If you’re like many, you’ve thought a lot about your career since COVID-19 started. More time to think. Now, changes are brewing. Many are leaving corporate jobs to start their own business. Others in service jobs are exploring business ownership for more meaningful work and better pay. For those of you considering that, and to those self-employed, let me share some tips. Having had my own business since 1996, I’ve learned a few lessons sure to help you succeed.
First of all, know that single-person businesses comprise ¾ of all US businesses—20 million people-worth. And those others going it alone can be one of your greatest resources. I’ve always been an advocate for supporting small business owners—especially others in direct sales. We face big challenges, but the rewards make it so worthwhile.
One of the top rewards is the people I’ve met along the way—other small business owners. Whether it’s individuals in direct sales, or with their own unique business, these people have become my lifeblood—and I believe they’d say the same about me.
It’s the “A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats” mentality. All I know is I get a warm feeling when I buy from another solo business owner. It feels good to help them out, and because I work directly with them—I see that smile, and it’s so rewarding. I feel good.
What’s nice is those I do business with—often do business with me—also a good feeling. Then the small business owner network soars. Referrals come in and we all grow.
And so do the tips. If I need something, I ask my business friends first. So many times, they’ve got the answer—or know someone who does. They become central to my success. Because as any business owner knows, you can’t do it all alone. You need resources. You need friends. We share our ups and downs—we propel each other forward.
And the friendships blossom. These days, I not only know my business friends, I know their families, too. I attend their kids’ graduations and their parents’ funerals. I’ve become part of their inner circle. Talk about a rich, rewarding life. It feels so wonderful. It’s something you don’t get buying online or from a large company. It reminds me a bit of growing up in a small town where people watched out for you. Our businesses are our own “small town.”
Granted, it may be easier and/or cheaper to buy from a faceless business online sometimes, but the joy, the expertise and quality I get buying from solo business owners is unparalleled in the big-business world. And just try calling a large corporation for free advice sometime. Right. It’s those hidden rewards that make doing business with other small business owners a bargain—and so much fun. You get back what you give—many times over.
Even within my own industry, if I can’t service a prospect well, I’ll share a lead with a non-direct competitor. And others do the same for me.
For years I’ve provided gift bags for my events filled with goods from other small business owners. It’s another way to help my business friends succeed. And attendees love them. We all win. I love it because my work is relationship based and it’s so personal. Helping a client create a “Work of Heart” gift is especially rewarding. It’s as personal as client service gets.
In addition, as the worker shortage forges on, large retailers known for their customer service are struggling. They’ve lost their Unique Selling Proposition because they lack the workforce needed to excel at great customer service. That’s another door opening wide for small business owners. We are all about client service and we, personally, do the servicing. It’s another reason I anticipate tremendous growth in solo business ownership.
No wonder large corporations are wondering how to retain employees. If we’ve learned anything in the past two years, it’s how much we value our time, personal relationships, and a flexible schedule. Yep. That’s nearly the job description for being a solopreneur.
If you already have your own business, make sure you’re reaping the benefits of doing good things for other small businesses. The more we support others, the better we do, too. And if you’re considering your own business—maybe even in direct sales, give me a call. I’ll be happy to help.
Here’s wishing all my small business friends a SUPER day, month, and year. It’s our time to shine.