This past week we had a bit of a shake up when Murray was cycling home and was hit by a car. Fast forward…….and I’m sitting beside his bed in the hospital for hours while x-rays, testing and observations are constantly being done. The longer I’m there the more the nursing staff are wondering how it’s possible for me not to be at all concerned with missing ‘work’.
For a short time, the flexibility of self employment will usually mean we can be there for our friends or family in a time of crisis or need. What happens beyond the ‘short term’? I have friends who have just spent the last month sitting beside their son’s hospital bed. He’s in a coma after a serious car accident. To be away from their work for a short time has been okay, but the seriousness that this situation will extend into many months is starting to take its toll for them.
Do you have a business model that would mean you could be absent for extended periods of time and still receive on-going revenue during that period? In fact, some solopreneurs have their business model set up in such a way that even getting away for a few days or one week’s break can be difficult.
By a business model, I mean the activities that your business performs to generate revenue, and the relationships, information, and product flows you have with customers and suppliers.
While entrepreneurialism can be rewarding, the business model that is right for you will depend on your expertise, financial situation and goals. Each business is a little different. This is an area I just love working on with my VIP clients – making sure their business model is designed to give them lifestyle and financial security.
As long as your only income comes from you working with clients in person or being the first point of contact for your business, you expose yourself, your business and your financial security to high risk of having it all crash down around you when you may need it most.
I can lift three principles from our own experience and those I see others involved in, all of which have to do with designing your ideal business model.
Leverage Your Knowledge: Rather than relying on all your income to come from one-on-one work done in person, the sooner you can create your own information products, you’ll be able to have some passive on-going revenue once you have created a substantial community of prospects and clients.
Team: Include other people in your business vision and have regular meetings with them to monitor progress and make any changes that may be necessary. Hiring an assistant who manages your calls, calendar and customer service will remove you from much of the daily activities to allow more freedom. Projects can be managed in software systems such as Basecamp.com means everyone involved in a project will always know where it is up to and who is responsible for what.
Systems: Have systems for everything! Systems will take the guess work out of customer service, refunds, client enrolment, marketing and more. By having a systematized way to marketing your business means that much of this can be put on ‘auto-pilot’. Regular marketing will avoid you experiencing periods of ‘feast or famine’ that is so evident in businesses that only do spasmodic marketing efforts. If you have your own personal ‘crisis’, it’s comforting to know that there is still a constant flow of new clients and that systems you have in place will ensure they continue to receive high value service.
Being an entrepreneur, and self-employed, is no easy task – but it sure does have its rewards. It gives a tremendous sense of freedom – and if you want to take off for holidays or you have your own personal ‘crisis’ – just be certain you have all the systems and processes in place to support you and that will help to create on-going revenue during that period.
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