I’m always looking to connect aspects of my creative profession with what other professionals do. Take commercial (or residential) painters for instance.
Driving down the highway the other day I saw a work van with the words: “Work performed by owner” on the side. At first, I wondered what that meant. Why would a small business owner want to shout this to the world?
Then it came to me. This painter wants others to know he takes personal responsibility for the work he does. When you hire him, he does the work, not a crew of minions who may or may not know what they’re doing. At least that’s the message I took away. It’s a message that inspires trust.
Instantly, I drew a connection. When customers contact my studio, I answer their questions. When I get orders on my Etsy shop, I pack and ship them. And when it’s time for client commissions or to make new things from scratch, I take them from ideas to done. I take full responsibility for the work I do. There’s no one else who gets the credit when I succeed and if I make a mistake, I own it and I fix it.
The point is, my company runs because I do the work. I don’t buy clip art to cut corners on illustrations. I don’t hire out design or production work when I have a client project. And if I need a hand-drawn font for a project, I look for ways to make it before I’ll buy it. Whether I’m working on a commission or just making things for fun, it’s all me.
You might be the same in your own ways. Your work is performed by you. We need to shout this to the world, letting others know we give our supporters personalized attention while delivering our best work.
Thoughts? Have you found being a one-person business to be a competitive advantage? In what way?