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4 reminders to be an effective one-man company
Illustration by Mike Gallardo
Jul 27, 2012
You’ve broken out of your 9-to-5 job and have taken the leap to becoming your own boss. But going at it alone in your own business isn’t easy. There are jobs to do, deadlines to beat, clients to satisfy and money to make.
Take note, being a “solopreneur” is not the same as being a freelancer. As the latter, you just work for others on your own time and pace; as the former, you work for yourself and you manage your resources, with the goal of growing your business.
But with the challenges and distractions of everyday life, how can a one-man company like you stay effective?
Here are tips from compiled from across the Web:
1. Polish your inter viewing skills
This isn’t just for another job interview, says Emory Mulling, founder of the Mulling Group, an Atlanta-based outplacement and executive coaching firm. This is for sales; as a one-man company, you are also the sales manager—and everything else. “So each interview you have with clients is actually a sales presentation, and you need to be convincing to get their business,” Mulling adds.
2.Network, network, network
While most freelancers would prefer to sit behind a computer all day, the one-man company “needs to get over this,” says Monte Enbysk, editor for the Microsoft.com network. “You can never stop selling as a one-man company, so you must get comfortable meeting people,” he says.
3. Hire people you can work with
“Sometimes our criteria can hinge too much on things like cost and not enough on ‘Can I see myself working well with this person?’” says Terri Zwierzynski, the so-called “Solo-CEO” who runs www.Solo-E.com. Zwierzynski, an Internet marketing consultant, adds: “Establish upfront what is important to you— skills, work habits, communication style, friendliness, etc.—make a list and use it when interviewing and making your hiring decision.”
4.Remember why you went solo
“The biggest reason for leaving the corporate world is the freedom an individual gains when working for himself,” says Christoph Puetz, author of The Web Hosting Manager. “Being an employee makes (him) feel like being in a prison. ... The freedom to decide when to work, where to work, and who to work with makes all the difference.”
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