As I’ve said before, micropreneurs have a different set of worriesthan small business owners who operate larger companies. We’re less concerned about payroll and more concerned about paying ourselves. Let’s look at five of the biggest headaches we gnash our teeth over.
1. What Happens If We’re Not Working
I’m writing this post from bed, where I’ve been for 3 days, suffering from a sinus infection. I actually took yesterday off to recover, but did my company operate in my absence? Not unless you count the few scheduled Tweets I set up earlier that went live. If I’m not working, my customers aren’t getting what they were promised.
Now, no one is going to scream if I push a writing deadline or two back. But that doesn’t mean I don’t worry about it.
How to Fix That Fear: Even if you’re riding solo, it’s a good idea to have a backup. Then, if you get sick or — gasp — want to take a vacation, you’ve got someone to cover you. Consider hiring a freelancer as needed, even if it’s just to answer your email and put out the fires that occur while you’re gone.
2. Rainy Day Funds
Face it: few micropreneurs have millions in the bank. Our businesses are our livelihood, and if we’re not getting paid, well, there’s not much lively going on in our bank accounts. I’ve struggled for years to start to build up my business’ savings account, but it’s not easy.
How to Fix That Fear: Pay yourself first, then pay your savings account. This is especially necessary if you pay your taxes on a quarterly or annual basis. There’s nothing worse than tax time rolling around and you finding nothing but flies in your bank account.
3. Getting Customers to Pay on Time
You don’t want to look desperate by demanding that your client — who’s now 60 days out on his invoice — pay you right this second. Because that makes you look like a one-woman show. But wait. You are a one-woman show. So why can’t you own up to that and ask him to pay you what he owes?
How to Fix That Fear: There’s definitely a right and wrong way to go about getting late-paying clients to cough up the cash. I like to send a reminder email once they’re 30 days out. Typically that does the job. Sometimes it requires a bit more force, and believe me, I’m not afraid to play the “I’m just a little ole business without big pockets that simply can’t afford you paying late” card.
4. Doing Everything Well
We write our own blog content. Close our own sales. Send our own emails. So when is there time to do the other 13,235 things on our lists?? The further behind we get, the more stressed out we get, which in turn makes it harder to get anything done!
How to Fix That Fear: You won’t get it all done if you look at your to-do list like a massive iceberg. Instead, break it down into bite-sized chunks and prioritize what needs to get done first. Or hire help. There’s always that.
5. Focus on the Big Picture
It’s all too easy to focus on the here and now than it is big picture strategy stuff. And that stuff gives us a headache anyway. But it’s necessary, we know.
How to Fix That Fear: Put it on your calendar: time to think about where I want to take my business. I’m a big proponent of New Year’s resolutions for my business, and find this a great opportunity to think about where I want my business to go in the coming 12 months.
I’m certainly not saying you can eliminate all of your worries as a micropreneur, but if you can at least take these five off your list, you can put that energy toward growing your business!
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Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts for the software industry. She’s written three books: DIY Press Releases: Your Guide to Becoming Your Own PR Consultant, 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as CorpNet, Small Business Trends, Chamber of Commerce, and ScheduleBase. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.