among LGBTQ business owners lead to choices that are less than optimal?

Myers: Well, small business owners tend to want to handle all of the business management and operations tasks themselves. That goes double for some LGBTQ-owned businesses.

Tucker: We want to save money or keep a handle on quality control, or both.

Myers: Consequently, they don’t always choose wisely in deciding when to hire outside help to handle business tasks such as bookkeeping, payroll, and marketing.

Tucker: At a certain point, the owner’s energy is best applied to serving customer needs rather than handling back office tasks that can be outsourced.

Myers: Trying to do everything in-house is a top reason why small businesses fail.

Tucker: When small business owners take the time to assess their office or business practices every so often, they can then identify tasks that need to be outsourced.

Myers: Why, our Echo readers who are also small business owners can outsource some of their most irritating drudgery to some of our Echo advertisers.

Tucker: That’s for sure. From handling the payroll processing to upgrading website design, business owners can create some efficiencies by offloading some tasks to the experts.

Myers: That’s right. Everyone wins when a business hires outside help to handle those tasks that the business owners can’t or won’t complete on their own.

Tucker: Perhaps because this concept is so basic, it’s helpful for business owners to create a structured opportunity every so often, to review and streamline procedures.

Myers: As the business grows, more specialized areas of business management may benefit from outside assistance.

Tucker: In our experience, some of those areas include planning for the owners’ and the employees’ retirement. Also, identifying and procuring the various insurance coverages needed for the business, from medical insurance and worker’s compensation coverage to areas such as business interruption insurance and disability coverage, can be handled efficiently by outside experts.

Myers: Small businesses may entrust legal matters, such as LLC formation, employment law procedures, industry regulatory compliance, and the like, to nonemployee experts as well, and not always by waiting until a crisis arises.

Tucker: Many small business owners become very specialized in our expertise.

Myers: We develop highly refined skills in our specialty areas.

Tucker: In my experience, many business owners tend to ignore or underemphasize what they don’t understand.

Myers: That’s one reason why it’s important to develop a sense of the right times to get help on what your business needs.

Tucker: Whether your business is large or small, consider establishing a regular process, maybe once a year, to sit down and consider internal business issues such as these.

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