If you’ve decided to outsource, the idea of finding a suitable freelancer can be hugely daunting. Recruitment agencies aren’t usually interested in placing freelancers so even larger companies will need to talk to freelancers direct.
If you’re anything like me, when you first start your own business or go freelance you do everything yourself. This is particularly true when you’re operating a service based business or can make your products at home. You are your business and you can be really proud that everything you’ve achieved is down to your own efforts.
When you look at it that way, why would you even think about working with anyone else? No-one else is as invested in your business as you are. They don’t understand it the way you do. Could you even trust anyone else to look after your customers or have their best interests at heart?
It’s a given that calling a meeting is usually a prompt for a collective eye roll and entire teams mentally writing off a whole morning. Meetings don’t have to be a waste of time if they’re run properly (not convinced? Then you obviously haven’t read this).
So how do you have a good meeting?
When I was a solicitor, I’d often be called upon to speak before a judge. Sometimes it would be a pleasant chat where everything was agreed. It could also be a battle of wills where I’d try to persuade them to give me what I wanted whilst remaining civil to my opponent. That could be a challenge if my opponent was being an obnoxious swine.
Sometimes you knew what to expect. We used to have a list of other solicitors who made a habit of being unnecessarily difficult pinned up in the office. Occasionally both sides would be in complete agreement and we’d be derailed by an irate judge demanding to know why we’d come up with something so stupid.
Dealing with customer complaints can be similarly challenging.
Which do you think is more important, time management or routine? Perhaps you think they’re the same thing. After all, having a consistent schedule probably means you’re managing your time well and you’ve developed some routines which are working effectively.
I’d say routine is more about the small things that make each day work (or not). I’ve got tons of little habits that I barely notice any more yet I feel out of sorts if they’re disrupted.
Everyone hates meetings, right? You either have to sit in a stuffy room listening to information that has little or no relevance to your work, or you’re stuck in the car or on a train heading to see a client who won’t speak to you over the phone. You’ve got too much else to do and it’s all a massive waste of time.
Well, maybe not. Whilst meetings can be counterproductive if they lack focus there are times when face to face communication can be hugely beneficial. Since the financial crisis the idea of eliminating meetings altogether has become much more popular; phone calls and emails are considerably cheaper, after all. However, this underestimates the role that meeting in person can play in building trust and allowing emotional intelligence to play a part in client relationships and your dealings with colleagues.
Let’s face it, we’re all busy most of the time. If you’re anything like me there are a thousand and one things to be achieved in the course of a single day and never enough hours to get it all done. I find myself going into headless chicken mode, dotting between one task and the next and never feeling as if anything’s been done properly.
You can stop
If this is you, just stop. Right now. It’s OK, as long as your children aren’t crying in their classroom because you’re not there to pick them up. Take a deep breath, close your eyes if you won’t get funny looks from the boss (or even if you will). Better? OK, take another deep breath and read on.
How do you communicate? Do you thrive on a good conversation or speaking to a large group? Or do you prefer to get everything written down and handed out? Your communication style can have a huge impact on the way you engage and interact with your colleagues.
If you need to get others on board with overall strategy and good working practice, the way you get your message across is even more important.
Am I an entrepreneur?
When you start your own business it can come as a bit of a shock to find people referring to you as an entrepreneur. It’s certainly not a word I’ve ever identified with though I know people who do. I always think of an entrepreneur as someone who is primarily motivated by the idea of being in business and just has to come up with an idea and either learn or buy in the skills to implement it. I approached it from the other end; I wanted to use my writing to earn a living and needed to acquire the business knowledge to do it. I discovered that the definition of entrepreneur is:
1. a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.”
That seems to fit whatever your reason for starting your business.