I was talking with a friend of mine, recently, to decide the best course of action for his business. He has a small company providing web design services and only recently has started working on his own!
One of the biggest problems you are facing when you start a new business in the area of the new digital economy is how to define your business with clarity.
Most solopreneurs, freelancers, and entrepreneurs I know keep nagging about how much hours they spend on their business without having the results they want!
And the problem is a structural one.
If you don’t have any clear goal, you keep on doing things does not pay off, therefore you put some more work to compensate the loss and all of the sudden you realize that you have caught up in the middle of a vicious circle.
“Busyness” is the entrepreneur’s’ collective excuse of not doing what it needs to been done. It is the tendency of “looking” busy when, actually, you don’t move closer to your goals.
Because the absence of goals or a clear direction in your business cannot be compensated by a huge amount of meaningless activity.
At the end of the day, doing a lot of things is not the same as doing the “right” things.
You might have spent 10 hours trying to figure out what people buy from your firm or when analysing large amounts of data instead of thinking about what you offered them and how.
The one thing is pure “busyness” because even if this analysis provided some results they would be incomprehensible in the absence of a general strategy. The other is a step closer to define your real business.
The problem is not your “busyness” and how much work you have put in a project. Business is all about effectiveness and leadership.
Especially so, when you are an entrepreneur trying to makes ends meet.
The major problem most online business face today is the detachment from their client base.
Today’s business is radically different from making business in the previous year and that for one, single and encompassing reason: the structure of our economy has changed to a different operation paradigm.
We used to have a large corporation and global operation while today the trends favor small operations locally and strategically situated.
We used to have expensive equipment, large financial barriers to “big business”, enlarged teams to cope with the business objectives at hand.
Today you can do business with a laptop, find resources and money from various sources (crowdfunding, sponsors, advertisers, etc.) and cooperate with (or even participate to) a remote/nomad teams everywhere in the world (as long as meet your standards and prices).
The same fabric of work has changed and shifted to encompass your individual preferences and lifestyle.
In every role (either as consumer, user, producer, promoter, sponsor, facilitator, thought leader, etc.) YOU are in the center of economy, today!
The shift from a mass economy to personal or private economy triggers a lot of changes in business operations.
Now, many “companies” operate on the base of small collaborative groups or even due to the efforts of just one person.
This resulted in a complete difference business approach from the ones you were used to using for your business.
You cannot “teach an old dog new tricks” as people say, but, today is vital for you as a business person to realize where you are operating in and whom do you serve.
Most than other times, today is imperative to realize what your business is.
I know a lot of freelancers, who if you take the trouble to question what they do for a living, they usually would respond:
If you continue, though, to query them on what their business is, they continue to answer you the same thing.
You see, most of the people cannot discern the difference of a job from the business.
The job is what you do to make some money for taking care the requirements of your life.
Business is what you do to provide value to yourself by providing value to other people (not all people of course. Actually, to provide value to the people YOU have to choose to serve).
In modern business, though, it is essential for you to know the difference. Because if you don’t you would have many problems to define YOUR business in any way that would help you to succeed in the future.
You need to define your business and your audience (your clients) in a way that would promote your business objectives and does not render you incapable for creative business activities.
And that, generally, means to define
As you can see there are many factors interplay to provide a successful result for your business. But this is not too random.
To succeed in business, as in life, you need to do your homework and design the “reality” you want to bring about.
To do that you need to have some goals in your mind and a strategy to help you keep on tracks.
There are many approaches, can help you do this, but my experience as a consultant, says that some approaches are better than others.
In any case, though, in any situation, you need to develop a strategy which will promote your business goals and objectives.
To do that, you need:
Business success is a relative “quality and quantity” and specific to each one of us. The how, the why and the where each of us is going to implement it is exactly what makes “good businesses”.