Business Planning Considerations: Capabilities of Sole Proprietors
If you’re the boss and entire staff of a one-person company, you may wonder what all this talk about capabilities has to do with your business planning or your success. The answer: Plenty. The same issues that confront big companies apply to your business — just on a smaller scale.
Here’s how a freelance computer-networking specialist adapted the descriptions of each capability to fit her situation:
Research and development: This capability involves staying current with new software and hardware technologies by completing online training and certification programs.
Operations: This capability involves billing, accounting, scheduling, and an answering service to field calls and help customers reach me in emergency situations.
Marketing: This capability includes business cards, stationery, and a website that’s competitive and current. It also includes my ability to network and to make calls and presentations to prospective clients.
Distribution and delivery: This capability includes getting to and from client meetings and having the right equipment and software in the right place at the right time.
Customer service: This capability involves establishing working relationships with clients who have information technology needs and creating loyalty through excellent service.
Management: This capability includes the ability to set and reach goals and objectives and to maintain a sense of direction and vision, as well as the ability to be one’s own boss.
Organization: This capability involves contracting for accounting, secretarial, and other support services.
Financial condition: This capability means having funds for computer hardware, software, testing equipment, cash to stay afloat until invoices are paid, a financial cushion, and a satisfactory salary and benefits.