The Big Picture - November 2013 - (Page 16)

business ++ management business management Utilizing Outside Services By Marty McGhie L et’s face it, running a business is very difficult. If we were able to only focus on the core business at hand, perhaps it wouldn’t be so challenging. But there are many aspects to managing a successful company: human resources, legal issues, accounting systems, safety, insurance, infrastructure, city, regulations (as well as county and state regs), to name just a few. And, as your business grows, these issues can become even more complex – which tends to make relying exclusively upon your company’s internal expertise in all of these areas a risky proposition. Of course, using outside help can also be costly. Your best bet, then, is to target some specific areas for outsourcing. What follows are a few of my ideas that might help you to identify the best type of outside help to use on the business side of your shop, and the right time to put these services in play. Necessary ‘evils’ Some might consider the first type of outside services to be “necessary evils.” These services would include accountants, lawyers, insurance, and the like. None of us like the amount of money they cost, but we absolutely need the services they offer. For instance, competent legal representation from a good attorney is a necessity. You probably also use a sharp accountant to examine your books and file your taxes. And you definitely need a good insurance agent to help you navigate those issues, which seems to become ridiculously MaRTy MCGHIE is vP finance/operations of Ferrari color, a digital-imaging center with Salt Lake city, San Francisco, and Sacramento locations. He is a partner and director of and the author of Business + Management for Digital Print Providers + Sign Shops (ST media books, 16 THE BIG PICTURE November/December 2013 more complex by the minute. So I think we can all agree that these are the types of professional services we’re used to paying for. But there might be areas in which outside services can be utilized to an even larger degree. For example, from time to time in our own business when we get involved with an employee situation that may require termination, we’ll consult with an attorney we retain who has great experience and expertise in the human-resource area. More than once, he’s advised us to approach the situation in a different manner, with the same end in mind. Yes, this might cost $1000 in legal fees to have these types of conversations, but it might also save you $5000 to $10,000 in future costs by approaching the situation in the correct and legal way. Another example is when we began running into some rather complex sales-tax issues with our business. Rather than try to figure it out on our own, we retained our accounting firm to bring us the necessary expertise – ensuring that we make the correct decisions in terms of our sales-tax collection and remittance from state to state. We now feel much more comfortable that we’re approaching this confusing area correctly, and that we’re in complete compliance with the various states where we do business. My point is: The exposure in some of the legal and accounting areas can be very high; it might pay to utilize these types of professional services more often. Inviting the fox There are additional outside services available to help all of us build better businesses. For example, many print service providers might not be aware that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has two different divisions. The first, the one we’re all familiar with, is the regulatory and enforcement division. I think we all know what their job is. But did you know that OSHA also has a consulting division that will come out to your place of business and do a free walk-through with you in your shop to help you correct areas that would be problematic from a safety >50

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Big Picture - November 2013

The Big Picture - November 2013
Wide Angle
Up Front
Graphics on the Go
Business + Management
Industry Roundtable: Analyzing the Market
Outstanding Out-of-Home
Sourcing Specialty Media

The Big Picture - November 2013