Are you Duct-Taping your Business Together? - Christine Kane

Are you Duct-Taping your Business Together?At first, it’s kind of fun.

You offer this thing you do.  Someone buys it. A business is born.

Then you try something else. That works too.  Your business grows.

After a while, there’s no time to plan because things are rolling along too quickly.  Too much to do now.

So, you hire someone because you need someone. She doesn’t want to work the hours you need.  And hey, you don’t have the time to post the ad again, so you adjust your needs to meet her schedule.

Then you give a client a discounted rate because he asked, and hey, why not?  He’s a nice guy and he was one of the first people to pay you.

Your website designer is actually your brother-in-law who doesn’t make the fixes you need because he has another job in data management, so you have to wait for him to be available.

Your business – this passion of yours – gets duct taped together over time.

And when something goes wrong, it’s a big deal.  You never learned how to look at the source of the problem, so you just put more duct tape on it.

The assistant leaves, and you hire someone else mediocre.

Your low-paying client says he will have to leave if you charge him more, so you keep letting him make the rules.

Your brother in law gets upset when you tell him you may have to find someone else – so you just let things teeter along.

Here’s the thing.

At some point, you’ll have to decide if you want to continue to slap things together with a temporary fix or if your business is worth having what you want and being strategic about getting it.   This is an important threshold.  Not everyone makes it.  After all, it’s easier to not be clear.  No one gets threatened and no line gets drawn when you’re not clear.

So, what do you do?

Start by finding your biggest drains, what’s causing you the most pain in your day-to-day work.

Then, be brave enough to create criteria and standards for exactly what you want in each of those areas.

After that, settle for nothing less.

Sound simple?  It is. But it’s not always easy.

You may be waiting for the world to honor the work you do before you’ll take it seriously enough to bring in real resources and real support.

But it’s the other way around.

It starts inside of you.

Take your business seriously with your clarity, and by not settling for any quick fixes no matter what.

You’ll be amazed at what happens.

  • Carrie

    Christine, thank you so much for this article! When I read it last week after it arrived in my inbox, I thought ‘this is great, I must remember this advice’. Then yesterday I got tested on it! And I am pleased to say that I stuck to my prices and didn’t let a client guilt-trip me into lower my price for her because I could tell it would escalate into always giving her a discount (this was going to be her second purchase from me). I trust I will attract the customers who are willing to pay what I am worth!
    Thank you so much, you really helped me find the courage to stand up for myself.

  • Wendy

    And if I am not willing to hire, and pay for, the quality of help I know I need, then what am I saying to the Universe about my business, and the quality of my own service to the world?

    It’s not pretty. And it’s definitely not the message I WANT to send.

    Not to mention, I am always preaching to the women whose paths I cross that they must, must, MUST ask for what they are worth. That message would ring hollow if I didn’t want to PAY them what they are worth, wouldn’t it?

    Great post, Christine. Thank you!

  • Dori

    Spot on! This is what happens when you try to save $! I’m not going to spend a ton of $ on my website and logo like the last business, I said. I’m going to ask friends and family, instead of the guy who did a really good job, I said. I’m going to hire a VA, I said, not knowing that she still had a full-time day job and couldn’t do what I asked in the time frame specified. And then there was the delay with the business cards….

    Moral of the story: You get what you pay for. My last biz didn’t have any of these hitches because I spent the $ and hired the right people.