Solopreneurs take on a daunting, exhilarating task: creating and running a business on their own. It’s a path for the creative, dedicated, and self-motivated individuals ready to make their mark on the business world. However, it’s one that comes with more than its fair share of challenges.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can lighten your load and boost your business while keeping complete control of the reins. Start with the following advice, courtesy of HamroLinko.
Protect Your Personal Assets
Every business needs a legal structure, and when you’re developing and expanding your business, it’s critical to consider not only your current situation but also your future. For this reason, a limited liability company (LLC) suits a great many small business owners.
Even though you’re flying solo right now, there may come a time in the not so distant future when you’re adding on and growing. An LLC has the flexibility to scale with your business, plus, as the name suggests, it protects your personal property in the event your business experiences legal or financial issues.
There are also tax advantages, as the Houston Chronicle explains, as business owners are taxed at the personal level, rather than a business level. If you decide an LLC is right for you, you can even sidestep an attorney and file through an online service. Just make sure you establish your LLC in accordance with the regulations where you live.
Build and Sustain Your Professional Network
A professional network isn’t just a list of hoarded business cards — used properly, it’s one of the most valuable assets your business can have. Other business professionals can serve as word-of-mouth marketing, as well as connect you with resources you might not have known existed otherwise. Connect with your local business associations, area colleges, and even organizations dedicated to retirees.
Meeting other movers and shakers will broaden your horizons — and your network — leaving a world of possibilities at your fingertips.
More experienced owners can serve as mentors and guides; your peers just starting out will be valuable sources of solidarity. If you share a coworking space, MOO notes this is another great place to begin building your network.
Of course, opportunities don’t end there. Use sites like Meetup to find networking opportunities in your area. Online networking is great and can be valuable, but it’s hard to beat an in-person introduction. Follow up with the people you meet and stay in touch over time. Not only will this ensure they remember who you are, but it will also keep your company on their minds when they talk with other pros.
Explore Software as a Service
Thanks to the ubiquity of technology today, solopreneurs have plenty of Software as a Service (SaaS) options at their fingertips. There are all kinds of SaaS tools available, from customer support programs to schedule trackers to marketing automation. You can find products that offer many different levels of information, from bare bones programs to full suite tools that provide valuable, real-time feedback on how your company is doing.
SaaS is great for solopreneurs because it enables you to do work that might otherwise take a full team. This means you have full creative control over what your company does without the stress of managing all the details yourself.
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Outsource the Small Stuff
There are a lot of little tasks that have to get done when you’re running a business. Solopreneurs take on the full responsibility of the company’s forward momentum, but that doesn’t mean they have to do every little thing themselves. Hiring a contract employee is one of the best ways to keep your sanity while making sure everything gets done.
For example, The Balance points out that a data entry specialist can take over small tasks like filling out spreadsheets or transferring data. A great data entry specialist will know how to do thorough, effective research, have a head for the little details, and do it all while typing up a storm. Hiring someone to do this kind of work frees your schedule up, enabling you to focus on the bigger picture of running your business.
Build-in Some Zen
When you run a business on your own, the odds are good you’re stretched thinner than you’ve ever been before. That’s why it’s so incredibly important to take some time to protect your mental health. It’s easy to neglect but remember: If you burn out, your company will suffer. Ten to twenty minutes a day is a small price to stay as sharp, focused, and creative as possible.
Set aside this window of time for some mindfulness practice. There are tons of mindfulness apps you can download onto your phone, from guided meditation options like InsightTimer or Calm to cat-themed Zen gardens. Try out a few and see which is right for you. Your ultimate goal should be carving out space in your schedule where your mind can relax and recharge for a little while.
As someone with so many heavy responsibilities, it’s not unusual to have trouble relaxing and focusing. If necessary, don’t hesitate to set aside a physical space apart from your work routine for your personal time. Physically distancing yourself from your obligations can provide your mind and emotions with the much-needed opportunity to disconnect. Try getting outdoors into the fresh air or find a clean and comforting spot indoors. A park bench, uncluttered nook, or quiet corner can be an ideal solution.
You’ve given yourself a big challenge, but if you tackle it strategically, you’ll be able to do great things. By unloading the small stuff, keeping your head on straight, and building a great network, you give yourself the best chance to thrive as a solopreneur, and your business is given the best chance to shine.
Connect with HamroLinko for more information, tips and inspiration for your growing venture!