Tip of the Week: Wearing multiple business hats

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    Contact the University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center, 3402 N. Ben Wilson St., at 361-575-8944, or visit www.sbdc.uhv.edu.

Most small-business owners perform all aspects of their business operations from time to time, and in some cases all of the time.

This means a small-business owner must wear many hats.

Some of these hats are marketing, accounting, financing, management, human resource, etc. Small-business owners must learn to assess what they do well, what they are deficient in and how much it would cost to hire an expert to fulfill the deficient areas.

This is all done to grow the business to meet demand and to remain profitable.

Take sales, for example. Let's assume the business owner is an expert in selling the company's products, but is not very efficient at installing the products sold in the customers' homes and buildings. The business owner could, in this case, focus time on selling the products and hire employees to install them.

Expanding on the above example, let's assume the business owner has worked previously for an accounting firm. This owner could save money by keeping the books himself or herself.

To help you decide what to do, create a cost-benefit analysis and calculate how much it would cost to hire an expert - whether that expert manages the books or installs the products.

Does the cost of hiring an expert outweigh the dollar amount you would make by focusing on what you do best? This cost-benefit analysis can be applied to almost all decisions in business.

To discuss these areas of your business, contact the University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center.

Stephen Kilgore is a senior business advisor serving Victoria, Jackson and Goliad counties. Contact him at 361-575-8944 or kilgores@uhv.edu.