Let me set the stage. . .
You started your business and now you’ve experienced the first blush of success. The thrill of profit! But you’re also experiencing something else and it’s not so thrilling. . .
It’s called overload. This is especially true if you are a solo-entrepreneur in any business venture – regardless of the industry. And it becomes critical when the plate called “customer service” you’ve been juggling, falls to the floor! Nothing will kill a business faster than to fall short on providing our customers-clients what we promised to do. Even if it’ simply to stay actively engaged with them on a consistent basis!
Sometime ago, I mentioned that I would say a few words about how micro-business becomes international. Often without us realizing it. It most often occurs when we first taste growth, profit and overwhelm. We are forced to look beyond our own means and energy to get it all done. And done well!
Up until a few years ago, I’d never heard the word “outsourcing”. I think it came to fashion as we grew into a global economy and business could and can be practiced anywhere, by anyone from any location. So if I need something for my business that I can’t provide myself and I don’t want to incur employees and all that entails; I will look to “outsource” my need.
And I might find that “source” offshore. In other words, I have a business need; I seek to provide it by outsourcing to another person (an independent contractor) or company, at the best cost vs quality. In which case I might find that source in another country rather than city or state of the U.S. (Personal note: I’m not a fan of outsourcing out of one’s home country unless no other possible option exists)!
But let’s assume for this post that I find the best choice for my business is an independent contractor in another country. I’ve researched, interviewed both the prospect and known customer-clients and decided this person or persons are best for me. Wha-la, I’ve just become an international business.
And I didn’t sell a thing out of my home country. But I did contract to provide a much-needed service from an international source! Given the benefit of the internet and social media; none of our customer-clients need be the wiser that they are now in cahoots with an international business woman! That is unless we choose to tell them. And that choice may be based on whether you think doing so is a great marketing idea!
Note for transparency sake. The subject matter of this post is not one about which I am an expert.
What I do know is that there comes a time when our business will grow. And we’ll need help. Especially when we are a solo-entrepreneur running a micro-business and employing every skill, ability and iota of expertise we have! But. . .
And this is a huge “but”!
I won’t have every bit of expertise it takes to grow a successful business, maintain it and take it to the level of success I desire! TWEET THIS
I’ll need the help of those more skilled and knowledgeable than I am in many different areas of my business. Once I realize this (hopefully sooner rather than later); I can prepare for the inevitability of outsourcing those aspects. Or the ones for which I haven’t enough time to do myself.
Now here’s what we’re dealing with as we seek to take Neighborhood Boutiques to the next level. There’s four of us as equity partners. We each bring a slightly different skill set to the table with some overlap which is good. We’re gearing up for expansion – a major marketing strategy we believe is divinely inspired. We know what we want and need to do; we’ve set the stage with much in place and we’re eager to move forward.
However, here’s what keeps yanking my mental chain – how to manage growth!
How to make certain we don’t drop the customer service ball (staying true to our promises in our vision and mission) as we grow? When will be the right time to add to the team in whatever is the best way to do so – while maintaining cash flow at a reasonable level? And without seeking investment from those outside our organization?
Sound familiar? It’s the tension that exists for many women in micro-business because timing is everything! Not too soon – and certainly not too late. But finding the right time may be the next great challenge we face. And the one you face as a woman developing, managing and growing a micro-business.
Next week I’m going to continue this conversation by entertaining some ideas for relieving the tension mentioned above, as well as some thoughts on making best use of outsourcing – whether offshore or on!
In the meantime, sit back and let your mind wander to the day you have to make such a decision. Why?
Because you will have reached a stage in your business journey in which you’ve just reached another rung on the ladder to your desired success!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Neighborhood Boutiques-OPEN for YOUR BUSINESS
Empowering Women to Thrive
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://affiliatedwomeninternational.com//wp-content/uploads/2015/05/linda-google-NB-profile-pic.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]I have a ‘fiery’ passion to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]