It’s a question many a small business owner hears frequently:
My response in 2014 has more often than not been:
A response to which the non-business owner would inevitably smile and praise, saying something like, “That’s great” or “Good for you!”.
An experienced solopreneur may have a different take, such as, “Cool. How you holding up?”
You see, being a small business owner, you find yourself wearing a lot of hats: business manager, customer service representative, account manager, billing, vendor manager, purchasing agent, advertiser, social media manager….and of course, creative director and graphic designer (the thing you actually set out to do!).
When business is moderate, it’s fairly manageable to perform all of these duties well. Sometimes it gets brisk, so you push back billing a bit or maybe halt some of your marketing efforts until things slow down.
But in 2014, business stayed brisk. And my, oh my, I had to start shifting my priorities big time! At first I struggled, I’ll admit it. I realized that I needed a new solution for some of my systems that were in place for handling a smaller business load. To start, I exchanged my part-time web developer (don’t worry…he’s doing just fine with his own work!) for a partnership with a full-time web development firm that could work with Mix to build new sites and to provide excellent technical support for existing sites. I put in place a project-tracking system that utilizes Basecamp to assign tasks and milestones and communicate more effectively with clients. And I learned to say no to new projects that were outside of my target expertise, so I could focus my work on existing clients and new work that utilized my knowledge and skill sets best.
I haven’t got it all figured out just yet…my website needs an update, my Facebook page is a virtual ghost town, and my e-newsletter is circling the drain. But my clients’ needs are being met, and I’m proud to say that my quality of work has never suffered.
The lesson here? Being busy is good. But being busy and having the help and systems in place to handle the workload is better.
Here’s to a better 2015!