Top 10 challenges faced by sole traders

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4. Networking

 

 

Isolation is an easy trap for the self-employed to fall into. When you’re working long hours on your business, it can be hard to find the time to connect with others, even if you can aid growth by doing so.

 

Networking with others is something that can take many different forms. It can be with a mentor for some formal advice, a potential business partner or simply a friend or member of your family who will buy you a drink and listen to you unload your work day to them.

 

The solution?

 

“First, make a list of your key customers so that you can ring them and ask how things are going. Ask who is buying from them, what else they are purchasing and what comments they have made about your product or service,” says Shelton.

 

“Next, make contact with shops or customers who may be on your list to expand your business, go to see them and ask the same questions. Concentrate on the ways that your product or service fits in with other market opportunities.”

 

“Third, find the small business networks in your neighbourhood, such as the local traders association or the chamber of commerce, and invest a little time in building business networks.”

 

“Fourth, use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to let people know what you are doing and to exchange ideas and information to keep you at the front line of start-up activity.”

 

“Finally, use StartupSmart and SmartCompany mentors as a source of support and challenge so that you stay in touch with their ways of adding value to your business and keep up with the latest in entrepreneurial endeavours.”

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