Being an intrepid solopreneur can be an amazingly rewarding experience for business-minded individuals who seek to go it alone. Unlike traditional entrepreneurs, solopreneurs handle all aspects of the business themselves and outsource certain tasks to contractors when they need help.
The reason why many solopreneurs prefer to fly solo is they have complete control over every aspect of the business, and they also get to reap all the benefits and rewards of their hard work and investment. It’s an unparalleled feeling of accomplishment and self-reward that is hard to replicate another way.
But, solopreneurs have many challenges to face as well. Because they won’t be hiring on-staff help, they must shoulder the load for every aspect of the business. This can result in a lot of pressure and possibly stress if you’re not prepared and/or don’t respond properly.
Luckily, avoiding potential pitfalls is easier than you may think. The following tips will surely help you on your journey to be a great solopreneur.
10 Tips for Intrepid Solopreneurs
Just because you will be the only person responsible for your business doesn’t mean you don’t need to be official. In fact, it is very important that as a solopreneur, you set up the proper organizational structure.
Most solopreneurs will choose to establish an LLC (or a Limited Liability Company). This is the best option for most solopreneurs. Doing so will protect you from certain liabilities that come with running a business (of any size) and will remove any unnecessary financial pressure.
You will use your LLC to conduct all of your business, financial and otherwise, and will file for federal and state taxes using it. As an LLC, you will not only receive legal protections, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of certain tax incentives of owning a business.
One of the most attractive aspects of being a solopreneur is that you have the freedom to completely make your own schedule. There are no employees who may be relying on you for help and guidance during a traditional 9-to-5 workday, and it’s likely that the work you do isn’t constrained by “normal” business hours.
As such, it’s important that you take advantage of this freedom and find a schedule that works for you. If you are a night owl, don’t be afraid to sleep in later than most and crank out your work at night. If you’re better in the mornings, you can do the reverse. If you want to take off on a Wednesday, you’ll have the ability to do so without fear of falling behind.
You can also arrange your schedule for what works best for your family if you have one. If you need to pick up your kids from school, you can (and should) do that.
One of the main challenges of being a solopreneur is that you won’t have people on staff to help you with the mundane tasks. That’s why it’s important that you try to automate as many of these tasks as possible so that you can focus on the more important aspects of your business.
Today, technology has made it easier than ever to automate things such as marketing, sorting emails and sending invoices. By integrating as many automation tools as you can, you’ll be freeing yourself up to be more productive.
Just because you’re a solopreneur doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend money outsourcing certain aspects of your business. In fact, doing so is one of the most effective ways to drive your business forward.
When your business reaches a level where it’s becoming more than you can handle on your own, consider hiring contractors or freelancers to help you with things such as:
- Marketing (writing blogs and social media posts)
- Accounting (balancing your books and preparing tax documents)
- Billing (creating invoices and collecting money)
The money you spend on contractors will often result in a very positive return on investment.
Perhaps the only people who can truly understand all that goes into being a solopreneur are other solopreneurs. Establishing a connection with others like you can be a great way to give you perspective and insight.
In addition, you may be able to establish a mutually-beneficial professional relationship with another solopreneur. For example, if you’re a writer, maybe you can trade your skills with an accountant. You could handle the accountant’s blog writing, for instance, while they handle your books.
When you’re working for someone else, or if you’re running a business with employees, it’s easy to set goals and hold the team accountable to them. Most traditional offices nowadays even have whiteboards in rooms that outline these goals and then update the progress toward reaching them.
As a solopreneur, it’s easy to set goals, but it can be difficult to hold yourself accountable to them. One way to counteract this is to operate as if you were in a traditional office environment.
A good recommendation is to set specific goals for yourself on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. Explicitly write out these goals on a pad of paper or a whiteboard that hangs near your desk. Then, update your progress toward achieving all of these goals.
Having these goals written out will make it easier for you to see your progress and hold yourself accountable.
Learn here how to write a goal-setting plan
Since you’ll be handling every aspect of your business as a solopreneur, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with all you have to do – and to jump from one task to the next in a haphazard fashion. One way you can prevent this from happening is to create a To-Do List, focus on one thing at a time, and prioritize your tasks.
This is something that you should do every day. No matter what hours you’ll be working that day, make yourself a priority list for each task you need to accomplish, and then work from the top down. Whatever you can’t get to that day can be moved to the top of the list for the next day.
As a solopreneur you’re responsible for all aspects of your business. But when you need financial help, make sure you have the right lender to turn to. In fact, as a solopreneur, obtaining a business loan can be one of the best ways to vault your business forward.
Just because you are flying solo doesn’t mean you have to go it alone: when you need to secure financing to help your business, Camino Financial can be one of your best resources. We help support solopreneurs beyond just simple loans. We provide solopreneurs with personal assistance, educational tools, and resources to help them grow their business. You’ll find in us financial partner and an ally on your path to success.
Marketing is key to any business, but it’s especially so when you’re a solopreneur. Because you won’t have anyone helping you do this (at least not any on-staff employees), the onus will be on you to get the word out.
Don’t stop there, though. Diversify your marketing efforts. Establish business connections with others in your industry. Join a professional organization.
Because you aren’t tied down to an office with a team of employees, you’ll have the ability to work from wherever you want to. While the most logical place for this would be a home office, it’s also great to change your scenery every once in a while.
Feel like you want to be around other people in an inspiring environment? Head to your local coffee shop. Is it a beautiful day outside? Head out back or to a local park.
Creating a new environment can be a great way to muster up inspiration if you’ve hit a wall.
Being a solopreneur can be a very rewarding experience. In addition to having the ability to make all the decisions and reaping all the benefits, you’ll be able to make your own schedule, take on projects you want and pave your own road.
By following these 10 tips above, you’ll be well on your way to achieving success as a solopreneur. For more tips, resources, and information, read this article on 15 Tips for Women Entrepreneurs. Whether you’re a woman or a man, you’ll be able to glean tips to help you succeed.