Maintenance vs. Expansion tasks for Solopreneur Businesses

by Michele on November 23, 2011

Solopreneurs have to both grow and maintain their business

Maintenance vs. expansion tasks for solopreneurs

As a solopreneur, there are a lot of tasks that need to be done just to keep the business running.  These include things like answering emails, filling orders, posting to social media, blogging, etc.  There are also tasks that build or expand your business to the next level of sales.   Expansion projects need to be carefully nurtured and kept in the forefront of your awareness so they keep moving ahead.

The problem with expansion projects is that we humans have a strong tendency to want everything NOW!   We see other people with much fuller business structures than our own, and know we could thrill all the new customers we’d get if only we had all those things in place.  Add to this the almost addictive pull we entrepreneurs feel toward new ideas and we have a recipe for getting nothing done.   We may have many grand, beautiful projects in the works but nothing is actually done and making money.  An expansion project is done once it’s part of your maintenance routine.  For example, if you decide to add video to your marketing, you’ll need to do the initial set up on various sites, get familiar with your camera and the upload procedure, craft a strategy, etc.   Once you are in the groove of shooting and uploading video, it’s just another maintenance task.

I often work with solopreneurs who are in the midst of several big expansion projects.  I have done this to myself before.  The key thing is realistic limits on what you can do.   Ideally, take on just one expansion project at a time.  Complete it, tweak it, optimize it and then put it neatly to bed by adding it to your maintenance routine.   If the projects are small or are prone to stopping and starting because of other people, then you may need more than one expansion project going on all the time just to keep moving ahead.  You may also want more than one if you get bored easily or if the project has a lot of boring parts.  It may help keep you motivated if you only have to work on the boring parts for a short burst of time every day.

The thing to avoid at all costs is to take on more expansion projects than you can handle.  If your business isn’t project management, then managing and juggling many projects should not be a huge part of your day.  Take it easy on yourself and build your business in a healthy, sustainable manner.   Think marathon, not sprint.

Have you ever bitten off more than you could chew in new projects for your business?  How did it work out?   How did you handle it?  Leave a comment and tell me about it.

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