In the modern world, the web makes it easy for a regular Tom, Rick or Harry to become a business owner (whether full time or as a side pursuit). Thanks to the internet, this process is largely risk-free and does not require the biggest investment - in fact, you can easily start a business for less than $100 in most cases and see a profitable return.
However, many people procrastinate on becoming a solopreneur or working towards making their business idea a reality. The fear of failure is the biggest reason for this hesitancy. But, it can also boil down to a lack of understanding of what it takes to actually make a success of the ‘solopreneur’ way of life.
So, with that in mind, what are the exact essentials that you need to ensure you launch yourself as a successful solopreneur in 2018? This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it’s a starting point that everyone should ensure they have.
1) A Website
As a solopreneur, no doubt you will be starting out working away in the backroom of your house or even your kitchen table. Using spare hours, your previously established contacts and every time-saving trick in the book to get your new business idea out there. Of course, the web is a big part of this and as such, it is vital that you have a little thing called a website if you really want to make a splash as a solopreneur in 2018.
Websites give your business a platform, a sense of legitimacy and can be the best way to sell your product (whether it’s an actual physical thing or a service). A website can work for your business even when you cannot; enticing people in, selling them on your product and even gathering their contact details. Client’s and sales come to you via a well-designed and optimised website. So, if you are going to invest in anything when it comes to your solopreneur adventures, make sure it is your website.
Success is not guaranteed as a solopreneur, nor is your idea necessarily something everyone will believe in except you. That is why, as a solopreneur, it is vital that you surround yourself with people that believe in you if nothing else. It may seem cheesy, but a simple thing such as emotional support can actually be the fuel you need to keep going forward with your solopreneur dreams.
Of course, some people also thrive on naysayers and adversity. But, typically it is nicer and less frustrating to feel backed up by friends and family rather than that you are fighting them.
3) Social Media Management
Social media in the modern world can be the biggest way to generate interest in yourself and your services, but it can take a lot of effort to get you to that point. Investing time, energy and a lot of work into your social media channels, however, can be more rewarding than you might think. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, in particular, could be a great asset to you as a solopreneur.
But, okay, you don’t have the time to manage social media channels on a daily basis. No problem! There is plenty of software available that can help you to make weeks of posts in one day, then simply schedule them out ahead of time. It means only a day of work for you and constant, fresh, content for your social media which should help you grow your channels.
A popular - paid - option for comprehensive social media management is that of Hootsuite. It helps you to manage multiple social media platforms, helping you to send out consistent and regular messages to your growing audience. However, there are also plenty of free options. Including Tweetdeck, which is great if you want to focus your efforts on Twitter outreach only.
4) Back-Up Plans
Do you know where your revenue will come from if your big idea fails? For many ‘solopreneurs’ starting out, this comes initially from being able to rely on a steady income from a 9 to 5 job they already hold. But, what about once you have already broken free from the day job? In this case, you need to work out a secondary income from your primary solopreneur efforts. One that you can rely on even in times of downturn for your small business.
For example, if you were to sell ventilation systems, you could potentially have the sale and fitting of your system as one leg of your business. But, to ensure constant business, you could also sell your services on a maintenance basis for those that wish to keep their products in the best shape possible. This way you could even get business from those who did not get their product from you in the first place!
This mentality can be applied to any number of products, you simply have to discover the complementary secondary service that you can sell in addition to your primary product. Not always obvious at first, but profitable once you work it out!
At the end of the day, a lot of success as a solopreneur comes from perseverance and determination. But, having these four essentials doesn’t hurt. Make your online presence known with a good website and regular social media updates. Ensuring you have a good support system and a Plan B, to alleviate any worries you may have, is also essential.
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