This is a guest post by Major Prashant Rai, Founder and CEO of Onetimejobs.com
The past couple of years have seen the rise of various startup companies with many of them having made it big amidst tough competition and several detracting factors. What’s interesting is the fact that about one tenth of these successful companies have been started by solo founders. Managing a startup in itself is a big deal, which needs a balance between planning and execution. Being a single founder of a startup proves to be even more difficult as you have to juggle between the different aspects of a startup such as analyzing, branding, marketing and supplying; all of which are carried out by a single person.
Even for the most experienced entrepreneurs, solopreneurship can prove to be quite a challenge. In spite of possessing all the skills and an extensive array of products and services to offer your clients, you still need to boost your confidence and resilience while dealing with all the verticals of your startup such as managing finances, marketing the services and providing excellent customer service to the clients. Although solopreneurship brings with it a number of challenges, there are some simple ways to overcome them.
Switching Between Multiple Roles
One of the advantages of working for someone else is that the responsibilities are divided and hence you only get a part of the job responsibilities which can be completed in set business hours. Unfortunately, solopreneurs don’t have this advantage and usually end up playing different roles at different times where you might end up trying to do everything but accomplish nothing at the end of the day. This might leave you overwhelmed with work.
Although there is no secret formula to do all the work in a limited period of time, you can plan the work by allotting specific tasks to be done by a certain deadline. Prioritize your most crucial work to be done when your mind is most focused. Keep a fixed amount of time to check your emails so that you know that this is the time you keep for correspondence with clients/vendors. Keep reachable targets for the day and plan your meetings in advance so that you avoid last minute cancellations. You should also take a day off per week to unwind from the constant stress and work pressure.
Choosing the Clients/Partners
This is something that most of the solopreneurs do or have done at the beginning of their business venture. Since, in the initial stages there are a limited number of clients, the solopreneurs may get insecure and agree to take on anyone who is willing to pay money. One must realize that the nature of clients and their expectations can have a deep impact on how the business pans out later.
The biggest challenge in this case is to recognize and understand whether the client in question is suitable for your business or not and and it is better to wait for clients who share your frame of mind. A way to look for the clients is to put together a client profile and to use it as a reference point for when you are looking for a potential client. In case they don’t match your ideal client profile, you can screen them immediately and save that place for a client who matches your requirements. Businesses are all about building healthy partnerships and who you associate with can make or mar your business in the future.
Accounts and Bookkeeping
Another problem for solopreneurs is “bookkeeping”, which is also a side-effect of juggling between multiple job profiles. When you start your company you don’t think much about the huge amount of accounting that will be part of the process of making your own money. You might start out by believing that you can manage it all on your own, but once the expenses start increasing you realize that the accounts start to build up and before you know it, they are draining away all your time and energy in keeping things within a tight budget. And since it is one of the basics of any business venture, it is not something you can trust random or newly associated people with or avoid entirely.
There are a couple of ways to handle this. Either you can hire an accountant or a professional bookkeeper, or use small business tools for accounting which make accounting easy. Alternatively, if you have exceptionally good bookkeeping skills that you want to put to use, you can outsource some other job profile, so that you can give some time to accounts and bookkeeping.
The best thing about solopreneurship is that you get to take all the decisions and it is your business. There is no fear of failure in solopreneurship until you decide to give it up completely. To conclude, you should keep in mind, that taking risks is a part of every venture and every solopreneur must overcome a certain amount of trial and error before he/she navigates his/her way through the best approach to setting up and scaling one’s business. Going solo may prove worthy once your hard work has borne fruit and nothing can match the sense of triumph a solopreneur experiences once the business is up on its feet and starts thriving.
Disclaimer: This is a Guest post. The statements, opinions and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of iamwire and the editor(s).