1) If you are a sole proprietor, under NO circumstances let ANYONE else try to do your job. I have learned that nothing ever good comes out of trying to delegate tasks in a sole proprietary business. If you’re the only person working that business and you have 0 employees, I guarantee you, things will not work out for you to try and let someone else try to do your job without hiring and training them for it. For instance, if you are supposed to deliver something to a customer, DO NOT give it to someone else to do just because you’re all friends or they’re going that way, or they work together, or whatever the point. The fact of the matter is you need to remain professional at all times and follow through on your business endeavors, remember, these are the people that could be referring you to their friends or cutting you down.
2) Find a niche. Nothing is harder in business than competition. In today’s economy there are very few unique ideas, however, once you find what you’re good at, stick with it. You’ll get more business that way. Being a jack of many trades and an ace of none will run you around until you’re dizzy. Once you find your focal point, it also becomes easier to advertise for.
3) Get off your duff and ADVERTISE! Everything you do, everyday, needs to be an advertisement. Every person you meet, find some way to bring up your business (casually) and attempt to give out your card or in some cases product depending on what your business is. It’s always a good investment to buy clothing, accessories-like bags, car clings, and/or other products which daily show new potential clients or customers your name, logo, or other branding. They can also be conversation pieces if you have your products with you.
4) Do NOT be “in your face” about your business. People don’t like pushy salespeople, especially people they JUST meet; find a way to be suave and clever about it. I will post links in future blogs.
5) Do NOT get lazy. One of the biggest hurdles in being a sole proprietor is time management.
6) Be cautious in who you do business with. Do not get yourself affiliated with people who disrespect you OR your work, it’s terrible for your business and do not underestimate the power of “word of mouth.”
7) Don’t fear failure, embrace it. When you fail at something, LEARN from it, write down what made it fail and TRY again. Try a different approach the next time and avoid the costly errors you made the first.
8) Make lists and stick to them! Do the most important tasks on your list first and don’t forget to update them as needed and cross off things you accomplish as you go.
9) Make business connections, it is very important to meet lots of different people doing different things, you never know who could open up your inner circle or gain you a new client or what you could do for them. Don’t just take, GIVE too.
10) “ABLE”: Always Be Looking Employable. Since you should always be a walking advertisement and networking, you should always be looking like someone should hire you! First Impressions are everything. If you’re going to hand out your card to someone at WalMart, you had better not be in sweats!