Tips for Running a Business Solo
Are you who are putting in the work and running a one-woman (or man) show? For many years I ran my business 100% on my own with absolutely no help. I had to teach myself a lot when it came to running my business solo. Looking back, I really wish I would’ve had someone to ask questions when I was just starting out. Today I’m going to help you out by providing you with some great tips for running a business on your own. These tips will help provide boundaries in your business and protect your sanity, so let’s dive right in.
What You'll Learn:
1. Set Working Hours
2. Give Yourself Permission to Say No
3. Automate Your Social Media
4. Have One Place to Collect Orders
5. Know When to Ask for Help
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Set Working Hours
Clear working hours when running a business are so important so that you don’t overextend yourself. You need to be able to have a little bit of personal time mixed in with your business time. Although your set working hours may change depending on your week or day, these hours help you to stop feeling guilty if you say no to something.
For example, say your girlfriend invites you to lunch on Monday but you said you were going to work Monday, Wednesday, Friday this week. You could say you can’t on Monday but offer to do Thursday or plan your week around it the next week. This will hold you accountable in you work and also in your relationships.
Give Yourself Permission to Say No
This tip is definitely one that I struggle with when it comes to running a business. I am a people pleaser and I really don’t want to disappoint anyone by saying no. When I was scheduling paint parties, I really had to learn to say no. In the beginning, I would let hosts pick their paint party date and book it. At one point I was hosting a party almost every two days. When that happened I knew I had to make a change and open up my schedule to only days I would be available.
So when it comes to paint parties, schedule them so your customers can choose from dates you have available, not whatever date they would like. If they would like a date that isn’t available you can say no or you have the option of opening up that day for them.
As a business owner, you should control your schedule so that you are not working all the time and can avoid getting burnt out. You don’t want to miss out on making time for yourself and family.
Automate Your Social Media
When running a business posting to social media can be exhausting. I’d encourage you to set some time aside each week to schedule at least one post a day for your Facebook page. I recommend posting two to three times a week on your Instagram page.
By scheduling your posts you don’t have to worry about forgetting to post or be thinking about what you’re going to post all day. Sitting down and scheduling it all on Monday means that you can set it and forget it for the rest of the week. This will seriously be a game changer for you!
Have One Place to Collect Orders
When running a business it’s not uncommon to have people ordering in Facebook comments, through Messenger, in Instagram DMs, via text, or even through emails. With orders on so many platforms, orders are bound to get lost and as a business owner you will find yourself spending lots of valuable time just searching for orders.
If you have a website or Etsy shop, be sure you are always pushing your customer to buy there so you can keep orders straight. Maybe you don’t have a website or Etsy shop yet, I recommend you create a Google Form to take orders. Google Forms are completely free to use with a Google account. Direct customers to your form and let them know that when they place an order they will be invoiced on a certain day and that they must pay within so many hours (typically 24-48). A Google Form will allow you to see all of your orders in one spot and will streamline your ordering process.
Know When to Ask for Help
As your business grows you may reach a point where you have to ask for help. Don’t look at this as a loss, often times when you are able to get help running a business you are able to grow the business even more.
This help may begin with a teenager, friend, or family member that would accompany you to a paint party to assist with simple tasks. It could also look like paying someone to cut your blanks for you.
I highly recommend that you make a list of everything you are currently doing for your business and see what you can outsource. This is a great place to start to see what of your tasks you can hand off to someone else.
When it comes to something new in your business that is out of your area of expertise, it’s often time to hire someone to help you set things up. This could include managing your social media, handling customer service, building a website, or even writing blog posts.
If you’d like to learn more about running a creative business, I’d encourage you to join my membership course Paint 2 Profit. It’s the only business coaching made for door hanger artists.
I hope that you’ve found some really useful tips to help you run a business. I would’ve loved to have had someone tell me some of these tips as I was growing my business, but I’m so glad that now I can share them with you along the way.