Entrepreneurs: You Don’t Have To Do Everything

Entrepreneurs who have decided to quit their jobs to become their own boss tend to share a common story. They grew bored of their workplace.

For young parents, it’s often a matter of flexibility. Some companies fail to offer flexible working hours, which can impact on the relationship of families with young children and babies. As a result, launching a home-based business often feels like the best option to make a living while caring for the kids.

For others, the cumulation of frustrations drives them to quit. Whether it’s a bad boss or an unpleasant colleague, more and more individuals decide to take matters in their own hands and create a safe and welcoming job for themselves.

Regardless of the reason behind your independent career, you are likely to find yourself battling with the challenges of your solitary position. Indeed, when you launch a solo-business, you need to be smart to make it work. You can’t only focus on your expertise. You need to establish the necessary process to run your business as effectively as any other company. Ultimately, your clients expect the same level of professionalism and reliability than they would from bigger firms. While you might be tempted to spread your work across multiple fields, you should stay away from multitasking. Indeed, you’re unlikely to have the necessary skills to manage multiple business processes. Besides, you will soon run out of time if you try to do everything! Instead, you need to find effective alternatives.

The Internet is a dangerous place; you shouldn’t go alone there

If digital plays a role in your business activities – whether you’re using online storage options or interacting with your customers online –, you need to consider the safety of your IT solutions. As surprising as it might sound, many independent entrepreneurs put their business at risk by failing to introduce online safety measures. More often than not, the idea is that hackers and other cyber attacks are more likely to target large corporates. In reality, while big firms can be the victim of a hacking attack, cybercriminals prefer small businesses. Indeed, the absence of adequate protection makes them an easy target. Admittedly, it would be foolish to expect you to become an IT expert on top of your other skills. Therefore, it’s a good idea to entrust your digital protection to a specialist, either by using a software tool that does all the hard work for you or by finding an IT security consultant.

Find an IT consultant

Wait, how much tax do I owe you?

Preparing your taxes is never easy. But when you manage a business, there are many regulations, exceptions, and calculations that you may not be aware of. It’s not uncommon for small businesses to over- or underpay their taxes as a result of miscalculations or lack of knowledge. The worst thing that can happen is to get in trouble with the tax collecting organization, which is never a good thing for a small business. Instead, you should find professional expertise that you can trust in your day-to-day activities. Solo-entrepreneurs on a tight budget tend to prefer using cloud accounting software tools that let them keep track of their budget, invoices, and other financial transactions and duties in real time. Alternatively, if you don’t have any time to dedicate to the matter, you should let an accountant manage your books and your taxes.

Google Analytics is free, but I still don’t get anything from it

Collecting customer data is an essential part of your business growth. For solo-entrepreneurs, the abundance of free and cost-effective tools offer a strategic advantage, whether you need to check your web visits on Google Analytics or your keyword rank. Unfortunately, while data are easy to access, analyzing them a lot more challenging. Countless amateurs waste precious hours reviewing Analytics dashboards without being able to find pertinent information. In fact, the situation is so dire that Google decided to provide free support sessions to entrepreneurs via the Digital Garage initiative. But, the truth is that unless you’ve got time to invest in learning a new skill, one-to-one Analytics sessions are not going to be helpful. Instead, a dedicated consultant who can provide regular data reports and highlight threats and opportunities can be the best solution to encourage you to grow your business.

I’m not too sure about this strategy

Ah, designing your business strategy is not for the faint-hearted. It takes excellent data knowledge and analytical skills, which, if you haven’t invested in a data collection and interpretation solution, is going to be difficult to achieve. Many entrepreneurs fall in the trap of bad strategy approaches, which force them to accommodate conflicting factors as they occur without giving their business a chance to focus on a long-term goal. At its core, your strategy needs to serve as a response to a market challenge. As a result, you need to know and understand the problem to provide the best-suited response. Working closely with a consultant is a preferable solution.

You may be knowledgeable, but you’re only one person

The truth is that even with the best of will, you can’t tackle all the challenges of your business. Running a business is not a one-person job. You need all the support you can get to be able to stick to your professional goals. Indeed, too many new entrepreneurs get trapped in a situation where they spend the majority of their time managing their business instead of using their expertise to deliver income-generating services. There is no point in learning the skills if the cost of your doing the work in-house is too high. That’s where outsourcing can help you to maintain your market position by freeing up valuable time.

I’m ready to hire someone… but how do I do it?

Are you ready to bring a new employee on board? Hiring your first employee is one of the most difficult things you’ll have to do, especially if you lack recruitment experience. However, mistakes can prove devastating for your reputation and your finances. It’s always a good idea to hire a recruitment specialist for the task.

Know how to recruit

The image of the multitasking and hard-working entrepreneur is, unfortunately, wrong. When you are ready to launch your own business, you need to accept that you can’t manage on your own. Finding consultants to support you and outsourcing specific jobs can help you to build a profitable and sturdy business.

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Boosting Your Client List When Lead Generation Isn’t Enough

Your cold email trail has run cold, you’re attending every conference and event on this hemisphere, and you’re having great conversations on social media. However, your standard lead generation strategies simply aren’t enough to give you the kind of growth you want to see. Rather than giving up the ghost, here are some ways to build your client list that you might want to consider adding instead.

Photo by jackmac34

Funnel organically

Your entire lead generation and conversion process shouldn’t be interruptive, for one. You shouldn’t always be chasing; you should be waiting for those who might come to you naturally. The best way to do this is to create a brand that attracts the kind of clients you want. Write authoritative, valuable content, make sure your website is professionally appealing, and take whatever opportunities you can to build your brand. From speaking events to guest posts, don’t be afraid to shine the spotlight on yourself.

Leverage your existing clients

It’s time to get over the fear of asking your clients for more than their money alone. They could have several partners or peers in their network that could need your services, they just often fail to think of asking them. Building a referral system and even adding some incentive, such as discounts for existing clients, can be a tremendously strong source of leads. It works even better if you don’t have to ask, but build referrals naturally by leaving the offer open, but by spending more time on building customer satisfaction through support, feedback solicitation, and the like.

Go public

As with organic marketing, there are ways to work with those who are specifically looking for your services. One of the most valuable ways you may have missed is by looking for online tenders. Tenders through public sector bodies are the surest sign of a qualified client, and you don’t have to do the work of nurturing them like other leads. Not every business in every industry can make use of public sector tenders, but it’s worth seeing if it might be an applicable source of future clients. Systemise the application process and it can take a lot less work than grinding through leads naturally.

Chase past failures

What about those leads that showed interest, took a few steps down the funnel, perhaps even had a face-to-face with you but didn’t convert? Some of them may have went for a competing service, but many of them may have shied away simply because they weren’t convinced that they needed your solutions just yet. It may be time to look through the contact book for leads that never converted to pick up on past conversations. Many of them may be in a better position to convert now and you shouldn’t give them time to consider your competitors.

Depending on the type of business you run, finding referrals and looking for public sector tenders may end up becoming your primary source of leads in the future. Don’t just stick to what works for everyone else, find the approach

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