When you’re operating a small business, it can be easy to develop an “us against the world” mentality, especially when it seems like larger businesses are hurting the development of your business.
However, it’s important to realize early on during the course of the development of your business that no business, large or small, exists in a vacuum.
While larger businesses may be more insulated from changing economic factors, all businesses rely on outside services to one degree or another. The more you internalize this fact, the easier it will be to see these other companies as partners to your success rather than impediments to your goals.
Navigating the complicated world of credit card fees can be difficult and expensive. Unless you plan on hiring a full-time accountant and paying to set up your own payments service, you’re probably going to have to use a third-party ecommerce payment gateway provider. Since all of these services charge transaction-based fees to one extent or another, this can be a hard pill to swallow, as the profit you’re making on each individual sale is, to a small extent, being eaten up by these fees.
This also applies to real-world brick-and-mortar settings, where companies need safe and secure credit card terminals on site to ensure smooth business transactions. These terminals are also managed and serviced by third-party experts. Without them, a company operating in today’s age of debit and credit is going to miss out on a vast sum of sales.
Unless you can afford a warehouse to store your inventory, trucks to haul that inventory to the various cities where your customers are located, and couriers to deliver that inventory to your customers’ front door, you’re going to have to depend on outside help. Ultimately, this is nothing to be ashamed of, as very, very few businesses are large enough to be able to support their own shipping network.
The bright side is that the third-party companies who do focus on shipping are very good at what they do, meaning that if you learn to work with them, you can get your items into your customers’ hands quickly and efficiently. They understand that fast shipping is one of the services small businesses need just as much as large ones, so they will work with you to make that happen. Even though shipping can be a major expense for your business, just remember that it’s far less expensive than maintaining your own shipping fleet.
Good graphic design in your signage and advertising can easily make the difference between growing quickly and dying on the vine. However, unless you are in business as a graphic designer, it’s unlikely you’re very good at this process on your own. Premium design work can certainly come with a premium price, but this premium work is crucial to help you stand out from the crowd.
In a world where advertising surrounds your customers on all sides, you have got to do everything you can to ensure that they recognize your business and have a good opinion of it. So, do your research to find a great designer amongst the many thousands of options available, and trust them to do the work that you know they’re capable of.
Of course, as an entrepreneur, there are likely certain aspects of your business that you can do on your own with a high level of proficiency. The best thing about using third-party services, then, is allowing others to handle the work that you aren’t comfortable doing while you focus on the work that you’re good at and that you enjoy. In this arrangement, everyone wins, allowing your business to excel and your customers to be thoroughly satisfied.