Growing a “one-person” business is hard to do but not impossible. A perennial problem is maintaining a balance between taking care of the business you have while continually working to build a pipeline of new clients and contacts.
In my content marketing and project management business, several times I’ve reached a juncture where it was time to bring in some help, but I didn’t.
There are three kinds of help you need if you want to reach full potential in the business versus rolling back down the hill again.
1. Another worker bee. You can’t be CEO, sales, marketing, production, and accounting all in one forever. Start with one assistant in the area where you struggle the most.
2. A mentor. It’s lonely playing every and deadly to remain isolated. You don’t know what you don’t know. You probably have blown off most of your friends and outside involvement because your “baby,” the business never sleeps. Get a professional coach, that knows your business, or a seasoned colleague that will commit to meeting with you regularly to talk about your business.
3. A money person. In 5 Steps To Scale Your Business (You Won’t Make It Otherwise), Eric T. Wagner talks about the importance of finding someone that knows finance and how to access money. Asking someone to invest in you takes a lot of confidence. Don’t do it out of bravado. Do it after you’ve weighed the cost and promise and decided you are ready to plant your flag on top of the mountain.
Since beginning my business in 2005, there have been three times that I failed to take the steps to reach the next level. Instead, I fell back to what I knew best; focusing on a few lucrative but dead end clients. They would cycle through and I’d be back to those long dry spells, which felt a lot like starting over.
Are you ready to get serious about scaling up?