One great benefit of running your own thing is that you can move much faster than larger businesses. How can you make the most of this advantage?
If you’re someone who has gone from working for others to working for yourself/ running your own thing, it’s tempting on bad days to think of all the ways in which the grass was greener in the safer pastures of secure paid employment. You had support! You had structures! It wasn’t all on you! Not to mention paid holiday and sick days and office parties! When you envisaged life as a buccaneering independent, you didn’t envisage the loneliness , the pendulum swings, the lack of obvious help , the ongoing, constant and sometimes crushing sense of responsibility.
But here’s one thing that maybe you didn’t envisage which is so much better; the comparative speed with which you can execute. This is especially true if your current competition is bigger, more systemised companies. On bad days, it’s easy to wonder how you ever thought you could compete with their name, their networks, their resources and their assets. On those days, remember that you now have the capacity to make and execute decisions with increased speed and that this can be a great asset in a fast moving market-place, let alone the ruptures of a year like 2020.
Even the most agile of corporations and established businesses have a set of structures and processes through which decisions are made and actions are undertaken. There are good reasons for this but it often slows them down. And most companies are not the most agile. Those processes and structures are subject to bottlenecks and move at the speed of the slowest link in the chain. Anyone who’s tried to get a contract with a large corporate will know this. You, in contrast, can see a gap in the market or an opportunity, make a plan and go for it in the time it takes someone in a larger company to write a first draft of an internal proposal or business case.
My guess is that, even if you didn’t consciously realise this, one of the reasons you left full time paid employment, or are working around it, to run your own show was that the cumbersome nature of things frustrated you. However dull they seem on the surface, entrepreneurs and small business owners are dynamic people compared to most, they have to be because they have to create their own momentum – and keep creating it – or their business dies. That dynamism and the lack of set corporate structures give you an advantage that your bigger, better capitalised but bulkier competitive do not have, take advantage of it.
Think about one area in which your ability to move faster than your non-independent competition gives you an advantage and then plan how you’re going to capitalise on it in the next week month or year.