There are so many resources to support and facilitate becoming a solopreneur that didn’t exist even ten years ago.
For example, The Cannon is a North Houston co-working space that provides perks like a professional mailing address and access to health insurance and benefits. These spaces are a way for people working on their own to come together with like-minded professionals and also create a professional brand appearance.
Again, finding something like this would have been nearly impossible a decade ago.
Co-working spaces aren’t the only way it’s easier than ever to be a solopreneur. Technology and the growing move toward remote work, in general, have made it the norm to work in unique and flexible ways.
With that in mind, if you’re interested in becoming a solopreneur, the following are some things to know right now.
What is a Solopreneur?
Solopreneurs are people who build their own businesses and are entirely responsible for their success but also their failure. You have complete control over your business, but that comes with the challenge of trying to manage it all.
If you’re a solopreneur, you don’t hire employees or other members of your team, and a lot of professionals who work like this have a service-based business.
If you decide to go in this direction when you’re creating your own business, there are going to be big ups and downs that you have to prepare yourself for.
There will be lulls and slow times, and you have to be ready to weather those. You can’t automatically think the second there’s downtime that you should close up shop.
All solopreneurs are entrepreneurs, but not all entrepreneurs are solopreneurs.
The Pros of This Model
If you like to have control over what you’re doing and you don’t want to deal with the inevitable challenges of managing people, solopreneurship can be appealing to you.
You have the flexibility to choose your schedule, balancing your work and personal life in the way you see fit, and you don’t have to adhere to anyone else’s schedule.
When you work as an employee, you have a salary, or you’re paid a set amount per hour. You might occasionally get pay increases, but when you work as a solopreneur, you have a higher earnings ceiling. If you bring in a new client, you can raise your compensation.
You are getting to reap the full benefit of your labor.
Solopreneurs aren’t limited to where they can work, either. As long as you have Wi-Fi, you can work. You might work at home or even while you’re traveling the world.
What About the Disadvantages?
There are some pretty big downsides to working as a solopreneur that you have to be honest with yourself about before you get started.
First, while working alone gives you complete control, it also means that all the responsibility is on you. You’re going to have to do tasks that maybe you’re not great at or that you don’t have the skills for unless you’re willing to have someone help you.
You’re not getting any feedback or support from a team, either.
Another downside is that while you have unlimited earning potential, it’s also possible that you’re not going to have any income for periods of time. There can be cash flow problems, or you might not have the capacity to take on more work.
You also don’t have benefits provided by employers, like health insurance, so you have to pay out-of-pocket.
You might become a solopreneur for flexibility, but then you find that you’re working 12-hour days or more day in and day out, so that can deplete your work-life balance.
Becoming a Solopreneur
Maybe you understand the ups and downs of this approach to starting a business and feel like the pros outweigh the cons from your perspective.
In that case, how do you get started?
First, you’ll establish your business idea. During this time, you need to research and make sure the demand exists and that it would be realistic for you to take on your business idea on your own. There has to be a market for your product or service, and you need to have the capacity to fill the identified need.
Having a good idea is just a starting point because there are plenty of people with excellent ideas, but they ultimately go nowhere.
This is where you need to get in-depth with your research and begin to understand how the market works and what your customers need. Research your competition and figure out how to fill a niche that they’ve left unfilled.
Don’t jump in headfirst. Instead, gradually get your feet wet as you test the market. If you have a day job right now, you might want to keep that until you’ve fully tested the market.
Then comes the tough part.
You have to create a budget that’s included your business costs and also your personal costs. How much can you realistically charge that people are going to pay based on what you uncovered during your market research? Before you go on your own full-time, you should have at least six months of funds saved up.
What Else to Keep In Mind
If you’re working toward solopreneurship, a few other things to remember include:
While you might be running your business on your own, you want to surround yourself with other people who are like-minded, which is where the concept of a co-working space comes up again. You want to be around people who are motivating and inspiring and can give you a different perspective when you need it.
Don’t give up, and stay with your plan, even when it feels tough. You have to power through the lows to reach the high in any kind of entrepreneurship.
There are a lot of tools that can make your life easier, so invest in them. When you use those tools, you can automate some of your tasks so that it’s almost like you have people working for you.
Finally, enjoy your freedom. You’re your own boss, so while you’re accountable to make sure your business is running the way it should, enjoy the sense of freedom you have in this lifestyle.