As I stumble through this minefield of entrepreneurship, I have learned that there has to be a significant switch in your thinking. We start businesses for a variety of reasons, mostly because we are really good at something specific. What happens is that you quickly realize that you cannot be the person that runs the business and the person who does the work. There has to be some separation, so here is what I’ve learned the hard way so you don’t have to.
You need a company resume
Call it a capability statement, call it a brochure or whatever else you want but you need something that helps your company get projects. When you set up shop you are no longer looking for a job, you are looking for clients. To do that you have to tell the client who your company is and what they can do.
Your staff is an extension of your resume
The people that work for you are a reflection of your ability and as the business owner you own that completely. If you hire someone who produces subpar work, then you have produced subpar work. The client expectation is that your staff knows as much if not more than you. That is the both the beauty and the curse of being an entrepreneur, you are only as good as your last project.
Business Development cannot be ignored
As entrepreneurs, specifically small business owners, we assume that if we aren’t making sales we are wasting our time. Well I am here to tell you that is the biggest myth of entrepreneurship. Business development is so vital to our livelihood, like an IV for a dying person. We need business development and we need to understand that business development is building relationships not making sales. Those relationships turn into sales but only after that trust has been established.
The things that make you an entrepreneur are your greatest strengths and your greatest weaknesses, but before you can claim success you have to make the move from worker to owner. You have to wrap your head around strategy and expectation as an organization, not just as one person who is really good at something. We have to make that mind switch and then build our empire.