Do you ever wonder what successful solo professionals would’ve done differently if given the opportunity to go back?
I did, and asked that very question of several women’s groups within LinkedIn.
The answers varied widely, and I’m sharing them with you so you can avoid these potholes on your path to success!
Increase your networking. Creating connections is the lifeblood of a solo professional business. Spend 10% of your time in this area, whether attending live events, connecting in person over coffee, or participating in social media.
Create a business plan. Without a business plan you don’t have a map for success. Your plan can be as simple as 2-3 pages, especially if you aren’t in need of outside funding. Take a look at your plan at least once per year and make sure you’re heading where you want to go.
Establish an advisory board. Advisory boards are usually associated with multi-person businesses and not solo professionals. But you still need other minds to share ideas with and ask for advice. Your advisory board may be 2-3 trusted individuals or a mastermind group.
Use technology. Technology is a great equalizer in the solo professional world. Take the time to learn where technology can enable your business – by either saving time or increasing your bottom line. One example is the use of autoresponders to keep in touch with your clients.
Ask for help! Delegate those tasks that aren’t core to your business. This could be hiring an assistant, an accountant, a web designer, or a copy writer. When we take on tasks that we don’t have time for or aren’t good at, it slows down our progress.
Join a local chamber of commerce. Your local chamber is a great source for networking, marketing opportunities, and staying connected within the community.
Create (and implement) a targeted marketing strategy. Get crystal clear on who you serve, or you run the risk of diluting your personal brand. Any marketing efforts you put into place won’t have the impact you need. A marketing strategy (and implementation plan) are a foundational aspect of your business. And in the spirit of tip #5, get help with this if you’re not sure where to start!
Leave the 9-to-5 (or 8-to-late) world sooner! Do you remember when you plunged into the world of self-employment? Most of us wish we would’ve done it sooner. It takes a leap of faith and a solid plan to leave the 9-to-5 world behind and go after your dreams, but the rewards are well worth it!