You never know when the unexpected will happen. This past weekend, my husband and I joined a client and his staff at a nearby baseball stadium to see a local Atlantic League team play. Getting out to enjoy the all-American pastime and spend some leisure time with my client created an ideal start to the Labor Day weekend. Hot dogs, screaming “Charge” at the top of our lungs, and the mascot’s antics. All fun stuff. Then…
In the fourth inning, a player hit a foul ball (a line drive) straight into a woman’s head just one row behind and seven seats to the right of where we were seated.
It came fast. It came without time to react or shout a warning. It was one of those freak accidents that happens only when you’re in the right place at the wrong time.
We were all shaken up. We feared for her well-being. We realized that could have been one of us.
Risk is present every day.
In everything we do, everywhere we go, some element of risk goes with us. I don’t say that to cause panic or paranoia. Generally, the odds are in our favor. But as my experience at the ball field illustrates, s*%t happens.
Running your own business brings risks, too.
A few risks all solopreneurs face include:
- The feast or famine cycle (periods of too much work all at once and periods of not nearly enough work).
- Losing clients to competitors with broader capabilities.
- Miscommunication with a client over a project’s scope of work or the amount of time spent on a project.
- Technical difficulties with the tools you use to produce work for your clients.
- Technical difficulties with the tools you use to promote your business.
- Computer viruses that render your laptop or desktop useless for days at a time.
- Getting stiffed by a client.
- Unjustified or unscrupulous negative online reviews.
- Missing out on a prospective client because his email landed, without you realizing it, in your spam folder.
- Missing out on an opportunity because your email landed in a prospective client’s spam folder.
Fortunately, most of the risks above can be minimized to some degree by planning ahead and doing things like…
- Getting signed agreements from clients.
- Having a savings account to carry you through lean times.
- Backing up your data.
- Communicating clearly and often with clients during projects.
- Monitoring your online reputation.
- Developing working relationships with other solopreneurs who offer complementary services.
You never know when life—or business—will throw you a curve. Your best defense? Stay alert, aware, and prepared.
By Dawn Mentzer
Another Insatiable Solopreneur™ post
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