Your Self-Employment Dream Team

Many dream of the freedom of self-employment, of being the master of their own destiny, the commander of their own ship. But, sadly, very few venture into self-employment. The majority of those who do attempt self-employment fail because of lack of experience and knowledge. They end up going back to spending 1/2 of their waking lives in a cubicle or sitting in traffic.

You can increase your odds of success dramatically by surrounding yourself with experienced professionals who can help you navigate the unfamiliar waters of self-employment. In my 25 years of experience, here are a few of what I have found to be the MVPs of the successfully self-employed person’s dream team, along with some basic criteria for hiring them:

Accountant
Business is a competition. You have to keep score to know how you’re doing. Find someone stable who runs their own business, who has been in your area for a long time, and who works with others who are also self-employed. Have them set up your books, projections and budgets. Make sure to look over your numbers with them at least once each quarter.

Business Lawyer
If you’re a one-person show, you don’t need a big law firm. You need a rogue who has been working with local business owners in the area for a long time. Have her set up your business entity and, if you are a consultant or practitioner of some kind, have her draw up a client agreement. In the future, when other legal matters come up, it’s comforting to have someone familiar to call.

Marketing Strategist
Most entrepreneurs need someone to help with the creation of their marketing campaigns from logos to signs to sales tools. A big mistake people make when just starting out is to hire an inexpensive “graphic artist” to create them. That’s the easiest way to assure your failure. Bad strategies spell doom no matter how great the graphics.

Copy Writer
Every business needs a writer that truly understands sales psychology – even if just for simple things like sales letters. If you are not a marketing expert you should not be writing your own marketing material. Writing can make or break you. Insist on evidence of recent success!

Technical Support
Find someone you can call for help when you have computer issues, website issues, email issues, mobile communications problems, etc. A younger person might be okay because technology advances so fast. But if the person you’re using isn’t an obvious computer guru, if they seem to be stumbling around, keep looking.

Business Coach
Finding a great business coach can make all the difference. Your coach’s job is essentially to assist you in developing and documenting your goals, to hold you accountable, and to be a sounding board for your ideas. You’ll progress much, much faster with a good coach.

Personal Assistant
Do the things you love best and delegate as much as possible, especially the little things that any intelligent person can do like mailing and banking. Find someone young and energetic who is career focused and inexpensive, and keep her busy!

Good help isn’t hard to find. Start by simply asking other local business owners who have been around for a while. And keep your eyes and ears open.

Good luck and may all your self-employment dreams come true!

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