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Supplies and Demands

Handling the administrative side of your business can be a culture shock.

By Eileen Figure Sandlin

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It's the first Monday morning of your new life as aself-employed business owner. Your nameplate from your old corneroffice now has a place of honor in your den. Your computer is firedup, and your Mont Blanc pen is ready for action next to your blankappointment book. So now what?

If you're used to having support staff at your beck and callto handle matters large and small, you could be in for a real joltof culture shock on your first solo day. "If you're not ahands-on person [and you] only know how to delegate, the transitionto self-employment can be tough," says John Zambelli, 61, whowas previously COO of a retail menswear chain and now owns, anElmwood, New Jersey-based company selling natural and holistic petproducts. "I've seen many executives who are spoiledrotten and would say, 'What, me, make copies?' But whenyou're not in the ivory tower anymore, you've got to getreal, fast."

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