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Striking Out on Your Own

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Several years ago, I wrote an article on my personal blog about Striking Out on Your Own. I was forced to start my own business because of my priority in staying home with my children.  I have absolutely no regrets about that decision. BUT…

My natural tendency is not be the #1 when it comes to business, I am much more comfortable as a #2.  I tried explaining this to my twins as they start feeling out what they may want to do with their lives.  It came out a little bit like this…typically, the head of a company is the visionary, has great ideas, is great with networking and people and can influence people.  That’s not how I see myself.  I see myself at the support staff…you give me the idea and I can make it happen.  I am smart, determined and know how to find good resources. I am really not good at social situations and my visionary abilities stop at planning a great vacation.

So with that being said, as I am Exploring Making more Money, I have been looking for ways to streamline what I do so that I can do more.  My business is just me, no subcontractors, no staff, just me.  I do all the work: the marketing, the management, the sales, the customer service, the administration and the actual technical work.  I have been focusing on tracking my work and free time to see if there is anywhere that would be the most economical items to contract out to free me up some.

I know I then have to weigh the benefits and cost of subcontracting versus doing it myself, but this is where my mind is heading right now.  So my question is for you entrepreneurs out there, what tasks have you found to be most effective and efficient to contract out versus doing it yourself?


Making More Money

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For 8 years now, I’ve been self employed. When I lost my corporate job after I refused to travel any more after my second child was born, I knew I had to find something that would allow me to stay home. After six months of stay at home mom unemployment, I knew I needed a job. During late night browsing sessions, I discovered virtual assistants, and knew that was the route for me. EPOH was born.

I’ve definitely had my ups and downs, taking pay cuts with economy crash, having clients fail to pay, gaining and losing clients along the way. But I’ve been able to support us, that is until last fall, I took a pretty big hit when my very first client had to let me go as their business just couldn’t support my cost anymore, and I couldn’t afford to work for a significantly lower rate.

I thought I could make it, I thought it would be fine. But then I fell behind. Then in November, after putting in a small time of marketing things started to look up again. And since then it’s been a bit of a stressful roller coaster ride of finding work. I’ve got a steady client list still, but I’m playing catch up, and trying to get ahead all at the same time. I MUST make more money, that’s all there is to it!

i love work

So this past week, with that goal in mind, I have been haunting my typical marketing methods:
1. Guru
2. Craigslist
3. Church Community Board
4. Local papers classifieds

But more importantly, I am starting to consider alternative revenue streams, which until now I’ve been very resistant to:
1. Etsy
2. Finding a local part time brick and mortar job (now that the kids are old enough and responsible enough to be left alone for short amounts of time)
3. Going back into the corporate world (really don’t want to, but more than I don’t want to, I want to be out of debt!)
4. Starting a business with my kids that has been burning a hole in my head since this time last year
5. Building my personal blog with writing and affiliate links
6. Product sales – I thought momentarily about selling some product like so many do and like Claire started doing, but I am so much of an introvert and do not do well with ‘house parties’ that have concluded that this is definitely not the route for me.

I can’t remember who said recently that in this debt pay off race you normally have more time than money which is definitely the case with me. So in my time, I am working hard to find the best way to increase my income while maintaining a healthy family life balance. I know I’ve got the skills, I just need to find the right way to go about it. Suggestions?