There’s a deceptively large amount of work to be done by one person, isn’t there?
Tell me about it!
I can’t ever really remember being employed because it was so long ago but I do know that in a larger enterprise, everyone takes their part. But working for ourselves at home involves being all the departments. We are HR, legal, accounting, marketing, sales, warehousing, internal comms, transport, fulfilment, facilities management, IT and Uncle Tom Cobley.
I will confess that I don’t need several of those departments in my own home-based biz but I do take care of HR (self-care), accounting (natch), marketing, sales, and fulfilment (doing the “real” work). I almost never have a need for legal. I once used a solicitor when I sold my first business but I wouldn’t worry about things going wrong unless they do. Depending on what you do, most of it isn’t terribly legally risky, unless you teach people to jump out of planes without a parachute, I guess. Or the equivalent.
And I am geeky and mostly run my own tech, but I do have a wonderful chap I can turn to in extremis and he’s worth his weight in gold.
If you are a one-man or one-woman band, there is a lot to do. So we’d better crack on then! Always remembering you do not have to do it all unless, again, that is your choice.
I am imagining that perhaps you might wonder about how to afford all the help you need – lawyer, accountant, computer support, outsourcing etc. And only you can decide what you will make important and what you will find the money to pay for to free you up to do what you are good at. But if you are going to learn to do and master everything, you are going to need more than 24 hours in a day. And to give up sleeping.
This is one of the reasons why I recommend what I call One Woman One Website, i.e. one central project. Because if you run multiple projects you have to do all those jobs in all those projects. IMPOSSIBLE.
In my own work, I pretty much confine myself to wearing two hats. Marketing/Sales, and fulfilment (being with my clients). I do the former so that I can do the latter.
My computer mostly doesn’t go wrong. One careful lady owner.
I do my own accounts once a month on either the last day of this or the first day of next.
And I’m quite geeky when it comes to my own website etc. But if you are not, get help.
If you need help deciding what to pay someone else to do for you, and how you are going to fund that, come and ask.
I would advise the following strategies:
- Keep everything as simple as possible, streamline it all, remember there is just one woman doing all of this, so do only what needs to be done and give up perfectionism. Again.
- Work out what’s really important, and that’s top-notch customer and client service, focus on your clients.
- At our level, you must master marketing and sales, I can teach you that, it isn’t hard, honest.
- Everything else can be bought in.
- Don’t try to do everything and, if you do want to learn it all, don’t try to learn it all at once or feel proficient in all of it before you offer yourself to your paying public. You can learn as you go. I am still learning.
- Do all you can to avoid overwhelm. Work out a simple plan that looks like it might work for you. Then simplify that plan still further.
I know from my diary what I am scheduled to do today, this week and this month. That’s enough for me to have a feel of the shape of those different chunks of time. I know that they are taking me in a generally forward direction in every sense, and I know when I can squeeze in chunks of time for learning new things I want to master.
Breathe. And take care of you first, above all else. Relax! You’ve got this.
- What tasks in your business must be done by you and you alone? Clue: not as many as you think!
- Eventually what sort of help would you like to find to take care of the rest?
- What plan do you have, for now, for getting everything done that needs doing, and no more?