After learning what a solopreneur is and how they are an integral part of the growing independent workforce, we took a look at the rewards and risks that a solopreneur might encounter while striking out on their own. In our final installment of our tripart solopreneur series, we are going to look at how to find success as a solopreneur and avoid falling victim to the pitfalls outlined in the previous post.
How to Succeed as a Solopreneur:
One of the most important things that can ensure a solopreneur succeeds is to find a way of getting support and accountability in their endeavours, this could be in the form of a mentor or a coach who is further down the solopreneur-path, it could be a good friend willing to check in once in awhile. Joining a local community of independent workers at a shared workspace is also a good idea for solopreneurs who might need some human interaction during their workday. If an in-person community is unavailable online communities can be a treasure trove of information and support for independent workers, especially those just starting out who do not have any business background. Solopreneurs need to use all the tools and knowledge at their disposal in order to continue to learn and expand their business, luckily there is a vast array of knowledge at their fingertips on the internet, including here at SageGroupy.
Spend your time wisely
With all that knowledge available to solopreneurs, it is easy to make the mistake of spending too much time reading about business practices and not as much time honing their craft and reading about their niche. This is a mistake. Solopreneurs should strive to spend more time studying their niche in order to be the best that they can be at what they do because no matter how much they hustle their business, if they’re not good at what they do, no one will want to hire or rehire them. The desire to focus on their passion is what drove many solopreneurs to break free of the traditional work environment in the first place, so getting bogged down in business can lead to dissatisfaction and possibly giving-up. Solopreneurs need to take their niche and optimize it and widen or narrow it to find their money making potential, that cannot happen if they spend too much time reading about marketing and accounting. In fact, studying too much about business in order to build a brand website, social media presence,maximize use of SEO could cause everything to look inauthentic and most people dislike things that seem fake and may get turned off of the business.
Solopreneurs are a one-person business, so if their health fails, so does the business. They need to take care of themselves, mentally and physically. This might involve developing a daily routine so they have defined work-start and end times to avoid burnout and make sure they break for meals and some physical exercise to keep the body working and brain fired-up.
If things go wrong, with their health or otherwise, solopreneurs should be prepared by safely backing-up all important work and business materials on a regularly basis, as well as having an emergency fund with a few month’s expenses available to ride out a rough patch. If the absolute worst comes to pass and the solopreneur suddenly is unable to do business anymore, it is prudent to have a person who can deal with contacting clients and closing down the business.
Set Clear Goals
It might not be hard to know when a business is failing, but it can be hard for a solopreneur to define when it is succeeding. It is important to set realistic goals and even better than monetary goals, emotional goals can give the solopreneur the motivation and satisfaction it takes to sustain their business drive. For example, setting goals such as “make enough money to send the kids to college”, or “have the freedom and steady income to travel anywhere in the world when my spouse retires”, can have stronger motivation factor than “I want to make X dollars”. This combined with an optimistic attitude can really make the difference between a solopreneur sticking with their business or giving-up on it.
Know when to Outsource
Finally a successful solopreneur knows when to outsource. Even though a solopreneur is a one-person show, they are not expected to be an expert in all areas and trying to be will lead to an increased risk of burnout. Great writer, bad at marketing? Hire a social media manager. Amazing illustrator, bad at math? Hire an accountant. See a client that need a big project done? Find other independent workers and form a team. Hiring and working with other independent workers not only helps a solopreneur own business but can help the independent workforce as a whole - which is good for themselves in the long run.
Do you think you have what it takes to be a solopreneur and want to get started? Sign up as a freelancer on Sagegroupy. Want to learn more about freelancing and some of the business practices solopreneurs have to learn? Check out our other blog posts on topics such as: how to make a portfolio, how to advertise, common mistakes to avoid and more!