If the first few years as a solo entrepreneur teaches you anything it’s that you can’t do it all at once. When you’re calling on potential clients or pitching your products you’re focused on making the sale. With that focus you can’t be actually delivering a service or producing more of your product.
It just makes sense … when you’re busy doing one thing, you can’t be doing another. If you’re a start-up it’s a good bet you can’t yet afford to hire someone to do one of the half dozen things you’re trying to do.
When I started my consulting practice I experienced this phenomena first hand. I’d spend time finding leads, setting meetings, and getting clients. I’d begin to deliver the work and other prospects I’d called on would call and want me to do an engagement. I didn’t have the bandwidth to do two engagements at once so I’d have to say I was unavailable. I’d finish the engagement and start all over.
If you’re in this position, you can bet that there are other start-ups either in your business or in one that’s related that are in the same position.
I solved my problem and learned how to smooth out my revenue stream by partnering with other small firms, then taking the time to learn what they offered so when I was in sales mode I could talk about a broader service offering. If I sold a project and they delivered it I got a finder’s fee and vice versa.
Regardless of the business you’re in, you can use that approach to grow your business.