You are in business to excel at your trade, not because of your love for business administration. Let’s get you back to your trade.

Accounting and Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is ensuring all the right documents and data are created, logged, and tracked. This should be a daily activity requiring attention to detail. Accounting is the strategic use of bookkeeping data to determine the business’s performance, direction, and offer advice. For taxes, bookkeeping is the stack of receipts and letters that one often gathers together right before going to see the accountant.

  • The Balance Small Business discusses Accounting and Bookkeeping differences in more depth.

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has A Guide to Small Business Accounting.
  • Bench Accounting is a bookkeeping firm focused on small business. Ongoing services include bookkeeping and tax filings. They also offer support to clean up your books two or more years back! This link offers 30% off your first three months.

  • Pilot offers white glove end to end accounting and bookkeeping services. They further highlight the Research and Development (R&D) tax credit often available to businesses.

  • Paro provides access to CFOs, analysts, controllers, CPAs, and bookkeepers so you can get exactly what you need. This is a great source for bandwidth augmentation and firms with strong financial acumen. Financial experts can sign up here to freelance.

Legal and Regulatory

Simply reading many legal documents is daunting, let alone understanding compliance or perhaps even knowing they exist! There are several resources to support you, such as the “process navigators” in Wanmei Ou’s article “Innovating Across Highly-Regulated Industries and the Federal Government.

  • UpCounsel is an interactive online service that makes it faster and easier for businesses to find and hire legal help. They list free resources developed by participating attorneys who submit bids to do your work.
  • Many Secretaries of State offer advice on license and permit requirements.
  • Alavara’s License Suite provides a service to determine licensing and permitting requirements based on your business activities and locations.
  • The Balance Small Business provides business license permits and regulations references for each state.
  • Registered agents are required interfaces with governments. Professional registered agents ensure your business’s compliance and handle legal documents on your behalf. Anderson Advisers discusses in more detail and offers a registered agent service.
IBM is what it is today for three special reasons. The first reason is that, at the very beginning, I had a very clear picture of what the company would look like when it was finally done. You might say I had a model in my mind of what it would look like when the dream — my vision — was in place.…I then asked myself how a company which looked like that would have to act.
The third reason IBM has been so successful was that once I had a picture of how IBM would look when the dream was in place and how such a company would have to act, I then realized that, unless we began to act that way from the very beginning, we would never get there.
In other words, I realized that for IBM to become a great company it would have to act like a great company long before it ever became one.
Every day at IBM was a day devoted to business development, not doing business.
We didn’t do business at IBM, we built one.

Thomas J. Watson, Sr – Founder of IBM


Often called Talent Acquisition, recruiting challenges dominate headlines. To succeed, treat potential, current, and former employees with the same respect as customers or investors. Consider expanding market research, marketing, and customer care practices to address recruiting as these have critical skills and prioritization often missing in this field.

  • Requirements.  Insight Global/Staffing Services  First, determine what business outcome your prospective hire will achieve. Is it worth spending six months looking for the Fairy Godmother or can you hire Cinderella now? Forbes’ Liz Ryan writes about “…Essential Job Requirements” and “How To Write Job Ads for Humans.
  • Market Research. Each city is different. To determine your recruiting geography, consider how people travel to go to dinner, movies, or shopping as well as commute.
    • Search for “economic development” and your area to find data and assistance from your local council. Example: economic development norfolk – Search
    • Robert Half publishes an annual salary guide for several industries plus local salary ranges.
    • LaborIQ offers custom labor market analytics for your location and job request. We provide this service to our clients.
  • Advertising. Typically, your HR or payroll provider will specify a link for applicants to apply. As your marketing team reaches out to attract and retain clients and investors, ensure potential, current, and former employees are similarly engaged. The Harvard Business Review offers “A Scorecard to Help [Employees] Compare Two Jobs.”
  • The Search.
    • Workable offers a comprehensive guide to recruiting on LinkedIn. The second half reinforces our above recommendations; please follow through.
    • A local staffing agency can provide you market analysis, search, HR support, and advice. Their business models presume you will eventually hire the best matched personnel. Staffing Industry Analysts maintains lists of firms for reference.
    • See CareerOneStop sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Onboarding. Make your new employees feel welcome and respected and help them become contributing team members. Microsoft, Indeed, and SHRM have onboarding tips.

  • Compliance resources. These government agencies offer free assistance to small business: