Updated: May 18, 2021
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There are currently 41.8 million solopreneurs in the U.S. contributing over $1.3 trillion annually to the economy. Being a solopreneur is associated with numerous benefits. However, the journey to success is fraught with challenges. To reach the success that you desire, you should understand these challenges and have a solid strategy for overcoming them. So what can you do to build a thriving solo enterprise?
Here’s what to know.
WHAT IS A SOLOPRENEUR?
Simply put, a solopreneur is a self-employed person who sets up, runs and works on a business on their own over the long term. Because solopreneurs do not have the support of a co-founder or employees on payroll, they perform all duties related to the business alone. As such, they are basically responsible for the success or failure of the business.
One of the key differences between solopreneurs and entrepreneurs is that the latter do not necessarily manage all aspects of their business alone. In short, all solopreneurs are entrepreneurs but not all entrepreneurs are solopreneurs.
COMMON CHALLENGES SOLOPRENEURS FACE
It is not easy being a solopreneur. As a solo business owner, you have to bear the burden of running the business individually. Below are some challenges you are likely to encounter.
A WORKFORCE OF ONE
When managing a business alone, you wear many hats. You will be responsible for recordkeeping, invoices, taxes, and communications among other duties. Because you are the entire crew, there is a good chance that you will get overwhelmed by functions. This can make it difficult to catch and correct mistakes. You will also not get any objective feedback on your performance.
Every business needs new customers to grow and succeed. However, when running a business single-handedly, it will take time to find clients. You may face challenges when it comes to reaching out to new clients and following up with prospects. Without the right expertise and experience, it will also be difficult to make a personal connection with clients.
The flexibility associated with self-employment can be a disadvantage. With so many things to do and a finite amount of time, managing time effectively to ensure you complete tasks promptly can be difficult. When working from home, you have to constantly fight the temptation to get distracted or lose focus.
As a sole entrepreneur, you do not have the security of a steady paycheck. Also, it takes time to build up a regular flow of work, meaning you are likely to have periods of no work. Without proper financial planning, this can lead to cash flow constraints and threaten the survival of the business.
AN ISOLATING WORKSPACE
It is easy to become isolated as you try to handle everything on your own. A sense of loneliness may creep in especially if you work from home and have no partners or employees to talk to. In case you do not practice self-care, you could face serious mental health challenges.
TIPS FOR BEING A SUCCESSFUL SOLOPRENEUR
Going it alone as a solopreneur can seem daunting. However, with the right mindset, self-motivation and hard work, your journey to building a thriving business can be a thrilling experience.
Below are some tips to help you.
HAVE A CLEAR, DEFINITE VISION
It takes a great deal of time and energy to run a business single-handedly. To ensure you stay on track, you need to have a clear vision. This will require you to understand the purpose of your business and why you chose to go it alone. Knowing the value you should be offering your clients will help to keep you motivated and get you through the tough times.
HAVE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT
Once you have set your short and long-term goals, you have to create a roadmap to the goals. Your plan should include the specific activities and resources required to achieve your objectives. Make sure you stick to the plan and execute it consistently. Consistency will help you build a strong foundation and contribute to the growth of your business.
ESTABLISH AND BUILD AN ONLINE PRESENCE
Without marketing, you will not be able to acquire new clients and grow your business. Online marketing is one of the best and most effective ways to promote your venture. Some ideas you can try are building a website, blogging and marketing your business on social media. This way, you will be able to reach a wider audience and scale your business.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
The isolation that comes with working as a solo entrepreneur can have a negative impact on your focus and motivation. You should consider interacting and collaborating with other solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and business professionals regularly. This will ensure you have the support you need, give you access to advice, allow you to learn new things and open up more opportunities for you.
When managing your business alone, you will have many things to do and limited time to get them done. Staying organized will help to save you time and boost your productivity. When you have your things arranged and activities structured systematically, you will be able to meet deadlines and reduce your stress level.
SET UP AUTOMATED SYSTEMS
Automating things will help you to maximize efficiency, increase accuracy and reduce costs. This will make your work easier and leave you with ample time to focus on other tasks. Today, there are numerous tools that you can use to automate various aspects of your business. For the best results, ensure you choose the right technology for your needs and requirements.
Running a business on your own can leave you feeling drained. Taking regular breaks will help you to decompress, so you can boost your performance. As you work towards achieving your goals, make sure you celebrate your hard work and every small win. This way, you will remain motivated to become successful.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There is a lot more that you can do to make a success out of your solo venture. Working with experts will give your business a strategic approach and help you reach your goals.
Want to become a successful solopreneur? I offer a wide range of services to support solopreneurs and help them achieve success. As a professional organizer, I will assist with different areas of your organization to enable you increase your productivity and improve your quality of life. Contact me today to schedule a 20-minute productivity assessment.
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