5 Rules for Solo Entrepreneurs

The first few years of the decade are proving to be a challenge for those who want to start their own businesses. On top of that, operating a one-person startup company can be a demanding way to make money, even in the best economic circumstances. How can today’s solo entrepreneurs maximize their chances for success?

Of course, step one is selecting the proper niche based on factors like the founder’s skills, education, the organization’s size, and available funds. In addition to that, it’s imperative for first-time owners to outsource wisely, complete a college degree, ease into full-time operations over the course of a year, and build an extensive professional network. Review the following steps to gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to survive as a sole practitioner in a volatile, unpredictable marketplace.

Choose the Right Niche

Choosing the appropriate niche is half the battle of getting a business off the ground. Consider how large the entity will be, the kinds of competitors that are already up and running, your own skills, and whether you intend to operate an online-only organization. Avoid choosing something just because it has a high-profit potential. Instead, choose viable ideas from a range of ideas that suit your personal preferences and abilities. If you are a trained accountant, explore tax preparation, estate planning, financial planning, and similar disciplines.

Get a College Degree

There are no educational requirements for entrepreneurs. But financing and earning a college degree are two of the wisest steps a person can take before starting a company or during its operation. Fortunately, there are private student loans available for those who need reasonable, practical financing options. Taking out a student loan to pay for an education is the most common way to deal with all the associated expenses.

While a few take the traditional route and attend classes in person, most who work full-time or part-time discover that online degrees make the most sense. Most computer-based courses are self-paced, cost less, and offer working adults a chance to earn a living and a degree at the same time. A diploma offers instant credibility for those who own a company and sets them apart from non-degree holders.

Practice Precision Outsourcing

Owners of one-person organizations need to pay close attention to outsourcing. It’s imperative to focus on your core skills and the unique talents you bring to the table. Usually, all else can be outsourced. One example is the small IT startup that offers website creation for a flat fee. Those who do this kind of work tend to hire others to prepare business tax returns, develop advertising campaigns, file legal documents with the state, maintain a website, and fulfill customer service tasks.

Work Part-Time for One Year

Even if you plan to keep the startup company as a second job, try to work no more than part-time for the first year. Keep your day job as you ease into the responsibilities and demands of ownership and management. Founders who wish to build a new career should use the same game plan: work full-time at their original positions while incrementally building the new entity.

Stay Connected

Build or expand professional contacts by joining local organizations like the Chamber of Commerce. Do as much in-person networking as possible. Maintain a top-notch website as well as a blog. Write occasional guest posts for a few of the leading sites in your field. Give talks and do online webinars highlighting your expertise and offering attendees value. Spend at least 20 minutes per day participating in discussion forums and chat rooms that are related to your industry. Remember to subtly promote your name and brand as rules allow.

Photo by Jenny Ueberberg on Unsplash

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