Solopreneurs do it all by themselves. A one-man band is the CEO, CFO, CIO, CTO, CLO, and custodian who also brews the coffee.

Going it alone has its positives and negatives. Hermits think it’s a great career choice, while a “people person” might get a little lonely working out of the spare room and interacting with business associates only by phone or VoIP. It’s just not the same as the hustle and bustle of a busy office with lots of personal energy being released.

Solopreneurs tend to like being in charge – in charge of their business, in charge of their lives. So, if you’re thinking it’s time to start your own show, here are some suggestions to get you from here to THERE faster.

Understand the purpose of your business. Not everyone can handle the stress of finding the next job while working on the current job. It takes a lot of time and energy to run a business. If it’s on your mind – a lot – there’s really only one sure way to determine if you have the traits of an entrepreneur. Make a list (the longer the better) of why you want to go it alone. What are benefits you’ll expect to see? How will it affect all aspects of your life? Make sure solopreneurship pencils out before making the leap.

Focus on your strengths and outsource the rest. You’ll succeed in business because of your strengths, but no one is strong in all areas of business. If graphics aren’t your strong suit, pay someone else to design a bi-fold brochure. If you’re terrible with numbers, find a bookkeeper to help you out. Consider trading services with other entrepreneurs who are strong where you’re weak.

Market yourself on social media. Use social media. It’s FREE! Create a company Facebook page, but if it just provides contact information and directions to your store, how does your business grow? The pages that get repeat visits provide good information and not a lot of hype – the “white noise” of the Internet. For example, If you’re a fitness instructor, post recipes, video some simple exercises, and show off your personality and enthusiasm.

Learn to speak Internet. Even if your service area is limited to walk-in traffic, a website is useful in posting the day’s specials, acknowledging customer birthdays and building a community. Tools are available to help you build your own website using templates.

Make sure your business cards, stationery, invoices, delivery trucks, and even pens have your Internet address on display. Your website can be the best place to tell the story of your business.

Volunteer your business skills. Look around your company’s neighborhood for opportunities to network by volunteering. If you volunteer to write the community brochure this year, you may also pick up a new client looking for a talented designer just like you for a paying job.

Volunteering helps others, and it helps you personally and professionally. It’s a natural for a nano-business looking to build brand awareness within a service area.

React quickly to opportunity. At the monthly Chamber of Commerce luncheon, you hear another member talking about her need for accounting services. Hand her your business card. You never know when opportunity will present itself, so make sure you’re prepared with business cards, and keep your ears open at events from trade shows to neighborhood dinner parties. Don’t be a pest. Just pass off a business card and suggest some phone time.

Be disciplined. You’ll be the one setting your own schedule, so make sure you stick to it. Work late if you have to, but hit your deadlines and delivery dates, and keep your promises.

Take breaks. Stretch. Take a brisk walk around the office to get your heart rate in target range. You’re not at your best if you’re tired and grumpy. Breaks are refreshing and provide much needed rest and relaxation. Schedule vacation time, and then force yourself to go. Your business will be better for it.

Working alone can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re busy making money. If you run into a rough patch and begin to doubt your decision, refer to the list you made before starting your business, and revisit your original purpose. Then get back to work!

 


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of ZB, N.A.