We were all up into working on the next generation of Blinksale (about which, much more later in the coming weeks), and it was clear that we were talking about way more than invoicing. We started really looking hard at the entire workflow solo service providers and microbusiness leaders go through as they prospect, win, service and bill for their products & services.
As I looked at that cycle, I wondered aloud at who is really talking about the unique challenges microbiz owners face? My friend Stephen Anderson and I talk about this all the time: that when you start working for yourself, the least complicated thing is the actual work that you’re great at doing. It’s all the other stuff that becomes such a challenge.
So, where is the Peter Drucker for microbusiness?
Jason Fried, founder of design shop-turned-product powerhouse 37Signals, writes frequently about lessons learned as he works on growing his small firm. Many of the posts from their long-running blog Signal vs. Noise, made their way into Getting Real, a self-published book on their design process and management ideas. The 37s have recast Getting Real into a new book aimed at all small businesses, and it’s set to publish this coming March.
You can certainly find microbiz expertise in small chunks all over the Web. Gary Vaynerchuk churns out videos constantly sharing lessons he learned in growing a multi-million dollar wine retailer. Copyblogger is a great resource for improving your online appeals. Joel Spolsky writes about hiring, workflow and product lessons he’s gleaned running a small development shop. Fred Wilson’s blog is a play-by-play on how he thinks through investment scenarios for his five or six person VC firm, Union Square Ventures. If you look hard enough, you’ll find lots of people sharing a little bit while they work on their own thing.
So, maybe, that’s the answer. You’re the microbusiness experts. You. The freelancers, the groups of independents working together to build something, the teams of five. Or, gasp, the ten or so who manage to run something as game-changing as Craigslist. The story of great microbusinesses is being told all around us, a little day by day. Just not in one, easy-to-find spot.
So, Blinkbits. We’ll find & bring you great stories, tips, tools and tactics you can use to make your microbusiness more awesome. More rewarding. More profitable. If you have ideas of your own you want to share, or things you’d like to hear more about, let us know.