Lots of entrepreneurs are flying solo these days, and these solopreneurs have a lot to do to get their businesses off the ground. After all, if you’re just getting started, you’re on your own, and you have to do it all. But as you gain momentum and confidence, the tasks start piling up; you need capital and marketing and relationship management, you need a website and a strategic plan and accounting, and you need just about everything else that keeps a successful business running. Eventually, you won’t be able to do it all — and you shouldn’t have to. Sooner or later, it will be time to bring on an employee or two to take on some of the load, and that means delegating tasks.
Help is always welcome, but if you’re a solopreneur, you’ve got to remember that your business is your dream, your goal, and your vision. As such, there are some things that you, as the captain of this ship, will need to take care of on your own, and that you should never delegate to another person. These are what successful entrepreneur and CPA Mel Abraham calls the CORES of business. The term is an acrostic meant to be both easy to remember and representative of how essential these components and tasks truly are. Ultimately, they are, as Abraham explains, “the things you can’t let go of.” Here’s what it all means.
C: Things that are critical to your business.
If it affects your operations or your profit, it’s your responsibility. As an entrepreneur, you probably already know this — it’s why you started a business in the first place. But it’s always good to remember that the main content creation and direction of your business is not something you want someone else to do for you. Otherwise, it’s not really yours. If you have the vision, you should be in charge of your business’s direction. You’ll be the most motivated, you’ll put the work in, and you’ll make sure it matches your dream.
O: Things that are original to your business.
What sets you apart from your competition? Your originality! Because it’s so critical to helping you stand out, it’s something that you’ll want to shape on your own. Again, if you’re a true entrepreneur at heart, you probably already have the drive to do this anyway, but you’ll want to consider it as you present your company to others and brand yourself. When it comes to your business, what does the world see? That’s up to you.
R: Things that impact your revenue.
No one’s going to be more concerned about the cash flow of your new business than you are. You understand the urgency, you understand the sustainability, and you understand that you won’t survive without it. How important is money? Well, as Zig Ziglar once said, “Money isn’t everything in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.” Tasks related to the management of money, such as bookkeeping and accounting, can be outsourced when the time is right. Still, when it comes to things that affect your revenue and your profits, you’ll want to take care of those tasks yourself.
E: Things that keep your business expanding.
All businesses start small, but truly successful businesses find a way to grow. The strategy behind that growth is ultimately up to you as the entrepreneur. And while it’s OK for others to help you with implementation once you have a plan in place, the plan should be spearheaded by you. Leave the strategizing to someone else, and you risk creating a company that doesn’t align with your original intention.
S: Things that affect your business strategy.
Speaking of strategy, that’s entirely your department as well, whether it’s related to growth or anything else. You as an entrepreneur have incredible vision and an inherent ability to identify opportunities and go after them. That’s your gift — it’s what you bring to the table, and it’s why you started all these wheels in motion. You might hire other people who are good at other things, and hopefully you can recognize their talents and put them to work for you. But determining the overall strategy for your business rests, ultimately, on your shoulders.
Strengthen your CORES!
As a solopreneur, you’ll often find that you need some help. However, you need to maintain control of your business’s CORES. These five key components are what get your business off the ground and what keep it going. It’s great if you can delegate things outside of these to talented employees, especially if you don’t have the time or the finely tuned skills to handle them yourself. The CORES, however, are yours and yours alone.