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Operations Manuals – a How to from Kelli of Even Keel Ops

Operations Manuals: a How To | Jenn Wells Design

Full disclosure, Kelli is my BBF (business best friend). I would be sharing her stuff with you regardless but this post I specifically requested because Kelli’s video on setting up your operations manual made a huge difference to the way I organize and run my business.

Here’s Kelli…

Your business is starting to gain traction, and you’re stoked. You’ve learned all about business finances, email marketing, and sales funnels. You’re hitting your business goals each month, and you can’t wait to see what comes next.

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Business vs “Busy-ness”

Header Business vs Busy-ness | Jenn Wells Design

Everyone is busy.

It always shocks me when I come across someone who seems to think “busy” is a novel way to answer the question, “How have you been?”  We’re slowly becoming aware of the drawbacks of being constantly busy, but it’s still often seen as a badge of honor.  It makes us feel important, or special, or deserving of praise and sympathy.  But the truth is, busy is a choice that the majority of us are constantly making.

Parents are busy, students are busy, people who run clubs or organize societies are busy.  I know literally one person who has ever told me that she’s not busy.  And it was a very deliberate choice on her part to avoid the constant temptation of activities and invitations.

So, fellow business owners, we are far from alone in our levels of “busy.”  But that’s not the main point I want to make today.

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My Objections to Multi-Level Marketing

“Isn’t that a pyramid scheme?”

You can imagine how enraged a coworker was, after I naively asked this question about his wife’s new business.  He gave me a rundown on multi-level marketing which, frankly, left me a little confused about the difference between the two, but gave me the verbiage I needed to not offend other MLMers.

My personal opinion has wavered.  Initially I was wary, and maybe a little frustrated at the explosion of advertising in my Facebook newsfeed by family and friends.  Then it started to seem like a good opportunity to get into entrepreneurship for people who might not have the initiative or capital to strike out on their own.

And now…

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5 Misconceptions About Working for Yourself (at Home)

 

5 Misconceptions About Working for Yourself (at Home) | Jenn Wells Design

“But you set your own hours, so you can make time to do whatever you want.”

If you’re self employed, I’m sure you’ve heard this.  And other, equally annoying, misconceptions.

It can be frustrating, as a small business owner, to explain what you do and how you do it.  You have to explain that working for yourself is still a job, and not every task is enjoyable, even though you’re choosing to do them.

Sometimes you feel like you can never complain.  After all, you chose this…

So let’s address some of those misconceptions and how to explain them to well-meaning friends and family.

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My Business Ethics Manifesto

People often say they want to make an impact, make their mark, effect change, etc.  But what does that actually mean?

The actions each individual takes may differ but the underlying desire is the same.  To leave the world better than we found it.  People who want to create change in the world see a problem and then take steps to improve it, instead of complaining and continuing on about their day.

I recently read an amazing article over at Yes and Yes about building ethics into your business.  I’ve had some vague ideas about values that were important to me, in and outside of my business, but I’ve never vocalized it or built it into my mission statement.  Remedying that now!

Jenn Wells Design Code of Business Ethics

1. Giving Back

I currently donate $25/month to the Nurse Family Partnership, and another $15 to various causes that are important to me.  I’m going to keep that auto-payment, because it’s easy and I don’t have to think about it.  But I’m also going to contribute 10% of my profits, because I want my successes to contribute to the world and not just my wallet.

2. Atmosphere of Inclusiveness

With a company of one (plus a few contractors) there’s not a lot I can do about this, BUT as a graphic designer I do create visuals that go out into the world.  So it’s my job, along with everyone else in the visual communications field, to create imagery that shows diversity.  To me that means trying to include a mix of races and ages in the stock photos I purchase.  It means broadening the definition of what a business person or a teacher or a parent looks like.

3. Selling with Integrity

I use and believe strongly in soft sales techniques.  One-on-one conversation, building relationships, and providing value through this blog and my social channels.  I don’t use scare tactics, hide prices, try to pressure clients into a sale, or present false choices.  I do present options, represent myself and my capabilities honestly, and focus on the client’s best interests rather than my own.