free coworking day on tuesday, november 9

design inspiration abounds at the bungalow!

hey folks.  just a friendly reminder that our first free coworking day of the month is on the calendar for next tuesday.  we'd appreciate your helping us to spread the word so we can add some more really cool people (or hip groovy cats) to our cast of regulars.  interested persons can reserve their free slot at our sign-up page on eventbrite ::


how collaboration can build your small business

your challenge

if you're a small business owner, you probably spend a lot of time working on tasks and projects that fall outside of your strongest skill sets.  sometimes the reason for this is a lack of money.  other times the reason is a desire to drive every aspect of your business.  regardless of the reason why this happens, know that spending too much time on things you don't do well usually results in massive inefficiencies and is guaranteed to stunt your company's growth.

so how do you get over this hump?  like many things in life, the answer is simple, but the solution is a little more involved...

the solution

for every business task that stretches one of your talents, I can guarantee there are no fewer than 25 people within a 2 mile radius of where you currently stand / sit / lie that can do one of these tasks better and faster than you.  the challenge you have lies in finding the right talent, then creating a manageable and sustainable method for bringing this outside help into your operations.  here's my list of key considerations for this process ::

  1. identify your top 5 time wasters that are most important to the growth or smooth running of your business
  2. define the scope of work involved with each
  3. make certain you understand and can effectively communicate how these tasks influence and interact with other parts of your business
  4. find at least 2-3 talented people who can do this work well (preferably the kind of person who delivers value beyond just getting something done)
  5. verify the quality of their work
  6. determine which of these folks possess a style & personality that fits best with your own (and those of the people with whom they'll be interacting)
  7. rank your candidates based solely on quality & fit
  8. negotiate a fair and affordable price for services with your top candidates
  9. assure the person you select creates & integrates a well-defined process that satisfies 2 critical needs.  first, it should allow others to seamlessly step in if necessary.  second, it shouldn't just meet your present needs, but also be designed to comfortably handle the increased volume of work driven by your company's growth

what if i can't afford to hire outside help?

many business owners honestly believe their company's cash flow simply won't support the hiring of outside help.   rarely is this truly the case.

if you diligently execute on each of the considerations listed above, the resources you bring into your operations should quickly pay for themselves (you should actually come out ahead).  the challenge, once again, lies in budgeting the time, talent and energy it takes to invest in this process.  you do have some other options.

first, if you're not already doing this, get out and network with your fellow business owners.  learn to be purposeful in your networking, however, so you're not simply spinning your wheels (this is another article for another day...)

[WARNING :: watch out for the passing reference to one of our service solutions]
second, join a co-working community.  even if you're a retailer, every business function is not performed on the sales floor.  co-working locations can have dozens of different businesses of varying specialties and focuses all under one roof.   accountants can find marketers to help them promote their services.  developers can find lawyers to help them sort through contracts and licensing issues.  there's no better environment for evaluating a service provider, and you'll have countless opportunities to share, barter or charge for your own services.

[WARNING AGAIN :: now watch out for a shameless plug]
finally, you can give us a call here at main street ventures.  we're passionate about working with small business owners, and specialize in creating the "connective tissue" that's needed to make "main street" businesses both sustainable and profitable.  in fact, we're so confident in our approach that we guarantee our work will pay for itself.