Being a sole trader can be fun!
Are you one of the sole traders who responded to the recent poll by saying that your own business is a fun free zone? If you're not loving being a sole trader, try asking yourself these questions.
1. Why did you become a sole trader in the first place?
The day-to-day reality of being a sole trader can easily overshadow all the romantic and exciting reasons for going into business in the first place. Maybe you just need to sit back and do a simple review to remind yourself of all the good reasons there are for being in business for yourself.
2. Do you share your initial excitement with prospective clients?
Regardless of the day-to-day reality of your business you need to retain and share your excitement over the great things that you can do for other people. If you’re not comfortable with being loud and proud, join a community group or networking group where you have to learn to stand up and talk, or go all the way and join Toastmasters!
3. Did you survey your intended marketplace or just go with your gut feel when you started out?
If you didn’t start with a sensible business plan and a good look at your likely opposition, as well as the key drivers and influencers of your target market’s decision-making processes, do it now!
4. Are you willing to change your business, but still stay in business?
One of the oldest sayings in business coaching is “the definition of madness is to keep doing what you’ve always done and expect a different result”.
"One of the oldest sayings in business coaching is 'the definition of madness is to keep doing what you've always done and expect a different result'."
So, be prepared to change according to the feedback you get from testing your business plan against your market feedback.
5. Is money the issue of most concern to you?
Working capital is having enough money tucked away to keep you going until the next cheque arrives, and cash flow is actually making sure it keeps coming in. If you’ve got problems in this area, sort it out with the help of an accountant or approved financial advisor and get back to building your business.
Want more articles like this? Check out the working alone section.
6. Is being a sole trader harder work than you anticipated?
It wasn’t until I became a sole trader that I discovered just how much my past employer did do for me. If you are finding things overwhelming you, then read the Working Smarter articles in this web site – there are many great tips from some really clever people – all for free!
7. Is being a sole trader lonelier than you anticipated?
I honestly believe that loneliness is the toughest part of being a sole trader, if you let it. Why not join or start a network of like-minded people by taking on a hobby or perhaps a part-time course, or a sport or any other thing that you enjoy – you’ll be networking before you know it.
8. Are you expecting too much, too soon?
Great things take time and the world is full of ‘overnight’ successes who spent years getting there. Stay focused on your goal, learn to love your own work and keep reading the articles in Flying Solo!