I am not an economist but something happened between our parents’ generation and our generation that changed the way we view career trajectories, brand loyalty and personal worth. In my observation, we have forgone working 40 hours a week for 40 years to retire on 40% of what was never enough in the first place. In fact, after the 2006 recession which was followed by massive layoffs and jobs being shipped overseas, the millennial mindset shifted from job dependency to faith in one’s own strengths and talents.
Personally, it wasn’t that I was this super confident entrepreneur wannabe when I started gigging: the truth is I was desperate. Yet at the same time, I had simply vowed to never sell myself short or allow myself to feel thrown away by corporate America again. My leap of faith was armed only with my father’s encouragement and a few good scriptures, ie 1) He would bless the work of my hands, 2) the prayers of the righteous availeth much and 3) In our time of weakness is when His strength is made perfect. Unknowingly, i entered the gig economy. According to whatisit.com, “a gig economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. A study by Intuit predicted that by 2020, 40 percent of American workers would be independent contractors.”
Unfortunately, many of us “giggers” are being worn out. We are typically one man/woman shows, working long hours, often while still employed elsewhere for a variety of reasons. However, as opportunities for growth are presented, we find ourselves at a crossroads with a necessity to scale. Since we are growing together here with On The Scene, here are some thoughts to consider as you move forward. These bullet points are proven to be invaluable to me.
- Make The Customer Experience A Priority – People will always remember how you made them feel. Period. Point Blank. I have attended well organized events but the host was not attentive enough to greet guests. (At events) Hospitality is not optional.
- Establish Invested Team Members – Team members should win when you win. Evaluate your team wins. If team members are only celebrating your accomplishments, there will eventually be a whole in the boat when you need them most. Spend time discovering how your wins can be wins for your team as well.
- Reward and Invest in Your Employees – Providing education opportunities to your staff re-enforces that you want to see them develop, not only for your business but for themselves. Additionally, if you cannot afford to provide health and 401K benefits to your employees consider longer breaks, bonuses and paid vacation days. And last, if the work justifies it, always recognize your employees publicly for their excellency.
- Nurture Relationships – This is by far my favorite bullet point, as I take pride in developing relations. It’s not something I learned overnight, and in fact, I am still learning, but authentic relationships have positively impacted my business in a variety of ways. Relationship building is valuable social capital that has helped me secure new projects, office space and even better work systems.
- Continuing Education And Networking Events – This allows you to meet new people, in-crease your knowledge and ultimately deliver your product and services in a more efficient manner. We should never be too busy to learn and add people to our net-work.
- Consider Opportunities With The Government – Using all of the bullet points above will allow you to effectively bid, secure and deliver goods and services to the United States Government. Government contracts will without a doubt increase revenue and allow you to diversify your business portfolio.
I fully understand that many of us never want to rely on corporate America again; however there is opportunity for to remember what we learned from corporate America. It is time for us to use our time, knowledge and wherewithal more efficiently, transitioning from gigs to contracts. The demand is there, and it is requiring us to develop systems, plans for growth and ensure sustainably. It’s truly ironic how the grind is requiring us to mature in our entrepreneurial endeavors. Accordingly, I need more entrepreneurs to share their stories of growth as this type of information is encouraging, and could be beneficial to others. Email m, sharing tips on how you begin to scale your small business.
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