If you’re offering a service, here’s the problem.
People come to you for your specific consulting service and they know you, they trust you, they love you and all as well. It doesn’t sound like a problem, but at this point you can’t claim to own a business- you’re a freelancer. You’re the face of the business and everything your clients know and trust. This is great if you have no future plans for keeping operations running without you at the helm.
But have you tried to take a vacation?
Have thought about selling the business, or at any point put someone else in front of the client? While you’ve made the business more human and relatable you simply can’t step away and expect the client to hold the same enthusiasm with an employee or co-worker. As long as the client identifies you as the face of the business, then you haven’t established an identity for the business that’s independent and distinguishable from your own.
Take a step back and decide where you want to direct yourself in the future- if you want clients to continue to do business with you, or at least see no interruption in service, then it’s best to invest in a brand identity for your business. It’s more than just creating a logo and printing it on all your letterheads, a brand is about quality of service and an idea that’s integral to your core philosophy. That means when you put new employees in front of a client, the quality of service should consistently reflect that idea.
Here’s the best part. When you do this, you create an asset, something of value, that you can sell or keep, share or build upon. You’ve created a name that people associate with an idea and you’re not just performing your services for a fee.
You’re a business owner.