By Tina Zawila
I came across an article this week titled “30% of small business tie-ups with digital marketers end in tears”, with the article also stating that for 70% the relationship ends within 12 months. These statistics were from research undertaken by the sector ombudsman.
Reading the article reminded me just how often I meet business owners who have found online services, not just for digital marketing, but for all kinds of services and advisory in all facets of business (including marketing, technology, accounting and tax, bookkeeping, telecommunications and the list goes on). Generally lured by a “free download” and a “low-price introductory service”, and a fine-tuned sales funnel, the business owner is attracted to this seemingly easy fix to whatever issue they are struggling with. However, do you really know who you are dealing with, and are they appropriately qualified to assist you with your enquiry?
Don’t misunderstand me, there are some genuine, qualified, professional online offerings for business services, but just like online retail shopping, there can be some not-so-professional charlatans out there too, so buyer beware!
Often as business owners in search for help, we don’t even know the right questions to ask to ensure that we are confident with the person we are dealing with, and that their offering will solve our problem, need or want. It pays to do some research, make sure there is clear communication with the advisor and that you fully understand what services they will provide, what you will be charged for, and what results or outcomes you can expect. And all of this should be clearly documented at the start of your professional relationship.
The key difference between an online advisor and dealing with a traditional (physical) local business is often the fact that you can meet face to face with the advisor, to have a conversation and fully understand the scope of their services, their qualifications, obtain references (from people you may actually know in your community), and generally ensure that you have faith and trust in the person and business you are dealing with. Not to mention you will often be supporting a fellow small business owner in your own community.
So I encourage you to think twice before you click on that link to sign up for online business services, and consider whether or not there is someone in your local community that you can trust to help you.
The professional team at UHY Haines Norton CQ are here to support our local business owners with all of your accounting, taxation and business advisory needs. Call us today on 4972 1300.