Every entrepreneur is at some point a solopreneur
As the name suggests, a solopreneur is a solo entrepreneur who works alone, running their business single-handedly and are therefore, a company of one. They might have full or part-time employees and/or contractors for hire but they alone have full responsibility for the running of their business. The typical solopreneur can easily become a workaholic, not feeling their work is ever done or done correctly if it’s not completed by themselves. A solopreneur characteristically takes on all tasks associated with running and managing a small business such as marketing, customer service and product/service distribution. A solopreneur is increasingly becoming the go to guy for companies interested in project-based execution.
General rules for Solopreneur success
- Define short-term, medium-term and long-term plans: It is encouraging to know when you are hitting the targets initially set and whether you are on track to meet your long term objectives for solopreneur success. Plans evolve, change and don’t always have to be strictly adhered to but, they outline the general path, how to get there, the expected timeframe in which it should be achieved and proposed solutions as to how certain risks and challenges will be overcome.
- Don’t do everything yourself: Taking on all responsibility for completing all associated business tasks will have negative impacts both on the solopreneur and on the business. Try not to let the solopreneur become the business bottleneck and where possible, delegate, outsource and network the mundane routine business related tasks. The solopreneur should concentrate on developing and growing the business. The solopreneur should concentrate on the tasks that they are an expert on and that they feel passionate about.
- Do it your way: As opportunities arise and things change, a solopreneur needs to be flexible, open-minded and get as much independent feedback as possible. Carefully monitor progress against the short-term, medium-term and long-term plans initially set. Try to keep the business on track, within budget and on time towards its vision and mission.
- Maintain focus: Monitor the competition but only for positive strategic planning purposes. Don’t try to emulate the best of what’s available from every competing vendor in the marketplace. The solopreneur should maintain focus on the initial plan and ultimate goals and measure progress against these.
- Celebrate all achievements: It is important to recognise the progress being made by the solopreneur and these should be celebrated. Milestones reached, challenges overcome and all positive solopreneur achievements should be reflected upon and noted so as to maintain a positive attitude going forward and encourage awareness of all accomplishments.
How to achieve online Solopreneur success
When a solopreneur starts out online, the amount of information and resources that are available and that need to be availed of, can definitely be overwhelming. A lot of what is advised by so-called “experts” and promoted by people and businesses that have their own agenda, is simply not required and are a waste of time in the beginning. Here are some of the high-priority requirements for any successful solopreneur:
- A solid (yet brief) business plan: A good business plan does not need to be very detailed but as long as it serves as an evolving map for the solopreneur to reference, update and follow in order to help them succeed, it’s extremely helpful. It should summarise the basics of the business of a solopreneur, such as what it is, what it offers, defines the target market, defines business goals, costs and return on investment. The better the solopreneur can visualise the business, the better he/she can execute the required actions to be successful.
- An eBusiness site: It is always advisable for any solopreneur, regardless of how big or small their business may be, to ensure it is properly represented in a professional manner online. This helps with the promotion of the business to its target markets and can increase sales depending on the product/service being offered by the solopreneur.
- Research Tools: In order to minimise the amount of time, money and effort which is wasted in targeting the wrong markets or potential clients, it is a necessity to do as much research as possible. There are many online tools which allow the solopreneur to define their market, typical client demographic, market size and competition that exists. Typical research tools include Google’s Search-based keyword tool and Wordtrackers free keyword tool.
- Autoresponder: If you want to improve your customer service, grow your business, increase sales/profits and build a solid customer base, then you need to invest in an autoresponder service such as iContact or Aweber. This online service will help with email management and help to build a list of interested subscribers (by offering an incentive, such as a free gift, report or eBook). Once an interested consumer has subscribed, a solopreneur can build on the relationship by sending them weekly newsletters containing product updates, discounts, new free resources, blog updates or anything else that may interest them.
- Ad tracking software: Ad trackers allow you to test and refine your marketing strategy by keeping track of which ads bring the best and most traffic to your site. Ad tracking is important in order to identify which marketing strategies work and measure how well they are working. It’s therefore possible to invest much more time and money in the techniques that work and which have the highest return on investment.
Methods to overcome the challenges of being a Solopreneur
Being a solopreneur in any business can be overwhelming, daunting, time-consuming and can raise doubts about the success and viability of the business. When attempting to single-handedly do all tasks on behalf of any business, it can raise questions of doubt and fear, which can lead to indecision and procrastination. There are a number of ways, however, that these issues can be overcome, such as:
- Have a Mentor: Talk, share and consult with an industry expert, someone you respect and who has been through what a solopreneur goes through, is essential.
- Have a place/resource that inspires: Being able to go to “the place” you find inspirational is essential.
- Meditate: Being able to clear your mind and refocus is essential.
- Networking: A solopreneur should join like-minded groups both offline and online, that adds value to the business and interact with other solopreneurs.
- Attitude of gratitude: Remember to be grateful for who you are, what you’ve achieved and how far you’ve progressed.
- Work/Life balance: Ensure to maintain a balance physically, spiritually and mentally to help you be the best solopreneur you can be.
Solopreneurs must not think they can achieve ultimate success alone. Initially, it is the solopreneur that drives the business forward and establishes a clear focus and vision, but expansion should be expected, not only in terms of financial funds, but also in terms of people. Some solopreneurs, although hesitant, find it helpful to have a trusted advisor who can help mentor and guide them through the process. This trusted advisor be someone who has complementary skills and ideally, someone who has been on the same solopreneur journey a little longer. It should be someone who knows you well and is committed to the success of the solopreneur.
If you are a solopreneur and need help and advice with starting and/or managing an online business then contact eCubation today for a FREE consultation.