Back in 2017, entrepreneur Bev Taylor scooped the top award for her work as a franchisee for shipping and logistics business, InXpress Australia. She’s a high achiever, and loves the benefits of zero commuting time and flexibility around her working day. But she also understands first-hand the challenges of being a sole trader. So, what’s her secret? Bev spoke to Inside Franchise Business and revealed her five must-follow rules to success as a solo entrepreneur:
Working from home means you are only accountable to yourself, so don’t let this be the case. Partner with another remote worker or colleague and have weekly calls to hold each other accountable. Share (and report back on) your targets, goals, to-do list and essential actions. Also have a pact with each other and agree to be the “virtual coworker” to call each other if things are tough. Knowing that someone is there to reach out to eliminates the need half the time, but don’t be scared to take each other up on it when you feel you need to.
Enlisting the help of a mentor is something that made all the difference to me and my business. Set goals and actions together, and always aim high. Never underestimate the power of the right mentor; they will give practical advice, encouragement and support, and share experiences from others. They can help identify which areas need improvement and how to improve, and address your personal and academic skills.
Always hold a weekly meeting with yourself. I know this sounds a little crazy but it really helps summarise and clarify your activity and direction. I find this is best done on a Monday morning, away from your working space. Sit at the kitchen table and literally have a meeting with yourself to discuss and review how the last week went. What went well and what didn’t? Did you achieve your tasks and goals? What is it that stopped you, and how can you avoid this happening again? Then, finally, plan the week ahead.
- Set strict time blocks
This is essential so you do not lose time working on unimportant tasks. On a weekly basis set your major goals and actions in your personal (or peer) weekly meeting, then each night review what you have achieved and what needs to be done the next day. Set and update your to-do list and schedule those time blocks for the following day. Do not change them for anything other than emergencies. Remember, new non-urgent tasks will be addressed on your to-do list at the end of the day. Be firm.
- Take a break!
My mentor taught me to plan a few days break away from home every three months. Apart from having something to look forward to, a break encourages you to actually take some time out. After all, you have earned it. And if you can, try not to work on your days off; set yourself free time and stick to it as much as possible. Before anything else, always focus on being kind to yourself!