Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Overcoming Challenges

A few weeks ago I shared 5 challenges with being a new entrepreneur (or solopreneur as it's sometimes called). Learning to overcome challenges head on is a skill set that I'm guessing most successful business owners possess. Here are some things that I've done, currently doing, or in the process of doing, to overcome the challenges I've identified thus far:

Challenge #1 - It's all you boo!

Yes, it's still all me but hopefully that will end soon. To help reduce costs, I share an office space with another business - that just so happens to offer a service that marries well with what I'm doing. The owner and I have discussed bringing in an administrative person to help both of us, which would be a great cost savings. Another option is to bring on independent contractors as the need arises. By using contractors, my expenses will be more directly aligned with revenues. Eventually it is my goal to have full time employees; I look forward to the day when I can help nurture other people's careers and goals.

Challenge #2 - Social Isolation!

This is probably the easiest challenge to overcome. For starters, don't isolate yourself from your friends (duh, right). I hung out with one of my buds last night and we had a blast. Yes I miss seeing her everyday, but not seeing her everyday made yesterday even more special and fun. Secondly, there is the local chamber of commerce, which I plan to join soon and hopefully build new relationships with other small business owners. Lastly, I get to play on facebook more now that I'm not behind the corporate firewalls. It's amazing how much social media helps us to stay connected with people.

Challenge #3 - Income!

We all know that word of mouth is often the best form of marketing. Super serving my clients is my #1 goal. The majority of my projects have come through referrals so I haven't had to market much. It is my plan to do more marketing in the very near future. Another aspect to protecting and managing my income is to invoice timely and appropriately. Depending on the scope of the project, I may request a retainer or progress billing if it's expected to go beyond 30 days.

Challenge #4 - Stagnation!

Again, this one is easy. I continue to subscribe to newsletters and other periodicals that keep me updated. I also attend conferences and business/professional development seminars. Lastly, I have joined 2 organizations specifically geared toward my service and business.

Challenge #5 - No PTO!

Who cares?! If I overcome challenges 1, 3 & 4, I can have as much or as little PTO as I like. I'm taking off 2 weeks for Christmas, and in case you haven't heard, I'm headed to St. Lucia in a few months;-).

To conclude, I think the benefits far outweigh the costs. I'm doing something that I love to do, I'm helping and serving everyday folks (not just corporate shareholders) and I'm learning so much on a daily basis. Entrepreneurship isn't for everyone, but it's definitely not as scary as some of us have convinced ourselves to believe. In my experience, the hardest part so far was making the decision.

2 comments:

Shtinkykat said...

I'm glad to hear you found someone to share an office with that complements your business. That also helps reduce the social isolation, right? And enjoy your vacay!

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