I made the same mistakes as many entrepreneurs when I started businesses in the past. Even though I was warned by mentors and I knew better, I still somehow let myself get too wrapped up in the details instead of growing my audience and client base. Today I work with entrepreneurs who have made it past the startup stage but somehow continue to fall into the some of these entrepreneurial traps that hold their business growth back.
Here are a few things to avoid whether you are just getting started or been in business for awhile now:
Is your day filled with driving while returning business phone calls? Do you switching gears multiple times between projects? Do you stop for interruptions such as responding to emails or taking calls and then starting back up again only to forget where it was you left off?
It wasn’t long ago when people were consistently praised for multi-tasking. Moving back and forth between tasks actually wastes productivity. What multitasking does is slow you down. In most cases it takes longer to finish two projects at the same time than it would if you had finished them separately.
I still remember the very first business networking lunch I attended. It was the Tuesday on the week before Thanksgiving in 2008 at a local Italian restaurant just down the street from my home. It turned out the lunch was free that day if you joined the group for a year. So I did. I did not know a soul in the room, and very little about how to network but I decided to make the commitment. After all, the price to join for a year was the cost the lunch would have been anyway. For the prior 6 years I had been locked away in a cubical where you needed to have clearance to even get on the floor of the building where I spent way too many hours. Now suddenly I was in a world where I had to interact with people and my very survival as a business owner depended on it. To say the least is was scared to death and I am sure it showed. However, I was determined to make it work and over time I developed a system that helped me not only survive but thrive.
If you’re a small business owner or solo freelancer, there aren’t five layers of staff between you and your clients. You probably deal with your clients directly. Some of them are easy to work with, but others are…problems.
Why? What makes a client difficult to deal with?
Identifying the problem areas between you and your client means you might be able to fix them.