A solo entrepreneur is a person who is running a business on his own. A solo entrepreneur usually doesn’t have employees.
Being a solo entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re alone. You can still take advice and help from people when you need it.
Why would you want to be a solo entrepreneur? The flexibility and freedom of becoming a solo entrepreneur are nowhere to be found in other career paths. You don't have a boss, and the only person you need to answer to is yourself.
If you want to be successful as a solo entrepreneur, here are somethings that you should keep in mind:
- Stay focused.
Being focused is important for any professional, entrepreneur, or not.
Without focus, you’re not going to be productive and end up wasting precious time that could have been spent otherwise.
If you’re not focused, your business is going to suffer. As a solo entrepreneur, you’ll need to force yourself to stay focused. You won’t have a boss to tell you to get serious. You’ll need to be at your best all the time if you want your business to be profitable.
Here are some ways to increase your focus:
- Take breaks. If you're continuously working, you're not going to be creative and productive. A quick change in scenery will do wonders for your focus.
- Focus on one task at a time. Consider doing tasks in an order that suits you. Some people like to tackle larger tasks first, and some don't. Do what works for you.
- Sleep as long as you need to. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re going to be groggy for the entire day.
- Make a checklist of things that you need to get done in a day. Having a list makes it easier to keep track of your progress and efficiency.
- Start a business that can be profitable.
This one is very obvious but often overlooked by so many entrepreneurs and businesses.
If your business is not going to be profitable, it won't be a good idea to work on it in the first place.
Think of ideas that would be profitable. It's your business, so you need to take the helm and think of ideas that would be a success.
Come up with a solid business plan. Get someone else to go through it and highlight any deficiencies in the plan.
If you have doubts about the profitability of your business, consider taking these steps:
- Conduct a survey. If people want your products and services, they'll give a very positive response to the survey.
- Analyze the market for your business. Who are your main competitors? If you don’t have any competitors, find out why there aren’t any. There must be a good reason.
- Conduct focus groups. Having different opinions about your offerings is an excellent way to see if they're going to be profitable or not.
- Put in the effort.
Without putting in the time and effort, you can’t expect your business to grow.
If you've just started your journey as a solo entrepreneur, you need to work long hours. Not only do you need to work long hours, but you also need to get things done.
Small but consistent efforts are sure to make your business a success.
Look out for free tools like this live chat app to help reduce costs for your business.
- Keep growing your network.
Being a solo entrepreneur doesn’t mean that you don’t need to leave your house and see people in person.
It’s quite the contrary.
Being a solo entrepreneur, you need even more connections to sustain your business.
Focus on the quality of people within your circle, not the quantity.
Having a group of people who are masters in their craft and genuinely care about you will come to your help in times of need. These people will be your support system. It's essential to keep your network close to you.
If you only call someone when you need them, they’re not going to respond after a while.
Be helpful. Ask what you can do for people. Helping people will increase your value as a friend and make you reliable.
- Have a growth mindset.
For a solo entrepreneur, having a growth mindset is not mandatory (but it is compulsory).
A growth mindset allows a person to be in a state of constant improvement and learning.
We all have skills that could be taken up a notch if we just put in the time and effort. Having a growth mindset will give you the opportunity to take every experience and learn from it.
Constant improvement in your work as a solo entrepreneur will increase your reputation with people who deal with you, including suppliers, fellow entrepreneurs, clients, and customers.
- Invest in your work environment.
If your work environment doesn’t make you want to sit down and work for hours, consider changing it up a bit.
Trying to work in a noisy environment will lead to errors and mistakes in your work.
Have a color scheme that promotes relaxation and tranquility.
Although it's ideal to have natural light flowing into your workspace, having proper lighting that's not intrusive is also does the job well.
Investing in your work environment is not a waste. You’re going to be spending lots of hours working. It’s necessary to have a work environment where you feel comfortable and productive.
- Reduce your expenses.
Focus on the essentials and ignore the rest.
Being a solo entrepreneur puts you in a position where you don't have to worry about paying salaries and whatnot. All you need to do is to manage where you're spending your money effectively.
You need to spend money to make money. Not being careful about your expenditures will make you unable to funnel money into your business.
Adopting a frugal lifestyle in the initial phases of your business will allow you to reap the benefits later on.
Thanks to the internet, you can find great deals around you and save on items that you'd have bought anyway.
- Avoid debts at all costs.
Never be in a position where you need to take an unwarranted loan.
Always make sure you plan how to spend your money effectively.
More than 80% of entrepreneurs fund their businesses out of their own pockets, so it won’t be too out there to assume that you’ll be doing the same.
Only take a loan if your business is going to profit from it. Taking a loan out for yourself on things that won’t be of long-term use to you or bring you joy is just silly. Don’t do it.
- Scale gradually.
Going in too hard too fast is a recipe for disaster. Avoid it.
Always try to scale your business gradually.
Since you're a solo entrepreneur and presumably on your own, you won't have anyone who'll tell you that you're going too fast and are being too much of a risk-taker.
Analyze. Analyze. And keep analyzing.
Always try to come up with different scenarios and approach the problem from a different angle.
- Avoid distractions.
Distractions kill your productivity.
Your cell phone is your biggest distraction right now. The “DING!” from an incoming message or notification makes you look at your phone.
If you’re not operating your business from your cell phone, it would be a good idea to lock it away when you’re working.
When you're working, make sure to shut yourself in if that's what it takes to be productive and grow your business.
- Seek advice from successful people.
Seek advice from people who were in a position similar to yours and became successful later on.
Having a mentor gives you practical insights into what risks and pitfalls you should avoid. Most mentors would be happy to help you and guide you on the path to success.
- Maintain a high-quality work-life balance.
If you're not able to maintain a healthy work-life balance, you're going to burn out much faster.
Being a successful entrepreneur is subjected to being in business for as long as you can.
Not focusing on your personal and professional priorities will ultimately leave you broken and tired, possibly out of business even.
Now that you know how to be successful as a solo entrepreneur, it would be wise to see if you share similar characteristics with other solo entrepreneurs.
Below are three common characteristics that most solo entrepreneurs share:
- Solo entrepreneurs crave freedom. They want to be financially independent and use their time to do what they think is best.
- Solo entrepreneurs have astounding self-control and can motivate themselves in the face of adversity.
- Solo entrepreneurs have a passion for doing something different. Fulfilling their passion is what drives them to become better and better.
Being an entrepreneur is very trendy these days.
Not all entrepreneurs are successful. If you want to be successful, you’ll need to focus on the things that matter to you and your business.
Being a solo entrepreneur is even more complicated since you've no one beside you to offer you counsel at a moment's notice. You'll need to be your advisor and be the best employee for your business if you want to succeed.