Friend or Foe
Home-based business has pros and cons. The 30 second commute and the flexibility to fit a number of schedules and priorities takes it's toll in isolation, lack of a back up when you have to make a choice between contracts, or need an industry source or need to talk to someone who "gets it" when you hit the wall.
What about your competition?
Think about larger businesses for a minute. In my last industry, we were connected and knew our strengths and weaknesses. While we often competed for contracts, we also relied on each other, and would not hesitate to call to source equipment or seek a solution. Set the ground rules, respect each other, and agree to work together honestly. This way you have a trusted source of colleagues when you need to pass on a contract, or you need a sounding board. Your competition is not necessarily your enemy!
Tap into your network when you need help.
Maintain your network. Make it a habit to go out at least once a week just to network. Stay in touch with your cheering team as well as fellow professionals in like and complementary businesses. The human interaction will make you feel connected, and the war stories, industry news, and advice will be invaluable.
When the skies are gray for the 17th day and you need to make decisions and resolve issues, pick up the phone and call a colleague to arrange to get out for a fresh look at the situation. You are in business for yourself, but not in isolation!
Margaret Pennyfather is an experienced Sales and Marketing Professional with experience and exposure to a wide range of businesses. Her Sales and Marketing Consulting Services are available to businesses from Marketing Network Associates and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2007 Margaret Pennyfather