“It is one thing doing what you love for a living. It is another thing doing what you love with love”
― Rasheed Ogunlaru
While switching careers may seem to be a bed of roses to some, the path to self-employment can be a muddy one. Jumping from a secure, balanced job into the landmine of self-employment can be quite frightening. Before pulling the trigger on becoming your own boss, it is important that you know what “departments” to set up in your daily operations to keep all things ready for action. Having a plan is so important because, without a plan, you will find yourself banging your head on a brick wall. Here are 4 areas that I recognized when launching A Howell Solution and to be honest, I know for a fact that there will be things that I don’t touch. Feel free to add it in the comments if I miss it!
1. You are your own HR Department. Most of the time, you won’t be hiring right away for your home business. Typically, you will be your own employee and you will need to be sure that you have your 1099 in order and any other documents available. These documents will include each individual job title and description, W-2 forms, and Employee Handbook. This will not only keep you out of tax problems, but it will help you to be efficient. You can get a of this type of help through the Small Business Association.
2. You are your own IT Department. You can’t dial the extension to another individual. You are the one who will troubleshoot your computer issues and make things work when they do not want to. It is important to have people lined up to help you with this. Typically, you can go to YouTube and locate different videos to help you with the smaller issues. In addition, there are many local colleges that offer basic computer classes that will help you with the most common problematic issues. There are many small businesses that will charge a nominal fee and will fix it for you. This can get pricey. Be sure you get someone you trust on this one.
3. You are your own Finance Department. You can’t call an extension and have someone process a refund or give a duplicate receipt. The great thing is that you do have amazing software programs that cost little to nothing for you to use. Quick Books is probably the most common and Fresh Books is becoming more popular by the day. You want to have a great accounting professional to help you with the nit and gritty of taxes and balancing the books.
4. You are your own Customer Service Department. You can’t forward a call or have a representative of your company respond to feedback. You are Customer Service. It is good to have great responses lined up in order to respond to Customer Service issues. Don’t merely have them – stick by them! Customer Service is not just about how great you are with your customers, but it is about how you are consistent that you are with them. Have your process ready! Dale Carnegie has a great resource for free to help you with this called Quick Tips for Outstanding Customer Service. You can always outsource this – I don’t recommend it. Customer Service is the face, voice, and ears of your brand.
These are just basic and I know that I have missed some of them. Comment below the ones I missed if you have any!