Looking Beyond Technology: Law. Accounting. Serving Your Community.

As a technologist it’s so easy for me to think that all there is to running a business is technology. Of course this is NOT true, and I know this, but the geek in me, at times, only focuses on technology.
As Friday comes to a close, I hope you enjoy the weekend with family and friends.
When you resume a busy “professional” life next week, take time to really focus on cash flow, focusing on how you are building relationships with your customers, knowing if your employees are happy and productive and other things that are important to building a business.
Smallbiztechnology.com is going through a growth phase and I’m quickly learning (well it’s being reinforced) that surrounding oneself with advisers who can help your business grow is so important. A good lawyer and good accountant are simply incredible and key players to your business. If you do not have a relationship with them, interview several and pick ones to be on your team and who can help guide your business growth.
What about technology advice?
Earlier today I was thinking, “why is it that people know they need lawyers and accountants but don’t always focus on technology expert?”. Not having a lawyer can land you in court or cause you to have an agreement (copier lease, employment contract etc) that’s not good for your business. Not having an accountant can get you in trouble with the IRS or cause you to pay tons of money in fines or penalties. People think that if they don’t have technology advice nothing can go wrong.
Not having a technology consultant can force you to not leverage technology in ways to be more productive, save time and save money. Having one is critical. Your competitors who do have technology advice will beat you time and time again in the marketplace.
One more thing – giving back to your community is so important. Your “community” could be a local homeless shelter or could a national research institute to fight child abuse.
This week I spoke to a group of young people as part of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship. It was such an honor. Check out the photos in the Smallbiztechnology.com FaceBook group.
Here’s a few technologies that can help you better manage the non-technology parts of your business.

Business plan software from Palo Alto Software, so important for starting a business and managing its growth.
Intuit’s QuickBooks, Microsoft Accounting and Sage Peachtree which help you monitor the financial activity of your business.
I think of MyBizHomePage.com and SageWorks Software which help you see the financial state of your business in plain English. As Peter Justen, founder of MyBizHomePage told me, for many smaller businesses you need to convert your numbers from “accounting to plain English”.