…continued from last week…
Your Work Style
Determining your work style will provide you with great insights into how you prefer to operate in the execution of your daily business activities, from dealing with paperwork to interacting with employees and clients. This in turn enables you to set up your business and your work environment to cater to your own existing work style strengths, while minimizing the impact of any weaknesses. It also allows you to select the appropriate support personnel when it comes time to build a team, so that you can hire people who are strong in the areas where you are not.
1) Consider how you work with others. For instance, do you prefer to work alone or in a team? If you’re more interested in a collaborative work style, certain types of businesses and work environments will appeal to you; if you stray from this you’re likely to feel isolated and despondent. This should be taken into consideration when choosing your business model and your location. Likewise, if you prefer working independently, there are certain types of businesses you should definitely stay away from, like an advertising agency or PR firm where the very definition of the job necessitates a collaborative approach.
If you enjoy both, think about what factors affect whether you prefer working in a team environment versus on your own; e.g. if there are strict deadlines involved, do you find that a team environment helps or hinders your ability to meet those deadlines? If so, look at whether the business models you’re considering are highly deadline driven; if they are, then it may be a good idea to set up your business so that it requires minimal collaboration on a daily basis.
2) Consider how you interact with those above and below you on the “food chain.” Do you prefer to work closely with your superiors or independently? Do you prefer to manage your subordinates directly, or do you prefer to give them more autonomy?
As a business owner, you may not have a boss or supervisor per se, but you do have customers or clients, who are not unlike bosses if you really think about it. They are the ones who decide if your work is up to par or not, and whether you deserve to get paid or not. They are the ones who will give you a tongue lashing if you don’t meet expectations. Make sure that you’re not inadvertently over-promising and under-delivering by getting clear about how much involvement and accountability you want to have with your customers and clients – your mini-bosses.
You also may not have employees right now, but the intention is that some day you will. Also keep in mind that no person is an island, and while you may be the main person providing your company’s product or service, there are likely several other people that you rely on in order to bring that product or service to market – vendors, service providers, etc. Getting clear about how you prefer to work with the people (or other businesses) that you rely on in order to do your own job will help in determining what types of products and services you should be offering, and what vendors or service providers you should be working with. And once you do start building your team, you’ll know what types of people you should hire to fill the appropriate positions.
…to be continued…
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