It’s getting more and more difficult to operate small ventures as solo proprietorships. Going solo and “being your own boss,” sounds awesome and offers the promise of great rewards and individual satisfaction. Those concepts appealed to me personally for many years.

There’s a problem. Finding initial funding, developing a detailed business plan, and understanding the local laws and regulations impacting your venture is a huge challenge for any one person. Worse, in today’s economy, we often find ourselves competing with large commercial ventures offering greatly discounted pricing in markets where price sensitive customers find it difficult to pay for basic services or products. A prime example is a small, local grocery store finding itself in competition with the local “Big Box” retailer. But the same can be said for many types of enterprises these days.

In such a challenging environment, we small entrepreneurs need to rethink our often very individualistic approaches. Perhaps we are overestimating the “being our own boss” stuff and underestimating the potential benefits and satisfaction in working with and building our visions around “Smart Teams” of colleagues, suppliers and customers, all working toward one goal: providing and receiving the benefit of quality services or products wanted by customers at affordable prices, sufficient to be the basis of an economically self-sustaining business and economy.

For my part, I will be turning my consulting focus to local community development using partnership, cooperative and other “Smart Team” organizations that want to “partner” with their suppliers and customers in building relationships that will benefit all constituencies.

Future Blog Posts will explore real life examples. Stay tuned.