How Do I Take the Next Step?

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Here's a question I got from a reader named Jose:

"I'm a one man band. I do it all -- sales, invoices, labor, everything. I have a few clients, and I got them by word of mouth. I do pretty good, and I know my business well, but sometimes there is only so much I can do for my clients. I'd like to take my business one step further. What do you recommend I do?"

First, I'd suggest that you try to find somebody who, like you, might be a one-person operation, and see if you can work something out with them. Two people can get more done. One person can only do the work of one. But two can sometimes do the work of three or four people. Here's what happens: If you're doing one thing, you have to concentrate on that one thing. Two people can be at different places. There are a whole bunch of efficiencies.

The second thing I'd recommend, especially for some of the more menial tasks, is that you hire an intern. You can find them at a local college. You can pay them little or maybe even nothing. People want experience. You may not be paying them, but they get plenty out of it, too -- a recommendation, a better resume, experience. You can hire them part-time, and you can build up to the point where you need a full-time person. When that happens, you'll have hired your first employee. Congratulations.

Last updated: Sep 3, 2007

NORM BRODSKY | Columnist

Street Smarts columnist and senior contributing editor Norm Brodsky is a veteran entrepreneur who has founded and expanded six businesses.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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