All entrepreneur/solopreneurs and small business owners have a wealth of issues in common, but small business owner have already learned 3 keys business management lessons that a lot of entrepreneurs/solopreneurs are still struggling with.
Time Management: Working for yourself in any form there are huge demands on your time, unless you are well organized and consistent, you will run yourself ragged and have little to show for all the effort, plus crisis management on a regular basis is exhausting. Building a system that lets you concentrate on your task in hand is essential. Keeping a business diary for all your requirements (even your time off) is a golden key and it frees you up psychologically to really work on the one task without your mind wondering all over the place. Many entrepreneurs get bogged down in tasks that are not their money makers or their preparation for money making. Programming time off is also essential, as you cannot work at your best when you are tired or exhausted. My suggestion is Buffer Day – working on the preparation, writing, rehearsing, organizing. Focus Day - take the three ways that make you the most income and work solely on them, reaching the right people, promotion and maintaining contacts with people you already know and do business with. Rest Day – these need to be added, as all humans even entrepreneurs need to recharge and be with your family and friends. It also makes you work better when you are working. This is not my theory, It works exceptionally well for me any many others, Dan Sullivan's Entrepreneurial Time System.
Delegation: Most entrepreneurs/solopreneurs think they must so everything themselves, nobody can do it as well! You are human and have strengths and weaknesses, knowing them is a key step forward. These days with so many entrepreneurs offering their services it is easier than ever to work together, share knowledge and skills, nobody is good at everything! You will save yourself a lot of time and anxiety by finding somebody that compliments you and will make your business look more professional. Most entrepreneurs are strapped for cash, but if you review your spending and value the time you are spending on tasks that are difficult for you, just by using your time at what you are really good at, will probably increase your income, because nobody can talk and promote your business like you, it is your baby and that is the way you get most business, so by freeing yourself up would increase your income to pay others to do the sections that are not your forte. A good resource is People Per Hour, some great people and as passionate about their business as you are about yours, so do a great job for you. Plus payment is held until you are satisfied – win-win situation
.Self Learning: in both the previous points you have to learn something about yourself, know where you need to spend your time, know your strengths and weaknesses, and continue to learn about your own product, your market and yourself. Being an entrepreneur/solopreneur is a journey as much as it is a business. Investing in a mentor, again many see it as an expense instead of an investment. Learning the lessons of somebody who is where you want to be, cuts your error rate, achievement time and stress levels extensively. There are all kinds of support out there, become a member of business associations, Chamber of Commerce, who support entrepreneurs. Progress to conferences, then personal coaching none of this is ever wasted. I have never left a conference, or mentor input session without learning something. If you are not confident about speaking about your service/product or business, join Toastmasters, very non expensive with a wealth of help and support. Never stop growing in yourself of in your business.
In time you will go from working with adhoc workers to bring on board your specialist to support you and become a small business, having learnt the lessons like the other small business owners with their management achievements. This step can be a big one, but there are lots of ways of making it happen, all of which come back to you as an entrepreneur/solopreneur being willing to learn and develop, and seeing it as an investment in your future, not as just an unnecessary expense. In all honestly can you afford not to, if you want your business to grow and flourish?