If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less. - General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
- When I was in my late twenties, I quit my job and decided to go in with a partner to start up a boutique web consulting practice.
- Over our first two years in business, we grew from struggling to find jobs to building an expert-level team and increasing the quality of the projects we took on. We realized we needed to focus on specific roles, so we created job descriptions and started focusing on what we individually did best.
- By year three, we were hiring others to do other tasks.
- By year four, we started to charge more. We produced two books. Each subsequent year saw another two books on the topical matter we focused on.
- By year five, we were reaching out directly to the people we wanted to work with (fair trade, organic, green, sustainable, eco-friendly, woman-owned, minority-owned businesses).
- Now we're in our sixth year of developing websites.
How have we evolved?
We are doing more equity partnerships (splitting the cost of developing a website in exchange for a share of the profits). We run two online communities. We are a part of multiple affiliate programs, advertising programs, and online stores. We always are on the lookout for promising social networks where we may find other allies.
We continuously evolve with our business.
Here are four ways you can choose to evolve with your own green business:
1) Develop a roles and responsibilities chart. You may be the only person fulfilling all those roles right now, but imagine what specific tasks are necessary at each phase of your process
2) Consider what happens if you get "hit by a bus." If you were not personally involved with the business, how would it continue forward? The answers to this question may give you insight into opportunities for you to convert your personal involvement into rents, royalties, patents, or publications, instead of keeping your skills locked up inside your head.
Create a process.
A checklist is a great way to take all your processes and put them into one concise list. When you create business processes, you have an ability to exit the company without being inextricably involved with every detail of the process. Your business process finds bottlenecks and replaces them with effective solutions.
3) Set aside time to explore trends in your industry. Many new products and services arise out of direct customer feedback. Listen to your clients and learn more about what's going on in the larger picture of your geographic region or specialty product or niche knowledge area.
4) Invest in personal and professional development. You are the one who brings value to the company. Your co-workers, staff, and teammates are the ones who bring value to the company — invest in their education and training and they will bring back additional ideas to grow your business.
Here's to your success.
Monica S. Flores of is committed to educating, empowering, and connecting women in business — she believes in the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits. She is available for consulting on web development, green business practices, and women in business.