Consultants and sole proprietors are often very isolated and it is important to work together for both the interaction and the partnership on projects. This will lead to more referrals and recommendations.
Have you ever thought about specializing in the arts business? Specifically in music? There will be TONS of artists defecting from their labels wanting to go out on their own. This niche will be huge for the average freelancer but you will need to know much more than HTML -- video/audio/UI/ecommerce blend is a must to help musicians sell their wares online. Look what Madonna has done with LiveNation
Material Girl Madonna appears to be thinking not just like an artist, but also like a businesswoman. The 49-year-old singer has signed a groundbreaking record deal with concert promoter LiveNation, citing her decision to adopt a more comprehensive, unrestricted business model as her reason for abandoning Warner Music after 25 years.
I read this Harvard Business Review article over the weekend on the ride home from Detroit -- it is an excellent article on the topic of energy levels -- helps to identify how you can get more energy in the workplace and home.
When you get a chance take the quiz and let me know how you come out.
I answered 7-10 of these questions true -- I have some work to do here in terms of my own energy levels. If you are honest with yourself, you will see that you may also have an "energy crisis" looming.
Client development IS collaboration with others. In order to develop a big client you may need to court them for months (maybe even years) before you get the deal. In many business to business relationships one has to wait for the perfect time and place for an opportunity to fall into place.
If you are not ready to invest that much time in client collaboration, you may need to think about who your target client is.
Gift #1- So the first announcement of the new McGuinty government was a new statutory holiday on the 3rd Monday of February. Now we have another 3 day weekend in February. That makes 10 statutory holidays if you include August's Civic Holiday (Simcoe Day in Toronto). If you include Easter Monday and Rememberance Day (in Novmber) then we have 12 days off for employees -- that's more than 2 paid weeks of paid vacation.
Now if you are a freelancer or independent consultant you get 0 days off. Why isn't there a Small Business Tax Credit or Rebate Day to ensure small business owners also get some free time to spend with their family and they don't suffer the consequences of an unpaid day? Surely we shouldn't make the free time gap between full time employees and small business owners even wider?
And by the way the US while appearing to have more holidays than Canada, actually has less formal statutory holidays (10 or 11 depending on whether you count MLK Day). Many organizations only give you 6 or 7 days off though, about half of what Canada has.
Gift #2 - Radiohead has released their new album "In Rainbows" on Oct 10 2007. You can download the full album without digital rights management (DRM) off their website. Here's the kicker -- for the MP3 versions you decide what you want to pay. If you decide that you want it for free you just pay a 45 pence (Radiohead is a UK band) fee. They have lots of articles justifying this approach. It's kind of a cool idea -- maybe their experiment will finally once and for all decide what a music track is really worth. Hope they release the stats.
Take a critical look at how your company and you appear to others because they will judge you quickly.
People's perception of your professionalism is unfortunately judged by how you and your business looks. Take a look at your workspace, your dress and the way you appear to others. Is that a reflection of who you are? Does it accurately describe you?
There is a difference between looking chic and looking unkempt. I recently saw someone demo'ing a new Facebook application called DreamBook - this fellows appearance appeared to be unkempt but he was "right" for the kind of work he was doing. If he tried to sell me a 100,000 dollar system, I might balk. It is a matter of context, but you gotta represent yourself appropriately. A suit and tie or dressy clothes does not hurt when attending a client meeting, but you have to stay true to who you are.