One-person shop? Doing everything? There’s a better way.

The thumbnail version:

  • Initially, doing it all yourself sounds possible
  • Doing it all yourself is not smart.
  • Freelancers, part-timers, jobbers, and service providers are an alternative.

The full version:

I can’t do this all myself!

It sounds fine when you’re thinking of launching your own business. You’ve read the articles about new business owners having to be a Jack of all trades; the implication is that until you can afford employees, you have to be prepared to do everything from negotiate with customers to sweep the shop floor.

While this might make sense on the face of it, you can’t forget the rest of that expression: “Jack of all trades, master of none.” It’s unlikely that you can be good at (or have the time for) all the elements of running a shop: marketing; selling; accounting; artwork; and production, to name just a few. Attempt them all and you’ll likely make a mess of at least some of them and potentially end up with a nervous breakdown.

So you can’t delegate in the traditional sense, (you can’t afford employees yet, remember), but you can hire help in the shape of freelancers, part-timers, jobbers, and service providers. If you have properly-paying work to do (that is, all costs are factored in and there is still a profit) you should be able to afford the help. If you can’t, there’s a problem with your business model and you probably shouldn’t be running your own shop.