A solopreneurrefers to a single businessperson managing all the business activities. It is ubiquitous for startups due to a lack of resources. An entrepreneur is a passionate, determined, and driven individual motivated to take the business to the next level.
A solopreneurcan be a blogger, a makeup artist, a professional photographer, a graphic designer, a storeowner, or a plumber. All these individuals provide their services and products to those who need them in exchange for a price.
As an entrepreneur in the initial stages, you may work at odd times and sometimes all through the night to start and keep it going. There is no alternative to hard work if you want to start something of your own. At the same time, you can choose your working hours, workload, rules, terms, and conditions.
However, that does not mean you have to do it by yourself. Collecting resources or recruiting team members can get you all the needed help. You may have to assign specific tasks to your team. Or you could be the jack of all trades if you specialize in all your business-related operations.
However, if you plan to run your business as a solopreneur, let us look at what you can do to be successful in your venture.
1. Get the Required Degree
You may have a business degree to be a successful solopreneur. You can compare EMBA vs MBA to see which one fits you better. An MBA program prepares candidates to become business leaders in different functions and areas. In comparison, an EMBA is for professionals who want to attain the next level of a leadership role in their organization and require a degree to climb up the corporate hierarchy.
Alternatively, you can enroll in diplomas and focused programs to gain entrepreneurship skills. For example, a training program in entrepreneurship and small to medium enterprises will prepare you to set up your business.
2. Create a Plan
Before starting, you must plan, re-plan, evaluate, re-evaluate, have a backup plan, and keep revising your plans. It would be better for your business to spend most of your time at this stage. When entrepreneurs disregard planning, do not spend much time on it, and do not understand its importance, their downfall is inevitable at some point.
You must plan every aspect of each business function with attention to detail. Therefore, if someone asks about your business, especially potential investors, you must have an answer for everything.
For example, if you plan to sell electronics, you need a strategy for acquiring components, suppliers, cost predictions, anticipated returns, and places of sale. Also, a sales strategy can show the number of units sold each month if you want to stay afloat.
In addition, you must always have an exit strategy. Every successful business always has an escape plan. It does not mean making it easier for you to quit. It is a practical approach during tough times like the global pandemic that forced many small businesses to close.
However, if a similar economic crisis occurs and you have to shut down, a reliable exit strategy will ensure the safety of your business assets and resources. When things start looking better, you can always rebuild.
Remember that your plans must always be realistic, achievable, and growth-oriented. It means planning per your available resources.
3. Set Your Goals and Targets
Goals are long-term aspirations that a business hopes to achieve. It usually reflects the vision statement of companies. In contrast, targets are your short-term objectives. These are required for every business, whether startups, small or medium businesses, or large corporations. They may change over time due to changing circumstances.
It would be best if you devised your plans per your goals and targets. Goals require long-term planning, and targets require short-term planning.
For example, your goal can be to become the largest e-commerce business in your country. Meanwhile, your target can be to sell up to a million units each quarter and 250,000 each month.
Setting realistic goals and targets will motivate and drive you towards business growth.
4. Sort Your Finances
It would be better for you to decide how to fund your operation. Will you invest 100% in private equity, apply for a bank loan, lending from family and friends, approach investors and investment companies, or apply for a grant for your business idea? You can also select a blend of all such options to diversify your financing risk.
Either way, you must plan your business funds. If you took a bank loan or borrowed from a friend, have a plan to return it within the time limit. Otherwise, the interest on the principal loan amount may increase over time.
Raising funds for a startup can be challenging, so use your resources correctly. Invest them in your business assets and help it take off ground zero. Make sure your investment gears towards returns, whether directly or indirectly.
Whatever startup amount you receive is only to lift your business to get it going. You may have to repay once you start earning a profit. Plan your projected income. Examine how much time it will take to break even and when you will start making a profit.
Sorting your finances well in advance will save you from many financial troubles.
5. Empower Your Team
You may hire a team once the workload increases and you start getting larger orders and more significant projects. You can even set up a team during the initial phases. It depends on the kind of business you are starting.
Keep your teams small, collaborative, and diverse, and empower them to make decisions. While you will still have control over the business, having diverse and empowered team members makes the work environment more cohesive.
In addition, a small startup will need all the creative ideas, big brains, group thinking, and brainstorming it can get. Since it is still in its development phases, your team members will act as setting a foundation for your business growth and success.
Empowering your team also plays a vital role in personal and professional development and growth. As a team leader, you must have their best interests at heart. It also includes mentoring and grooming them to become better at their jobs.
Members, who join a startup and help lift the business off the ground, typically remain with the organization for a long time, fostering long-term productive work relationships. Therefore, never underestimate the potential of having a great team.
The idea of being a solopreneurcan be scary or overwhelming, but nothing is worth stopping you if you are passionate, determined, and driven.
To ensure success as a solopreneur, you must first get the relevant knowledge by getting a degree and enrolling in short courses or diplomas to learn how to begin as an entrepreneur. Next, you must devise a business plan including all the details. Set your goals and targets within your resources, and find multiple financing options to diversify your startup risk.
Lastly, empower your team members to take the initiative, contribute valuable ideas, and help execute plans. Doing this will let you focus on long-term planning and creating an outlook for your business.
Considering these factors will help ensure that your business succeeds during the initial phases, which are usually the most challenging for a solopreneur.