Do You Have A Job or A Business?

by Jane Button on December 18, 2009

How I Turned My JOB into a Business in 5 Simple Steps

image1When I started my first company, I actually created a JOB for myself, all the time thinking I had started a business. It took me awhile but I finally discovered there was a huge difference between creating a JOB and creating a Business. And until I became aware of the difference my company grew slowly and I could not figure out why that was. I had a great product and it seemed like everyone loved it? Why was it not growing faster?
 
A big light bulb went on in my head when I landed my first big order with Nordstom. I arranged for a meeting with one of their buyers to show my line of knitted hats for the fall season. When I arrived with my samples there were buyers from 3 different departments! I was completely surprised. And what happened next was magical. 
 
The buyers asked if I could make sweaters too! I said yes (even though I had no samples and had to make up prices – making quick calculations in my head) and I walked away with a $40,000 order to be delivered in 4 months.
 
As a design entrepreneur you can imagine my delight if not pure joy! And you can also imagine my dilemma: I had no yarn ordered, no sizing or patterns made up for the sweaters, no knitters (except me) and only a rudimentary understanding of how long this process was going to take.
 
             I learned very quickly I needed to become a Business.  
 
From that moment I knew I was driven by the design process, inspiration and the vision of the company. If I was ever going to make the money and have the profit I wanted I had to get out of my own way and work on my business not in my business.
 
Here are 5 Simple Steps I took immediately to turn my JOB into a Business so I could do what I wanted to do by being the Visionary and the Designer:
 
1. Wrote instructions on all the patterns. As each pattern was created (by me at the time) I wrote down step by step procedures. In my case it was machine knitted sweaters or hats. I created a basic pattern template and then sized it up or down.
     a. Each size had measurements drawn out in a FLAT pattern
     b. Each sweater had directions for pattern placement
     c. Instructions were written for each basic body style with clear directions
     d. Color charts were made for each design
     e. Photos were taken of any process that might not be clear
     f.  Photos were taken of the final finished product
     g. Swatches were knit of to give the knitter a sample of gauge
 
2. Created Instructions for Finishing Techniques. Since finishing was a separate process from knitting (or creation of the product) I clearly defined finishing procedures and expectations.  This came with photos and descriptions of how the finished product needed to look in order to pass inspection for quality control.
 
3. Quality Control procedures written out and documented.
 
4. Set up Accounting procedures in Quick Books:
     a. Created a chart of accounts with the help of my accountant
     b. Wrote out procedures for using QBs for creating purchase orders for raw materials; receiving goods from vendors; creating inventory for finished goods; order entry; billing customers; receiving payments
 
5. Shipping and Packing instructions
     a. Instructions on how items were to be packaged whether using plastic bags, tissue paper, adding hang    tags or other materials used in the process.
     b. Creation of the shipping label and documents
     c.  Special instructions for certain high volume stores – as Nordstrom
     d. Shipping procedures for each shipping company i.e. USPS or UPS etc.
 
 
What I know now that I didn't know then was that I was creating systems. Systems for all the actions I could either do myself or delegate to someone else without explaining the process each time I delegated a job. I could just hand out the printed sheet for that particular process and say, "..here, this is how we do it!"
 
Later on we developed all sorts of other systems and a complete company Operations Manual.  I credit this first realization with how I went from cottage industry to Multi-Million dollar sales in a relatively short period of time considering I had no past business experience.
 
You can easily apply my model to your business. Even though you may think you are too small to implement this, I encourage to you to test it out and guarantee it will save you TIME & MONEY. You will be amazed at your results and how easily you can learn to delegate, which is the only way you will be able to create a business instead of a JOB.

© 2009 Jane Button International Design2Market Success

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