If you’re struggling to make a transition from employment to self-employment, you may need to rethink your idea of work. Employed people have the luxury of working with the company clients. You get to spend all your time assuring that they get all the customer service they need to be happy. When you strike out on your own, you need to provide customer service plus getting the customers you need to stay afloat and pay the bills.

 If you’re spending all your time working with individual clients, you are providing great service, but you are working in your business. You are acting like an employee. To act like a businessperson, and grow your business competitively, you need to work on your business as well.

 This means working on marketing and planning – also key to your long-term success.

 Ask yourself whether you have a marketing plan. Small businesses that develop and use marketing plans enjoy higher sales volumes than those businesses that don’t.

 I have a work-from-home resume business. I publish an ad in the local newspaper advertising my services. Recently, the phone stopped ringing. I wondered whether  everyone was happily employed and I worked myself out of a job. I wondered if the change in the labour market mean that all one needs to get a job is their name and number scribbled on a piece of butcher paper?

 I thought I might need to change my marketing plan and work on my business. If To stay working in my business, I would be waiting forever for the phone to ring.

 I’m lucky. I have a few hundred clients on file whom I suspect are happy ones. I could get some answers to this question by approaching them with follow-up questions. In following up, I could get an indication whether they were successful, whether they need to upgrade, and whether I can offer them something else – for example, coaching.

 Interestingly, my former clients responded. One said his resume was too good, and he got a job right away, thus prematurely curtailing his period do unemployment. Two phoned to say he wanted one for his spouse.

 By following this plan, I worked on my business, and created more business for myself, hopefully setting myself apart from my competition. I got information that may help me change my marketing plan – to follow up.

 At least, it gives me something to do while waiting for the phone to ring.

 Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He also does some work as a field Archaeologist. He is also a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive

You can reach him at home at or at re looking for a change, start with a resume makeover at competitive rates

When he is not doing all the above, he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia


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