Coming from a Corporate background, within a team of 17 and managing 3 people myself I would clearly be an expert when it comes to building a team, knowing the right people in the right places and more importantly who wouldn’t be a good fit (after interviewing a number of people, including those for my own job I wish this had happened before I ever had an interview myself, you learn a lot!) Going alone is different, very different. Especially when you need a team around you and you have no money to pay yourself let alone anyone else.
This is one of those times when you go round and round in circles until one of your best friends makes a comment that they are a photographer (I knew this, they were our wedding photographer!) and you have a lightbulb moment. An obvious, oh my word, why did I not think of this beforehand, I must be thick, lightbulb moment.
I then spent 10 minutes making a list of what I need and then, put next to it who I know. Since networking this list has obviously grown and changed but it is amazing how much information and help there is out there for free.
As I mentioned in my post about accountants, there is advice out there for free and yes, you can spend hours googling people but how do you know if they are real, reliable and will help you with your own business. When you set up it feels like you are constantly receiving e-mails and snail mail with offers of help – great, but not everyone is as honest as you are.
Anyway, back to my list. To give myself some focus I wrote down what I needed to get going or, at this point, build some contacts so I could improve on the basics I had…..
Website – So I could master the free sites but wanted something a bit more, someone mentioned I would need a ‘coder’- bonus, my cousin does coding. Sorted! Paid in dinners….
Photos – As above, my best mate’s a photographer, I owe her big already so adding to the tab….
Business Advice – Anyone I know with their own business, I asked so many people so many questions and some the same questions. Have a think and there are loads of people who have their own businesses – this includes self-employed people who are often not considering as running a business.
Accountant – Found via networking but still asked more than 1 for advice as the opinions do vary but figures are fact.
Someone to bounce crazy ideas off – Also mentioned previously, my best mate Sara, who runs Balanced Life, she is so used to my random questions and I know I’ll get an honest opinion which I always need.
“Competitors” – One of the things people will tell you is to look at your competition. Yes, I am a happy, positive, scatty girl, I admit it and so, do not see anyone as “competition”. There are over 64 million people in the UK so plenty of clients to go around, it is also great that I have joined Apdo UK as we have a closed Facebook group where everyone shares information and can ask questions. It’s so friendly and people recommend others and pass clients on which is awesome, you feel like you’re working as your own team.
It can be lonely working on your own and when I am either bookkeeping, database cleansing or updating social media I can go a bit fuzzy eyed and slightly crazy if am sat on my own in front of the laptop for too long. This is where networking helps as well as twitter / e-mail / Facebook as you find that there are so many people in the same situation they need a breather too. I also book in meetings (coffees!) to break up the day if I know it will be a long one.
This is the bonus of working for yourself, you manage your own time and can chat to whoever you want! For those who can’t work alone you can rent offices or desks where others are in the same boat so it can even feel like a big company office – without the politics!
So I’ve found there are so many ways to create my own team, whether I need help with something or just company, it is a world away from working within a large Corporate team but is still a team just a different way of working and it suits me perfectly.