It may seem counter intuitive for solo professionals to take a lesson from General Motors, given recent events.We all make mistakes in our business; it’s part of the learning process and moving toward success.Sometimes the best lessons are in learning from others the pitfalls to avoid. A friend once told me that if she’s on the path a few steps ahead of others, she wants to help them avoid the sticks, stones, and boulders that can trip them up.My big three takeaways (pun intended) from recent GM events:
The right mix of products and services is vital. Don’t depend on only one to keep your success going. This is one mistake many solo professionals make. We have one core offering and that’s it. Instead, develop a sales cycle of offerings in several price ranges to meet your clients where they are in their business and life. For example, analyze your core offering and find opportunities to re-use the content in ways that create a lower barrier to entry.
Too much debt can spiral out of control and crash your business. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get in over your head, especially if you’re just starting out. One example is continuing education. Many solo professionals (myself included) take workshops, home studies, or coaching programs; they are critical to keeping current skills sharp and developing new ones. Each time you’re considering an educational opportunity, make sure you know the true return on investment and that you will actually apply what you are learning to your business.
Don’t go it alone. Know when to ask for help. While you don’t want uncontrolled debt, you do need to invest in key areas of your business where it makes sense. For example, can a virtual assistant help you better focus on growing your core business? Can a unique educational opportunity catapult your business to the next level? Can that industry association provide support that solo professionals need?