I’m willing to bet that every single one of your business ideas contains some aspect that you’re not crazy about, whether it be the work you’ll need to do, the people you’ll need to deal with, the environment in which you’ll need to work, etc. What do you do when a business idea fulfills almost all your criteria, but there’s just this “one little thing” that could prove to be the thorn in your side? Maybe it requires a lot of driving and you hate sitting in traffic. Maybe it requires that you spend a lot of time on the phone but you’re not a big phone talker. Or maybe it requires that you visit clients on-site at their offices, but you’d really rather work from home.
Brainstorm some work-arounds. For example:
- Maybe you can set up remote access software with web conferencing capabilities so that you can log into clients computers remotely to do your work, ask/answer questions, provide training and support, etc. This would require less commuting and you’d be able to do more – if not all – of your work from home. Granted, not all clients will be open to such a setup, but if you establish from the get-go that this is how you do business, it will be a lot easier than trying to convince your on-site clients to go remote later in the game. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that, and lost half of my client base when I decided to make the transition.
- Even if you can’t afford to hire someone right away, if you know there are aspects of the business that you’d rather not handle yourself, make it a point to hire for those positions sooner than later. Work it into your business goals (which we’ll be covering in Part 2 of this module), your budget (Module 3) and your business plan (Module 4). Knowing that there’s an end in sight and you won’t be stuck doing these things forever will make it a lot easier to stay optimistic and motivated, even while doing the things you dislike.
- Do you know people who might be able to help out in the beginning until you can hire someone? Friends and family are often willing to pitch in, in exchange for a favor from you when they need it. Or if they do need some cash, they’ll often charge less than the going rate. Sometimes they’ll do it just for the chance to spend some time with you, especially if you make it fun. When I first started my e-commerce sites, selling clothing and footwear online, I was not only running the business and handling all the design and technological aspects, but also doing customer service, packing and shipping the orders myself. I eventually enlisted the aid of friends and family to help with answering emails, packing, and shipping by ordering pizza, playing upbeat music, inviting multiple people over and making it a more festive and social atmosphere than just saying, “Hey, you wanna come work for free?”Later, I completely banished all my packing and shipping woes through drop shipping or using an order fulfillment house, and hired a dedicated customer service rep part-time.
- Determine whether it’s really necessary. Sometimes, we accept something as a necessity just because “that’s the way it’s always been done.” But honestly, that’s not a good enough reason to keep things the way they are. Just because no one else has seen fit to improve upon the situation, doesn’t mean that you have to relegate yourself to the same fate. What would happen if you didn’t do that particular thing – if you didn’t perform that particular task or offer that particular service? What would really happen? And can you make up for it in some other way that may be more enjoyable for you?
- Find out if an existing technology is available to simplify or eliminate the need all together. There may be existing systems, processes, software, services, etc. that can take the load off your shoulders or make a daunting task a lot more manageable. Chances are, if you hate doing it, so do other people. Perhaps some enterprising person has come up with a solution. If not, perhaps you will be that enterprising person?
Starting A Business 1-2-3
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