Becoming a successful solo entrepreneur (also known as a solopreneur) is not something that happens in a vacuum. There are a lot of competencies that are required to successfully run an efficient and profitable business and deliver a quality product. Even if you have expertise in all of the skills required to get the various jobs done you are one person and there are only 24 hours in a day. Success as a solopreneur is achieved through the help of a team, led and orchestrated by you. It takes a village to become a successful solopreneur, for a variety of reasons.
Solopreneurs typically launch a business because they are skilled in delivering a service or building a product. They spend so much time working “in” their business creating and delivering what they have to offer that they do not have time or energy to work “on” their business, doing what it takes to get, keep and grow clients and customers profitably. Successful savvy solopreneurs know how to invest in and manage a dedicated team.
Even if a solo entrepreneur can find the time to work on their business, they may not have the energy. There is only so much that one person can reasonably be expected to do and while the temptation to try and take all of your daily tasks alone will always exist, it is better to rely on those who have the expertise, time and energy to fill in the missing bits and pieces of the tasks that are not within your own skill wheelhouse or availability of time.
Successful solopreneurs do not necessarily work harder or have better products and services. They work smarter and put efficient expertise, systems and process in place. The leverage another person’s A game and 100 percent effort to trump their own B game. 100 percent of another person’s time and energy is always superior to your efforts when you are running on empty – tired an overwhelmed with everything that has to be done to keep your business firing on all cylinders.
When you’re deep within the rabbit hole of the inner workings of your business it’s hard to view it in the same way your market views your business and your products or services. While it is important to employ a set of fresh eyes to look over your strategies and perspectives when you are stuck, it is also important for these eyes to be professional and experienced. A new set of analytical “eyes” can filter out the noise, get clarity on the opportunity and shine light upon the dark or dimmed areas of confusion.
As humans we are subject to our own inner dialog. As humans we also have the power to direct that inner dialog rather than be directed by it. What this means in the context of solopreneurship is to the extent a solopreneur struggles in business is often to the extent to which the solopreneur gets in her own way. A pair of fresh eyes can help you see your challenges and your opportunities in a new, different and better way. What was uncertainty and overwhelm can become simplicity and inspired action that will get you to where you want to go.
It’s not about thinking outside of the box. It’s about getting out of the box entirely.
Farm It Out
Every business needs people who can sell, people who can deliver and people who can analyze. Generally, solopreneurs are great at delivery. They’re brilliant at creating and delivering their products and services. When it comes to selling their great offerings or managing a business efficiently and profitably, not so much. Even if they could do a good job of selling and analyzing they have such energy and passion around delivering that they don’t have the energy or the time to do the selling and analyzing. Those missing bits and pieces will derail a business, even one with a great product or service.
Identify the category in which you excel. If you’re great at sales invest the majority of time bringing in customers and clients. Find people who can do the product development and delivery and someone who can analyze what is going on in your business from an efficiency and profitability perspective. If you’re spending your time selling, you are generating revenue. With revenue comes the ability to invest some of those financial resources in delegating the other essential tasks to freelancers or professional service providers.
If your available work hours exceed the work load required to build and run a successful business then it is in your best business interests to find ways to get the extra work load completed cost effectively. Through websites as UpWork, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour and others, you can find lots of people who can get the job done. Be sure to check for references, work examples and happy testimonials.
Invest to correct what isn’t working for you in your business. If you wrote your website copy and isn’t working for you then invest in outside expertise. Get professional website copy written that strikes an emotional chord to motivate the sales of your product or service. If you invest $1000 in copywriting that significantly triples (or more) your sales conversion ratios then it was money well invested. This isn’t about spending money. It’s about investing so that you can get a high return on your investment that boosts you business.
Another way to create a village is through bartering. My hairdresser bartered her services in exchange for website development and accounting services. The developer and the accountant got several months of hair care and my hairdresser got her site done professionally without having to invest any money. She exchanged her skill for another’s.
The point is there are lots of creative ways to bring in people and expertise affordably to get your business from where it is to where you want it to go. It takes a village to become a successful solopreneur. Enlisting the help of others allows you to focus your energies on the proper tasks, gives you access to new perspectives and strategies and allows you to use your time as wisely and profitably as possible.
Most startups struggle and fail. Valery Satterwhite specializes in the success of fast growing startup businesses. She helps startup entrepreneurs get, keep and grow customers and excite investors. Startup entrepreneurs and founders. avoid the big and costly mistakes that derail a lot of startups, even those with great ideas. For more information please visit http://www.NailMyStartup.com.