AskTheExpert series with Eve Earley and Suzanne Murdock is exploring the best ways to navigate, juggle and prioritise the journey of being self employed.
This AskTheExpert article highlights how, as a self employed professional you need to know yourself, where your strengths and skills sets lie, what you like and dislike and where your energies sit. You can effectively structure your business around these areas and then use this guide to fill in the other areas.
Business Owner – “Know Thyself”!
You’re a lawyer, an accountant, a broker, a public relations, marketing or coaching professional, a videographer, a trainer, a…._____________
You’re self-employed – whether by necessity or design.
You are really good at what you do!
You’re resourceful, creative, competent, connected, skilful and enthusiastic – about the thing you do.
But what about the other roles business owners have to play?
Are you good at –
- Designing your offering or product?
- Are you charging hourly? Do you offer packages? Do you have distributors, agents or advocates?
- Serving your clients/customers in an efficient and responsive manner?
- Is there someone answering complaints & queries when you’re busy? Do you have a system to log, respond, resolve and follow up on questions and queries?
- Marketing your product of service?
- Have you defined your customer personas, created a funnel, invested time in developing an email list, newsletter and regular client communication?
- Managing it all?
- Are your admin and back office tasks under control? Does it take you days to assemble what you need at year-end? Do you have staff? If so, are you fully compliant with regulatory agencies? Are your insurances in order?
Wait! Did I sign on for all that?
Yes we did!
We develop a plan!
But first – we need to get real!
Let’s examine –
- What are my strengths and skill sets?
- Which of these functions do I adore? Abhor?
- What’s the best time of day for me to work?
- What is the relative value of my time?
Strengths and skill sets –
You know you’re good at what you do – that’s why and how you started your business. But do you put the awareness to practical use?
Do you have language to describe how you work and interact with others?
All three are indicators of personality types – your way of being in the world.
Please don’t call them tests! There are no good or bad types, just types better suited than others to various tasks of daily living and in business.
The book which introduced the Myers-Briggs is titled “Gifts Differing”.
Honouring our gifts and having language to understand our differences – can validate a decision to team up with a partner, off-load or outsource specific tasks and chores – in service of bringing a less harried and hassled version of ourselves to our clients.
At the very least – we can avoid doing them at our low energy times of the day!
Functions I adore or abhor –
Success lies at the intersection of an excellent product/service delivery and complete customer satisfaction.
Once you’ve understood and embraced what you are great at – and what tasks you deliver well enough – but with considerable effort, you can begin to streamline your processes.
If you’re right handed – think of the extra concentration, effort and energy it takes to write with your left hand or vice-versa.
Is bookkeeping, billing or digital media a challenge? Whichever it is – it’s likely consistent with your personality or instinctive way of doing things. Don’t judge it! Accept it.
If outsourcing the work isn’t feasible…
Choose to tackle the task at a higher energy time of the day!
You don’t just have a personality type – you have a chronotype.
Sleep expert and author of The Power of When, Dr. Michael Breus advises that each chronotype affects how much sleep you need, your optimal routine, and what time you’re most productive, among many other factors.
Another indicator – don’t judge it! If you peak in late afternoon or early evening – you’re with only 15% of the population. So don’t worry about getting to unpleasant tasks first-thing-in-the-morning – do then when you’re at your best.
Juggling and prioritising is not one-size-fits-all. Respect your differences and design systems suited to you.
Marketing your product of service –
Marketing is not a Facebook page, Twitter posts or an ad campaign. They’re tactics. Marketing is identifying a strategy that supports the vitality of your business.
Once the strategy is decided – you can implement a system that carries you forward.
We encourage you to embrace a masterclass in marketing strategy with Guy Bucknall
Alongside developing a strategy – there are tools you can put into place to manage tasks and to communicate regularly with your customers and prospects.
The secret is in creating content that is engaging and consistent. There are tools to streamline that process. And plenty of #Go2Pros who can help.
Managing it all –
You’re it! And that’s not a bad thing.
When the entire C-suite of your enterprise – the CEO, CFO, CMO, CTO – is operational, things run smoothly.
That doesn’t mean you have to do every task
Once your strategy is mapped out and you’ve identified your strengths and weaknesses – the rest is manageable.
Your online space can be organised to accommodate a routine. Automated sequences can be established which provide immediate responses to enquiries and customer queries. CRMs, accounting software and email marketing platforms can be fully integrated to simplify your life.
And you don’t have to make a project out of it.
Watch this space!
One day, one step, one task, one system at a time is all you have to consider.
Our experts are here to share their wisdom, perspectives and the experiences of their clients.