By utilizing the Eisenhower Matrix, you can divide your tasks into 4 different boxes and be able to focus on what is most important, schedule what is important but not urgent, delegate everything you can and then don’t do the things that don’t serve a purpose in your business.

The Eisenhower Box: How to be More Productive

To Do: Draw a big box on your paper and then divide that box into 4 little boxes.

Label the first box- Do First
Label the second box – Schedule
Label the third box – Delegate
Label the fourth box – Don’t do

5 time management tips when working with the Eisenhower Matrix

  1. Putting things to-do on a list frees your mind. But always question what is worth doing first.
  2. Try limiting yourself to no more than eight tasks per quadrant. Before adding another one, complete the most important one first. Remember: It is not about collecting but finishing tasks.
  3. You should always maintain only one list for both business and private tasks. That way you will never be able to complain about not having done anything for your family or yourself at the end of the day.
  4. Do not let you or others distract you. Do not let others define your priority. Plan in the morning, then work on your stuff. And in the end, enjoy the feeling of completion.
  5. Finally, try not to procrastinate that much. Not even by over-managing your to-dos.

Prioritizing tasks by urgency and importance results in 4 quadrants with different work strategies: https://www.eisenhower.me/eisenhower-matrix/ 

Another example source: http://timewiser.com/blog/eisenhower-matrix-productivity-at-work/

We have been talking to our clients a lot about building their personal brand and how to do that. In this video, below I share with you 7 tips on building your personal brand.

Personal Branding Tips

1. Work on building relationships
2. Really understand your value that you offer
3. Be authentic and transparent
4. Include personal pictures and videos into your digital marketing
5. Live your brand in your everyday life
6. Be consistent with your marketing, social media posts, blogs, videos, newsletters, etc.
7. Listen to your audience

BONUS– share your why and your story!

Can you believe it’s 4th quarter already? It is either time to start resting and planning for the next year, or put your butt in gear and finish the year out strong! In this video, I share 10 simple holiday promotion ideas to help increase your sales for the end of the year! Let’s show 2018 what you are made of!

 

Overcoming the Fear of Self-Promotion as a Freelancer Blog

Now that you have decided to become a freelancer or are wanting to grow your freelance business, you have to self-promote.

I know, it doesn’t sound like fun!

A little background:

When I was at my corporate job one of my tasks was attending networking events. I have to attend different business networking events to build the company brand and build the business, I was salary and commission, so the more I sold the more money I made! That was an incentive for me to network more.

This was something that in the beginning was a little hard for me. Everyone that knows me thinks I am an outgoing person and LOVE to talk to people . . . well, inside I was terrified!

I would go to events where I already knew people and they would introduce me, then it made it a bit easier. Over time this networking thing became easier for me because I was promoting a corporate company. I wasn’t selling myself,  I was selling the business, so I thought. . . 

A few years of doing networking events and working as an Account Executive for a women’s online magazine, I decided to take off on my own. I had met a lot of people and grown a large support group, so when I decided to start my own business I already had 6 clients!

Now the fun part

I thought, WOW, this is easy, I am already getting clients!

Boy, was I wrong! It is a lot different promoting yourself instead of a corporate, established company. Over the 3 years, I was an Account Executive and networking I didn’t realize I was actually building my own personal brand. People were doing business with the magazine because the knew and trusted me!

This is what made my self-promotion task a little bit easier for my own business. The support group that I have been unknowingly growing for the past three years wanted to see me succeed, they were doing business with me, referring people to me and by word of mouth my business was booming!

This obviously gave me a heck of a lot of confidence to get out there more, BUT and a big BUT I was ONLY going to events where I knew people. I have found that I am a BIG comfort zone person. I find my tribe and I stick with them. This is a good quality to have, and at the same time, I was limiting myself from reaching new people, expanding my business into other cities, and making more connections. 

I would find new networking events on MeetUp, drive to that event and then create an excuse in my head why I couldn’t go in: 

I didn’t feel well

I should be at home

Oh, I forgot to email someone

I will come next time

What if they don’t like me

What do I say to start a conversation

Why am I here

Whatever that excuse was kept me out of a lot of events and away from potential clients. It took me a couple years to get over that fear.

I finally started finding groups that I “fit” into. Groups that were focused on growing your business, had a structure, not just open networking. It was the open networking piece that terrified me.

Finding Your Mojo

Usually, within a few months of attending these events, I ended up helping out with them or even running a few events. That was my AH HA moment, when I am in the driver’s seat of the event, I am running it, I am the leader, that allows me to have the confidence to speak with everyone that walks through the door. They want to know me, they look at me as an expert and leader.

I already knew I was a very good public speaker so that part wasn’t the problem. I know that doesn’t make sense, right? I can’t go to an event with open networking, but throw me on a stage and I can talk about anything! 

Fast forward 10 years I have successfully lead over 6 different networking groups for different organizations and ran them for a long time. When I moved to Florida it took me a year to figure out how to start a group of my own. I was in a new place with people I had never met before, I thought I could just sit behind my computer and still get clients as if I still lived in Colorado. I knew that I had to start a group of my own because that’s where I thrive. I love building relationships with people, learning their stories, connecting others and still being in the driver’s seat. Yes, I am a control freak! 

You have to find out what your superpower is for self-promotion. We are all going to be nervous when it comes to promoting ourselves, whether that be in person or online. Networking events to sharing blog posts, videos, and even social media postings. We have to get rid of that negative self-talk and just push through that fear.

Here are 4 tips that I have found to help me get over the fear of self-promotion

1. Be clear on your tribe 

When you set off on your own it is important to know who you want to work with, who is your ideal client or target market. Know the type of services you are offering and who they would be best for. Knowing your target market will help you not only find your clients or customers easier, it will also help you find the type of networking events to attend, the type of Facebook or LinkedIn groups to be involved in. The goal with being very clear in your target marketing is anytime you need to promote yourself either online or offline you know “who” you are talking to. 

2. Know what you’re fearful of

Self-promotion can be a little intimidating for sure! Taking a moment to sit with yourself and identify what scares you will help you move forward. For me it was more of what others would think of me, did I dress ok, will people want to do business with me, more of that self-confidence is what I had to get over. For others, it could be how do you handle more than one clients, or client onboarding, they want to work with you now what? Fear of rejection or failure.

One thing I have learned and honestly am still working on, is when it comes to business, nothing is personal. This is a motto I heard on a podcast, nothing is personal. If someone rejects you, that doesn’t mean they don’t like you as a person, it could be they can’t afford your work, or they are not in need of your services right now. When we work for ourselves we tend to take everything personally and that stunts us from wanting to promote ourselves further.

If you cannot face the fear, fear will win and you will end up throwing the towel in, we don’t want to do that. Each failure or rejection is an opportunity for us to grow. Maybe you were unclear in your 30-second commercial, or too pushy in your video, maybe there wasn’t enough value. Whatever it may be, work through it. Sometimes it helps if we ask that person that said no, why? You would be surprised in the answer, always be willing to look inside and make a change to better yourself.

So, what are you fearful of when it comes to self-promotion?

3. Work on your commercial, don’t sell.

People like to call this your elevator pitch, I am NOT a huge fan of that term, I also don’t think it should be called a pitch, you should be focusing on building relationships that turn into clients, not just selling someone. I hate being sold! When you think of your commercial this can be for both online and offline.  This is about educating your tribe on who you are and what you do, but more importantly, how can you help them?

If you are attending in-person networking events know if your commercial is 30 seconds, 45 seconds, or 1 minute, that will help you determine what you can fit into your commercial. I always like to ask questions on social media and then turn that into a commercial, you want to give value as much as you can.

One thing that worked for me s I would type out my commercial and then print it and practice it in front of my husband or friend to make sure I was sticking to the correct time and also that they understood what I was saying! Remember you are an expert in what you do, so show it!

As you become more confident in your commercial you always want to come from the place of value or education and not selling them. Have you ever walked into a networking group or received a message on social media with someone trying to sell you something, and they are so pushy about it?

People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Be authentic in your commercial, show them who you are!

4. Trust and believe in yourself

This one seems so easy, but can be the hardest one. This could be one of your fears from tip #2. It is important that you trust yourself. If you believe in the service or product you are selling then you believe in yourself. Coming from your heart and knowing that you can help others will help you gain that trust.

Being a freelancer is such an exciting journey, you grow so much as a person and that allows you to grow as a business.

Knowing your core values and your roots allow that belief in yourself to be stronger. Core values play a big role in your business, more than you think. It is important to be yourself and have fun, you want to work with people like you, and have things in common, similar core values, people you can trust.

Trusting yourself is more than putting yourself out there, it is about providing people with help, answers, a solution. Think of your “why”. Why are you doing this business? Trust yourself, trust your intuition, and move forward, go on, build your business!

Are you ready to start self-promoting?

In Conclusion

If you want your business to grow and be a success you have to work through your fear and put yourself out there. Network, create videos, use social media, brand yourself.

If you want to learn how to create core values for your business sign up for our free workbook below:

5 simples steps how to figure out what your core values are

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Overcoming the Fear of Self-Promotion as a Freelancer

I love hearing stories of how people got started in their freelance business, what was that final straw, or trigger point for them to take the leap of faith and go out on your own.
We had spoken with Seth a little over a month ago and really loved what he was helping businesses do, the foundation he was creating. Branding is so very important to your success and it is something that can be overlooked.

Meet Seth

Seth is a versatile Designer + Creative Director with a decade of experience that includes work for major brands such as USA Today, Disney, Adidas, Union Pacific, FOX, and Coors.
He started WonderWild with the belief that great design can be simple. He loves helping companies of all sizes rediscover the wonder of their brand and visually express it in ways that create emotional connections and ultimately helps them level-up.
He and his wife of 13 years have 4 bio children, 2 foster children, a dog, a cat and a fish.

Free Guide: 25 stats about design you can’t afford to ignore.

 

Entrepreneur Series Interview with Seth Rexilius {Wonder Wild}

 

If you are looking to create a life you truly love, you may start to think of becoming an entrepreneur. Creating a business that you love and can help others is the best of both worlds, right?

In this interview with Ashley Howard, co-owner of Howard’s Cleaning Service, you will learn how her and her husband Billy are successful business owners. They started this business from the ground up and Ashley shares a few great tips if you are thinking of starting a service based business!

If it something you really want to do, just start your business and do it. Provide great customer service and get good at putting out fires as needed. You don’t know what is going to happen everyday, but just go with it!

Learn more about Howard’s Cleaning Service Here

Entrepreneur Series - howard's cleaning service

This is one of my favorite parts of our coaching program, core values! When we start our business it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, making money, setting up a website, finding new clients. All of those ‘business’ things. We forget about our core values. 

What if we reversed the order of how we start a business, if we started at square one, what do you believe in? If you think about it your core values are what has shaped you as a person. Phrases or words that your parents or family has been telling you for years, it’s the foundation of who you are and your belief system.

We need to do the same thing with our businesses. Set that foundation, what will our business look like, feel like and stand for? Your core values start with your WHY. 

  • Why did you want to start this business?
  • Who are you wanting to serve?
  • What’s Your Story?

There are a lot of successful business owners that would say they wish they would have started with their core values from the beginning, a lot of them didn’t develop or even think of their company’s core values until later on in business, like years later!

We are wanting to save you some time down the road by talking about your businesses core values now!

Setting the foundation and creating the content. By having these core values in place it helps you and your company make decisions based on shared values. Everything from hiring the right help, to bringing on new clients, creating a successful partnership, etc.

In this blog we will be covering the following topics:

  • What are Core Values
  • Why they are important
  • How to Share Your Core Values

What are Core Values?

Core Values are the base of your belief system. They are your morals, what is important to you each and every day.  The reason behind what you do.

These core values create your vision and mission for your business and shape its future. In a sense, your core values create your businesses identity.

It is important to establish strong core values from the beginning.

  • Your core values help with the decision-making process like I mentioned above this can be from hiring the right help, onboarding the right clients, quality of your products or services.
  • These core values educate your employees and clients on what your business is all about. What’s important to you and how you are different. It goes back to that golden rule “People do business with people they know, like, and trust.” That’s why core values are important.

Creating your core values can be a little more challenging than you think. Especially if it is more than yourself. If you have a business partner or team then we recommend having a conversation about what is important to each of you and how you can bring your individual core values into the business.

We talk a lot about creating your lifestyle, What does that look like? What defines success for you? What is important to you? 

When you are using your core values in decision making you want to maintain that sense of integrity, clarity, and confidence. You want to stand behind your business core values and know what’s right.

Here are a few examples of different words that can be turned into core values

Determining your core values takes some time and thought. Remember you are setting the foundation for your business success. You want to create your own values for your business.

I think it is important to check out other businesses values and see how they word them, but you are not just copying and pasting them for yourself.

Here are a few questions to think about when creating your core values

  • What makes you feel good about your business?
  • What is important to you on a daily basis?
  • What values make you feel proud of yourself and your business?
  • What sets you aside from other businesses?

Here are a few examples of core values:

The Honest Company

  1. Create a Culture of Honesty
  2. Make Beauty
  3. Outperform
  4. Service Matters
  5. Sustain Life
  6. Be Accessible
  7. Pay it Forward
  8. Fun!

SquareSpace

  1. Be your own customer
  2. Empower individuals
  3. Design is not a luxury
  4. Good work takes time
  5. Optimize towards ideals
  6. Simplify

Zappos

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More With Less
  9. Be Passionate and Determined
  10. Be Humble

More examples here 

Once you have your core values defines it is crucial you have them listed on your website within the About page, on your marketing materials, your story, your social media, on your wall. These are great daily reminders for WHY you do what you do.

Why are Core Values Important to Your Business?

There are many reasons why it is important to have core values in your business. As a business owner or freelancer, we are our business. It shows our authenticity of who we are as a person.

Core values provide us the framework of how we see our business and how we want it to grow. It also helps with behavior for your employees and clients, setting those standards from the beginning.

This shows your business, clients, and potential clients why you are different, what you believe in and how those values play a role in your everyday decision making. People that have similar values will more likely want to work for you or do business with you. It gives them a sense of trust to help them understand your business on a deeper level.

Remember in the beginning I asked you what success looked like for you? These core values can help define that success for your business. Set standards and thrive!

How to Share Your Core Values

Now that you have created your core values for your business and you now understand why they are so important to your business, it’s time to put them to work.

Think of your core values almost as a vision board for your business. It helps you find the direction in which you are wanting to continue to grow in. Top of mind!

Here are a few ideas that will help you stay true to your business’s core values:

  1. Write them down.  Put them where you can see them every day. Like a daily affirmation. You can create a sticky note that you have on your computer, screen saver, go to the about page of your site every day, somewhere you look at on a daily basis.
  2. Share them. You will have them on your website, social media profiles, maybe even your marketing materials, but more importantly, talk about them. Use them in your networking commercials, tell friends, turn them into social media posts. People do business with people they know, like, and trust, these core values will build that trust. So, get sharing!
  3. Let them be your foundation. These core values are what drives us and motivate us. They remind us of WHY we started our business and where we want to go. They will help us with the decision making within the business. They also keep us consistent. What feels right? They keep us on track!
  4. Lifestyle. This is probably the most important to me, our core values are what allow me to live the life I want. To create the lifestyle that has freedom and flexibility. How do you want to create your life? What is important to you. The core values of your business will allow you to create your the opportunity to express yourself and create your lifestyle.
  5. Apply them. Use these core values as ways to connect with different clients or potential clients. Make sure each decision is based on these core values. When onboarding a new client, does it feel right, do their values align with yours? Use them when you are hiring on new help or even outsourcing, as long as your core values are aligned with your tribe, the people you surround yourself with and work with you can accomplish anything!
How to define your core values

In Conclusion.

Each business should have a list of core values, your core values are what makes your business run. What type of people you want to hire, or work with. This is the foundation of your business. Are you ready to create your today? 

Sign up for our FREE “5 Simple Steps How to Figure Out What Your Core Values Are.”

Core Values Handout

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Aerie Lane Tarpon Springs Florida

I had the pleasure of interviewing these two amazing sisters that decided to take the leap of faith and invest, not only in themselves but in their future by opening a new franchise called Aerie Lane. In this interview you will learn:

  • How these sisters are able to work together, divide and conquer.
  • Splitting roles while one left corporate and runs the day to day and the other is still working her corporate job.
  • Playing off each other’s strengths to create an amazing partnership!

What is Aerie Lane?

Aerie Lane is about gathering with friends, creating with inspiration, and connecting projects and people in creative ways. Each time you construct a project by hand, you share a part of yourself with others.

Check out their website here to book your next party!

Like them on Facebook and support their business!

Have you been thinking of starting your own business? Need a little motivation? Maybe just a little push? We invite you to join our Facebook group here.

 

Mompreneur Interview with Owners of Aerie Lane – Tarpon Springs, FL

Mompreneur Series-Casey Smith

Mompreneur Series Interview

I love being able to interview amazing mothers from all over the world! These women have a corporate background and have either left their corporate job to follow their dreams, or others were pushed out of corporate and doors of opportunity came a knockin and changed their lives forever!

In this interview, I am speaking with Casey Smith owner of Wild Liberty Design Co, she left corporate knowing she wanted more to life, even though she was making great money and had amazing benefits, she was her kids growing up without her being able to be apart of their growth. Learn more about how she started a local and online T-shirt business and is building connections both locally and nationally.

If you are ready to take a leap of faith and start your own business, sign-up for our “Start a Business” series here

Interested in learning more? Take a look at the following videos:

How to Tell Your Story

Creating the Right Mindset as an Entrepreneur

Internal and External Goals

Interview with Casey Smith – Wild Liberty Design Co.

Have you been thinking about starting a freelancing business or going into business with a partner?

Being your own boss is an exciting and frightening feeling. It is something you want so bad and yet are afraid to chase that dream or leave your comfort zone.

I think at some point every person dreams of owning their own business, making money doing something they love to do.

Unfortunately, very few actually take that leap of faith and follow their passion and dreams.

In today’s world with this awesome tool called the internet, we truly can create a freelance business and work from anywhere.

For example, I am writing this blog from a beach by my house in Florida! 🙂

In this blog we will be covering:

  • Our Story of How We Became Partners
  • How to Know if Having a Partner is Right for You
  • Tips for Running a Successful Freelance Business with a Partner

Our Story

I remember when I started my business, I had set out to do my own thing, my own way and I was committed to making it work!

The day I started my business I already had 6 clients who had signed up for my services, so I was already making the same monthly income I was making at my corporate job!

See, the backstory on that is I told my husband (boyfriend at the time) when I left corporate to give me 6 months to replace my corporate income or I would go back!

The fact I was able to do that right away gave me even more drive and desire!

When I started my business I had offered a couple different services, social media management, networking, virtual assistant help and for a couple of my higher-end clients, I went to their office a couple days a week to help get them organized and some assistant work.

Things were moving and shaking.

I had my business for almost three years before I met Caitlin. We worked at a Marketing Firm in Northern Colorado together. We managed about 5-10 accounts for this company and really worked well together.

After a few months we had found out that owner was embezzling money from some of the clients, so we both left.

Caitlin and I both knew we liked each other and thought we should explore more about what we each do. We grabbed coffee one day and 4 hours later we had figured out that we could really complement each other.

My business had been successful for the first three years and I knew it would continue to grow if Caitlin and I could work together.  We could really take our businesses to the next level, and help all sorts of businesses with their digital marketing.

Caitlin had a different skill set than me and vice versa. We both had been managing digital marketing from two different angles.

I worked on social media management and she worked on analytics and AdWords, so we really complemented each other.

We each had our own businesses with our own clients that would benefit from each other’s skills and services.

We decided to work together, we thought it would be best to keep our own businesses but incorporate each other’s services by offering them to our own clients. Just to test the water, we wanted to make sure we would really work well together before we said: “I do, want to be your business partner.”

This worked extremely well, we were each bringing in more clients and happy with the results they were getting.

We worked together for over a year when we hired our second intern.  It had started to get a little confusing for our intern trying to keep track of what clients were Caitlin’s, what clients were mine and which were ours together!

We really had to work on our systems at this point!

The TALK

We had a long talk about how we both managed our own businesses, what systems we had in place, price points, income, how we each managed our own clients and where we needed help, etc.

There were a few things we would both have to adjust if we joined forces, but we were both committed to doing so.

My grandmother was a CFP and owned three H&R Blocks in Michigan for over 25 years, so we had a conversation with her about moving forward with becoming partners and combining our businesses.

Our question was “how do we partner and join forces and what is the best way to do this?”.

I have to be honest, my grandmother was not very excited about the thought of us being “Business Partners.”  She had told us that almost every business tax return she had done with partnerships never ended well.

They couldn’t agree on finances, roles, services, prices, or one would think they were doing more work than the other, lack of communication, the list went on.

We both knew that by working together we would be able to reach new goals and grow our business.

We both have exceptional work ethics. Our core values are in alignment. We compliment each other nicely.

A few things needed to happen before we moved forward, the biggest thing was roles!

Roles in the Business:

– Who was going to manage the money
– Accounts Payable and Receivable
– Sales
– Marketing of our own business
– Client Interaction
– Managing our Interns
– Day to day tasks

We both were able to express what our goals were, where we wanted to be, how we wanted to grow the business. We both were able to play off of our strengths and weaknesses.

We had written out what each of our responsibilities would be and what our expectations were for each other. This helped set the foundation for our successful business. We got those uneasy conversations out in the open first thing.

Still, to this day we have our own roles and have had very clear conversations about money and expectations.

Long story short, we decided to go for it and we created Boundless Internet Marketing Solutions (The BIMS Team). We both kept our own LLC’s and formed an S-Corp together. We decided that any client that had to do with marketing would go through The BIMS Team. We also agreed if we had a client or project that was outside the scope of BIMS we could run it through our own LLC as long as we communicated. This included side projects like I made soaps and sold them for fun, Caitlin refinished furniture and has an online store where she sells apparel.

How to know if Partnership is Right for You

I have always loved the idea of co-creating. I also know I am a control freak and like things done my way! As much as I like things to go my way and have the control I also knew that I could learn a lot from Caitlin. We could really go far with our business together.

Teamwork+Trust = Success

I liked the idea of shared responsibilities, someone to hold me accountable, someone to bounce ideas off of and feedback on projects.

I think before you decide to have a business partner you need to have a self-talk.

Really understand the type of person you are and who you want to be. You have to be honest with yourself and understand the areas where you can grow and change your ways.

You also have to be ok with taking direction or constructive criticism from someone else.

For example, there are times where Caitlin has an idea to change a system or process that we have had in place and I usually have resistance towards that change. She talks me through the new process and how it is going to help us, I let my guard down and allow the change to take place.

9 out of 10 times it works out for the better!

Just remember it is ok for things to grow, adjust and change. I have to remind myself that this is why we started our own business to have that freedom and flexibility.

Having a partner in a freelance business can really be a powerful tool. Time to time, I think where would I be in my business if I didn’t meet Caitlin, or if we didn’t join forces. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if we hadn’t joined forces.

I am a type of person that LOVES my comfort zone! Caitlin helps me grow and pushes me. (In a good way)

It has been a great journey so far learning from each other, and for each of us to allow another to grow in their our own ways. To also collaborate on new business goals and techniques. You can set yourself up for personal and business success with a partner.

This past year, we both took the ‘What’s Your WHY?’ test and that was a huge eye-opener for us. You have to trust each other and know that both of your end goals is the same. You may both take different roads to complete a task or project, but as long as neither one of you are hurting the business or brand, allow each other to flow.

Tips for Running a Successful Freelance Business with a Partner

Like I said above, having a partner is a great idea if both of your personalities mesh together and you can work well together. Ove the past 7 years of running a successful freelance business with a business partner where everything is 50/50. I have learned a few things about having a business partner.

Here are 10 Tips for you: 

1.Have a Successful History Together Before Forming the Company

It is important to form a relationship/friendship outside of work, this piece can be tricky. You want to find that right balance, of friendship and work relationship. You want to feel comfortable with this person. Someone you can go grab a beer with or call if you need something. You have to be yourself!

2. Agree on a Vision

In the beginning “Talk” you need to both express your vision for what each of you is thinking for the company. Outline a one-year plan, three-year plan, five-year plan, and long-term plan.

Where do you both see yourself in ten years?

Is your vision the same?

Are you both wanting to serve the same target market?

Are your both looking to grow the business with the same idea of services or programs?

3. Have the Hard Talks About Money

Make sure to keep your communication open about money. This is the key to run your business and grow. If you both are not on the same page you need to talk about it. How do you both feel about money? What is your worth? How should you charge for services? Where is there flexibility with pricing and working with clients?

Will you have monthly contracts with your clients, do they pay weekly, or monthly? How will they Pay? Credit Card, Check, PayPal, Stripe, Cash?

Then, once you are both in agreement about how you are going to charge your clients and collect money. Then you need to have the conversation about how do you pay each other. Are you going to have paydays?

At the beginning of our business journey together, we would split the money as soon as someone paid, so if we had a $500 client pay that day we would each make $250. This was fine when it was just us two.

We hired interns early on to help with certain tasks, so then we started having business expenses. We needed to figure out how we were going to pay our interns or contractors. We pay them on the 1st and 15th and then we decided it would be better if we set dates to pay each other. So, we pay each other the 1st and 3rd Friday each month. We adjust if needed.

This put another system/process in place for our business.

4. Decide the Roles

Figuring out the roles and expectations of each other will help things run more smoothly. Now, there are two of you so it is a good idea to split the business responsibilities.

I suggest to sit down and write out a list of every task there is to running your business. Write it down on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. I mentioned these roles before:

– Who was going to manage the money – Accounts receivable and accounts payable
– Bills and expenses – who is in charge of making sure those are paid?
– Sales – are you both bringing in new clients? Do you each have a goal or minimum of new clients you want to bring in each month?
– Marketing for your business – who is doing the blogging, videos, social media, networking, digital marketing, etc.
– Client Interaction – are you both going to have the client interaction or is all communication going through one person? Do you figure out who interacts with them based on who brought them to the business?
– Managing Interns or Contractors- Who is in charge of finding help? How much will you pay them? How will you pay them? What are your expectations or requirements for each intern or contractor?

Once you have your list written down, you can then both go through it and pick the tasks you want to manage. The ones that neither of you is passionate about, see if you can hire those out. Work smarter not harder.

5. Understand Each Other’s Commitment

Core values come into play here. When you understand where your core values are at then you can understand each other’s commitment level for the business. What is each of your commitment to the business, clients and each other?

6. Identify Each Other’s Strengths and Weaknesses

This is why you are even thinking of having a partner because they most likely do something that you don’t. Outline each of your strengths and weaknesses, this is something you may have jotted down during your own self-talk section. What areas in your business do you excel at and where are the areas that you may not pay as much attention or areas that are more weak for you or you are not as passionate about. Each of you needs to do this. You should both have different strengths and weaknesses. If you both have very similar strengths and weaknesses, you might want to reevaluate that partnership. Will you be able to push each other and compliment each other?

7. Compatible Styles

Now, that you both have discussed your core values and outlines each of your strengths and weaknesses, it is time to make sure you are compatible. Where your weaknesses are should be your partners’ strengths, and where their weaknesses are should be your strengths.

Being compatible can go deeper than just running the business.

For example, Partner #1 works 12-14 hours a day, has no kids and is always trying to get new clients to get the business up and running to bring her vision into play. Is very driven and doesn’t like to be told what to do.

Partner #2 has a family and needs to find that work/life balance, has a busy schedule with hobbies or child activities and may work more in the evening than during the day.

This could be a problem for some people, this is where those upspoken expectations come into play. As long as each of you is able to get the work was done and you can communicate during hours that work for each of you, then you are compatible.

You need to have common ground and communicate about schedules and family life. We have found that having a task-driven company works better, there are days where I may only work 3-5 hours a day and then there are days where I am working 12-14 hours a day and same with Caitlin.

We can’t track each others hours and hold that over each other’s heads but have those roles and tasks clearly outlines so you both know what is expected from you each day.

Another thing to talk about with your business partner is their “psychographic” styles. In a nutshell, what is their personality like, values, attitudes, interests and lifestyles?

8. Figure Out How to Grow the Business

Go back to number 2 – What is your vision? If you both have the same or at least a similar end-goal then what are the steps you both need to take to reach that goal? Set monthly and annual goals for the business. Revisit that one-year, three-year, and five-year plans.

9. Have a Plan for Success

You have set your goals which is great and now you need to create your plan. If you both want to make over six figures a year, what does that look like? How many clients or projects do you need to have each year to reach that level of success? What does success look like for each of you? Is it happy clients? Six-figure income? Make sure you are both on the same page.

10.Have an Exit Strategy

The last thing – put an exit strategy in place. This is something that just protects each of you and again outlines those expectations.

If either of you chooses to part-ways, what does that look like? Sometimes things just don’t work out. Maybe one of you got a new opportunity or decides to go in a different direction. Maybe deciding to start a family and chooses not to work at this time.

You need to have a clear outline. Is there a buy-out process? Do you measure how many clients each of you brought to the company? Can you just walk away and let your partner continue?

This is another hard talk to have, but it is important to discuss an exit strategy so you don’t burn bridges with your partner or clients.

 

We covered a lot on this blog and you may need a little time to really think about if having a business partner is right for you. If you discuss these steps we outlined you both are on your way to success!

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Interested in learning more? Take a look at the following articles:

Importance of Having a Schedule

How to track your goals

Cost-Effective Ways to Market Your Local Business Online

 

Have you been thinking about starting a freelancing business or going into business with a partner? In this blog we will be covering: Our Story of How We Became Partners How to Know if Having a Partner is Right for You Tips for Running a Successful Freelance Business with a Partner #businesstip #freelancing #freelancebusiness #runningafreelancebusiness