Are you the sole proprietor of a business? Are you a 1-person shop? Whether you’re trying to make a living online, supplement your income or build a nest egg, more and more people these days are looking to the Internet as a way to make money. Every day hundreds (maybe hundreds-of-thousands) of websites and blogs are being launched in this country alone. So how do you stand out? Even after identifying your niche, doing your keyword research, understanding your target customer and carefully mapping a business plan … what’s the secret to success? How is it that some people are sitting back and boasting that they’re making 6-figure incomes while some of us are struggling to pay the mortgage? How does the “little guy” (or “gal”) compete with companies (and individuals) when you’re faced with limited resources?
Like many people out there, I come from the corporate world – a result of down-sizing – a castoff of sorts. But (like thousands of others) I’ve decided to go out on my own … be my own boss … be responsible for my own destiny. Nobody ever told me it would be this lonely. In the corporate world, I was surrounded by “experts”. There was a person/department responsible for finance. Someone else headed up marketing. I was in charge of technology but I certainly didn’t need to concern myself with sales or manufacturing.
OK … so, this isn’t a new problem. For years, many small mom & pop stores and local pizza parlors have been run by sole proprietors (or families). They’ve had to wear many different hats and perform different business functions. What makes what we’re doing any different? Probably the biggest challenge that we’re faced with these days is the fact that we’re competing in a global economy. The bar has been raised.
So, how do you do it all? Should we do it all? How can we possibly do it all? One of the biggest mistakes that I see new business owners and people launching a business is to attempt to do it all themselves. There are things that are best left to the professionals.
It just makes sense to outsource certain tasks … like tasks that aren’t your forte, things you hate doing or things that you can pay someone else to do for less than the value of your time. We need to remember that time is money and our time has a value. Sometimes, we have to step out of the “I can do it myself” mode and get some much needed help. Personally, I pay a little more than I should on website hosting so that I don’t have to worry about tech support and my site is always being backed up and well tended. I also use an accountant and I hired a graphic designer once for a product launch that needed a unique design – clearly beyond my Photoshop expertise at the time. Besides, with everything else I was learning, managing and doing … keeping my sanity by having a professional handle that one piece was a life saver for me. I have never regretted that investment.
What is it that you outsource (or wish you had)? Have you ever traded services or product for something you needed to outsource? I (and hopefully my blog readers) would like to know!