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Though many Small Businesses are one-person operations, in today’s economy, none can afford to be “one-trick ponies“.

Even if you can’t diversify your staff (especially if you work alone), you’d do well to diversify your skills. Every solopreneur has a specialty, but don’t focus exclusively on the thing you do best. What happens if the market shifts, or your existing clients have had their fill of the good or service you specialize in?

Begin by ignoring the voices in your head that say “I can’t…”, “I don’t…”, or “I’m only…”. You are an entrepreneur – something you may not have imagined being even a few years ago. Whether it was always your dream, or the result of a layoff due to the “Great Recession“, here you are! Don’t let the challenge of expanding your capabilities defeat you as success draws near.

Next, consider improving your business-critical skills, such as:

  • Business communications
  • Planning
  • Financial management 
  • Networking
There are many courses available, locally and online, designed especially to assist Small Business owners, operators and employees in enhancing their business related skills. Locally (New York City), I highly recommend NYC Business Solutions’ FastTrac New Venture course. This is a free, month-long course designed especially to, as their website states:
“…help you perfect your business concept, write a strong business plan and access resources to complete your launch.”
If you’re in New York City, and are in the first year or two of starting your Small Business, you MUST enroll in this course. The benefits are immeasurable – and how can you beat the price?

Consider also what you are good at that you could do for others, perhaps on an informal or advisory basis? Are you a good writer? Lend a hand to fellow solopreneurs and Small Business owners/operators/employees by proofreading drafts of their business communications.

Better at managing money? Although you may not be an accountant, you might have advice, tips, spreadsheets, or prior budgetary management experience that would prove useful to friends or colleagues struggling to stay on top of their financials.

Success in today’s economy requires more than focusing on your core specialty; it increasingly involves thinking beyond direct financial compensation. Lending assistance to those who may benefit from your versatility is an excellent way to gain word-of-mouth recommendations and/or discover referral partners.

It’s basic human nature to help those who help us. And unselfish devotion to others, as contrary as it may seem, is an often overlooked component of professional and financial success.

As we’ve mentioned several times in this series, business is about relationships. As with any relationship, sincerity is a key aspect of forming those which last and flourish.

Series inspired by “Top Ten Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail” by: Connie Holt, E.A.
The Henssler Financial Group Position Paper
© 2004 The Henssler Financial Group |

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