There is a cornucopia of material out there about the difficulties of running a business, covering the obvious like financing, selling, marketing, hiring, firing, buying services/products, etc. Well, you know, everything that becoming and maintaining a successful business entails.
But not so many tell you how isolating it can be if it’s just you, yourself and you day-in, day-out. Or maybe they do, but you don’t think it will happen to you.
Ok, so you might like your own company just fine or really don’t want to play with others for the most part. You might be an absolute ‘no-people’ person. But what happens when you do actually want or need to see another adult human and generally want the vibe of a multi-person working environment for a few hours?
Sure, there’s always your local coffee shop option and there’s nothing wrong with knowing your favourite barista’s life story, but it can become expensive. And just how much do you actually like being jostled by pushchairs, escaping children running in-between the tables or having to endure shopping bags banging against you as you try to put together your proposal to a potential client.
You might want to consider renting a small office space in a business centre, but that may be cost-prohibitive right now, especially if you’re just starting out. So, here are three great business-focussed ways that will help you overcome that feeling of isolation for a few hours or days and maybe even give you a renewed sense of loving what you do.
Chances are that there’s a Facebook group for whatever profession you’re in and there’ll usually be at least a couple of groups for your location. Many of them arrange coffee or lunch meetups locally or even co-working days. It’s great for when you want to exchange ideas or learn from your peers, especially when you can vent your frustrations about a particular project or client. They might be able to help you work out how to overcome some of these challenges. Just talking about the challenge, may help you work it out yourself!
It’s trial and error sometimes trying to find the right networking or business group to suit your needs, but don’t give up. Join one. As daunting as going out and meeting people you may never have spoken to before is, you never know what making that one good contact can lead to. Most groups have a membership fee, but some groups like The Growth Co (for Greater Manchester) offer free events and workshops throughout the year. Also consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce, although they do charge for membership, they can be an invaluable source of connecting you to the right people to help your business grow.
Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself first. Tell people what you do and give them your contact details.
There are also several sector-specific networking groups out there.
Workshops are also a great way to meet new people in your profession, because you all want to learn something new from a respected peer and you’ll make potentially useful long-term contacts.
When renting an office space is not an option, purpose-built co-working spaces (or hotdesking facilities as they were originally known) are ideal for popping into when you still want a professional environment without the major outlay of having office or meeting room facilities being available to you.
These spaces are more in demand now throughout the country and all provide varying degrees of services and comfort. Daily charges start from as little as £15, depending on the location and your needs, but it’s well worth giving this a go.
You won’t have someone else’s little darlings running around while you’re trying to finish your client’s project. Equally, you don’t have to interact with anyone if you don’t want to, but there’ll still be that buzz of professional activity around you and sometimes that’s all you need to satisfy that human contact element.
So, why is Cariocca, an office service provider giving you tips on how to beat the solo working blues? We’re glad you asked!
We know that getting out and meeting new people is not easy for everyone, especially if social situations stir up feelings of anxiety; or you actually have to think about changing out of your comfy pyjamas (Come on…! You know it’s true!) But, take a chance. Your mental well-being is important to your business success.