5 Things You Shouldn’t Do Yourself When Starting a Business

Part of the appeal of starting a new business is creating something from scratch. You’re the one making the decisions. You’re the one with the original idea. And you’re the one doing the heavy lifting to get your business off the ground. If and when you become successful, you’ll get to look back and take pride in something that’s uniquely yours.

Accordingly, many entrepreneurs end up taking on every responsibility they can , occasionally overburdening themselves with tasks so they can do as much as possible by themselves. But this is dangerous; aside from the stress and distraction of the workload increase, there are some areas that, given a lack of expertise, could harm your company rather than benefit it.

When to Hire a Pro

When it comes to these areas, make sure to hire or at least consult a dedicated expert, rather than relying on your own knowledge and work:

Anything Legal.

Unless you’re fully accredited as a legal professional, it’s best to leave all legal structuring and decision making in the hands of someone else. All it takes is one poorly worded clause in a contract, or one overlooked detail to leave your company vulnerable to legal action—which, depending on the circumstances, could cost you tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars (maybe even more at higher stages of growth).

Protecting yourself with insurance will cover your bases, but it’s still a good idea to talk to multiple legal professionals before proceeding with anything in business. According to Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, car accident lawyers , “There are too many complex laws and legal loopholes to trust your own analysis without professional oversight and advice. It’s not worth the risk of trying to do it alone.”

Human Resources.

As an extension of your legal considerations, you should also consider hiring someone to handle your human resource management. There are many legal considerations in this realm that HR managers will know how to address, including the importance of creating employment contracts and what to do if someone lodges a complaint against your business. If you have significant experience in this area, you may try to do it yourself, but it’s best to leave it to the pros.

Financial Management.

Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business; if it dips into negative territory, the entire foundation of your business may be in jeopardy. You may understand the basics of general ledgers, and how money operates, but it’s still a good idea to have someone firmly in control of how much money your business has coming in and going out. Without a professional financial manager at your side, it’s going to be extraordinarily difficult to keep tabs on your profitability.

Tax Planning.

Business taxes can be agonizingly complex, especially as your business grows over time. You can probably handle some basic decisions on your own, such as how to structure your business, but you should defer most decisions on tax planning to someone who knows what they’re doing. If you’re subject to a formal audit, you’ll need someone on your side who knows your business’s financial history intimately.

Niche Marketing Strategies.

You can learn and execute many marketing and advertising strategies quickly, but if you attempt these strategies on your own without the expertise to back up your efforts, you could end up wasting any time or money you spend in the process. For example, the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) are clear, even to beginners, but the technical components of the strategy extend far beyond what most people realize.

Managing Costs

Obviously, if you hire a full-time employee for each of the above responsibilities, you probably won’t have much capital left over for even the basic functions of your business. The goal isn’t to have someone on your staff for each of your responsibilities (though in the future, this may become a necessity); instead, it’s to ensure that you’re doing the right things in each area. Accordingly, you can hire a freelancer for part-time work, or even pay hourly for a consultant to help guide you in the right direction. The only wrong approach here is to do everything yourself.