How to survive as a soloist small business
Hint: It goes beyond offering a super service
Have you been watching the news lately? How’re all the big companies going into liquidation hey?
But while these big companies are crumbling, I’m still here – for almost 10 years!
So how does a little business like me survive when the big ones can’t?
I adapted to being online.
When I started as a copywriter, I wrote brochures and flyers because they were cool – everyone used them. But as the years passed, I had to train and upskill to become an SEO copywriter as my work moved to write copy for websites and blogs.
But there’s more to my survival than just adapting.
I learnt I needed a good team on my side. Yes, they’re virtual, but they’re always there for me.
And here’s why.
The 3 biggest assets to building my small soloist business.
- I found mentors who knew their shit:
From the get-go, I was lucky enough to find 2 mentors who I still work with today. Without these amazingly talented ladies, I wouldn’t have found my business direction and flourished. I can’t recommend highly enough that you find a business mentor. Look for those who have been around long enough to know what it takes to succeed (possibly through multiple failures) and who have enough kindness to share their knowledge with you (for a price of course – never expect to be spoon fed for nothing please).
- I invested in quality training:
With an online business world that constantly changes, it’s super important to keep up to date with everything. Over the years, I’ve researched and done the best training I could find. My hint here is don’t always go for the cheapest as you will get what you pay for – check out testimonials from past students too. I’m now realising I have so many new systems I can learn so I’m going to undertake even more training to upskill once again. You’ve got to be prepared for constant training.
- I joined networks and stayed with those I love:
There are so many industry type networks you can join. I suggest joining a whole bunch (yes, you CAN spend that money!) and then deciding which ones work for you. Think about whether you click with the other members, what benefits you receive from it (i.e. jobleads, support, advice, freebies, laughs) and if you’ve enjoyed being part of the group. I’ve belonged to the VYVA network for my 10 years and love it. I found my people!
But want to know the absolute best thing that built my small business?
My mentor finally convinced me to let go of my ego and learn to outsource. I mean seriously, I encourage my clients to outsource so I had to try it for myself hey.
And my god, what a difference it makes.
I don’t outsource everything, but all those little bits that sucked my time, my love time, I learnt to let go of. Does it cost me? Yes – only money. But knowing it’s getting done without my input is priceless.
Thanks to my networks, I now have so many suppliers that I can turn to when I need help. I’ve come to know them and work with them when I need a hand. See – that’s another reason to find your quality network and stick with them.
Here are some of my favourite small business suppliers
The first network I joined almost 10 years ago is Virtually Yours. It’s perfect if you’re a VA who wants support and laughs, or for business owners looking for VAs with loads of different skills.
I learnt copywriting from the Australian School of Copywriting many years ago. Over the years, I’ve watched as the courses developed to become online courses and they’re now more amazing than ever before. If you want to learn to be a copywriter, you can’t go past Bernadette.
Although I write my own posts for social media, the amazing Sam from Sam Says has taken over my social media posting/updating. She makes me look brilliant each week and I love that I’m being social without it sucking my time.
If you need reception services (coz seriously – who loves answering a phone?), you’ve got to check out Off-Site Reception. Hanna is such a smart cookie, she’s even developed a white label system to allow other VAs to offer reception services as part of their business.
My website lady has been my technical rock for many years. As I’m dumb when it comes to the tech side of my website, I know I can flick a quick email through to Melissa and she gets it done for me. If you need website help, check out MJS Virtual.
One of my biggest champions and work buddies is Leanne Woff from Virtual Infinity. If you’re looking for an Online Business Manager, you need to chat to Leanne. She has a team who can handle all aspects of your business and she’s a gun bookkeeper to boot.
And finally, if you’re looking to get your course online, or if you’re considering creating one, you need Alethea from CloudXS. She’s also great at helping out with design work (and has saved my butt a few times) and website building.
Do you need help with your small business?
Whatever you’re looking for, I’m more than happy to have a chat to you about how to outsource. My focus is copywriting, however, I know a lot of virtual providers who I’d love to put you in touch with. The hardest part is asking for help but once you do, you won’t regret it.