How To Survive As An Army Of One
The term “army of one” may seem silly to most people. An army implies a large group of talented people. The number one is, as the song says, the loneliest number because it is all by itself. However, any new business owner can relate to being called an “army of one” and understands exactly what that means when starting their business.
When you take the leap and launch your company, it’s excited, thrilling, and nerve-wracking. It can also be very lonely. Unless you have a joint partner, you are basically in this thing by yourself. New companies cannot afford to hire full-time employees. Most cannot even afford to hire freelancers or part-time help. Therefore, you are the head of every single department including sales, marketing, operations, customer relations, and anything else that pops up on a daily basis.
The weight of being any army of one and wearing this many hats is enough to crush anyone who is not prepared. To survive, you must become skilled at networking, time management, organization, and delegating. In today’s post, we are here to support that solopreneur in their quest to grow and scale their business to where they can call in reinforcements and afford to hire more people.
Set Your Priorities
Each day presents a brand new long list of tasks to complete and areas of your company to tend to. Most days, it is simply impossible to get to everything on your list. On other days, new items will pop up out of nowhere and take your attention away from what you had planned to accomplish. If you are not careful, you will end up prioritizing the urgent over the important and the easy over the difficult.
When you review your to-do list for the day, think about what you would do first if you could only complete one item on that list. What is the most important thing you need to get done today for your business to grow and prosper? That is what you should do first. Then you can repeat this exercise throughout the rest of your list. If you find that certain items keep getting pushed from one day to another, then you need to review if they are really that important or can be removed entirely.
Choose Your MVP
Starting a company is not the most exciting part of this new venture. It’s the products or services you plan on selling. That is what gets most people excited. However, as an army of one, you may not be able to launch all the products you have created at once. Chances are, you only have the budget and resources to launch one product. They call this your MVP, Most Valuable Product, and it will be the one item that gets the bulk of your time and attention.
First, make a list of all your products and services. Then, circle the two or three that are most important to solve the problem your target customers have. Out of those, which one is the easiest to produce? That is the one you should start with because it is the one that you most likely have the time and resources to produce as a quality product. The faster you can produce this product, the more quickly you can generate income that you can reinvest back into your business.
Automate Whenever Possible
Marketing automation tools have changed the game for small businesses in their attempt to keep up with larger competitors. When we say automation, think about the emails that get sent after engaging with a brand, or how that sales rep remembers what you two spoke about on your call months ago. These tools will work on your behalf to perform basic sales and marketing outreach while you are busy working on other items.
One of the key pages your website should contain is a contact page. Once someone fills out that form, it should trigger a series of emails that automatically get sent to that individual. Yes, you should be reaching out directly to answer their inquiry, but these emails allow you to continue the conversation by sending several pre-written emails that focus on things like products they can buy and resources you offer.
Hire a Virtual Assistant
While being a true army of one is noble, it is not scalable. At some point, you are going to need to bring on some help. It is understandable if you cannot afford a full-time employee. You may also only have enough extra work for 10 or 20 hours a week. This is where a Virtual Assistant comes into play. The right VA can fit into your budget and take care of several items and tasks we have listed above.
For example, your VA can set up all the marketing automation you need to ensure that your content and message is always being sent out to customers. They can also handle administrative tasks such as customer relations, order processing, social media, email management, meeting scheduling, and anything else you no longer have time for. This may appear to be a significant expense at first. However, think about the big-picture items you could focus on, the time you get back, and the stress you can get rid of by hiring someone to help you for a few hours every week.
Being a new business owner is both thrilling and stressful at the same time. Being an army of one is twice as difficult because you are in charge of it all. The key is to understand what needs to be done now and what cannot wait until help arrives. It is also important to understand that investing in a resource like a VA can help you grow your company faster, which in turn means more money to bring in more resources and employees.
If you are feeling alone and being an army of one is becoming too much to handle, we are here to join your team!
Your friends at The HR Agent Admin will work to match you with a trained and experienced Virtual Assistant that will fit right in with your company’s needs, goals, and objectives.
Let’s connect this week and to learn about how we can work together to help scale your business. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your free call!