Tuesday 26th November 2019
This article was written by Courtney Rosenfeld who was kind enough to write a guest article for the blog.
Solopreneurship is one of the most attractive ways of achieving financial independence and work-life balance. You get to choose your own hours and be your own boss, with your success and income limited only by what you can achieve. However, going at it alone means taking on a huge amount of work. What they don’t often tell you is that most successful solopreneurs know how to look for support, whether it be in the form of tech or other people, in order to focus their efforts on what they do best.
According to Inc., several studies have shown that solopreneurs tend to be more stressed than employees. There are several reasons for this, from financial instability to unpredictable workloads, but the isolation and mental strain from trying to do everything alone are also huge factors.
Looking for sources of support is not a sign that you “can’t handle” entrepreneurship. It’s a sign you are willing to invest some of your resources in your and your business’s well-being.
Self-employed people are set to make up a third of the American workforce in the coming years, and this is a trend that is being spotted throughout the world. Perhaps the single biggest factor is the rise of internet-based platforms and technologies that have made entrepreneurship and gig economy work easier than ever. As a solopreneur, you should absolutely be taking advantage of this trend.
For example, CRM (customer relationship management) tools allow you to leverage all the data at your fingertips to streamline your marketing and sales efforts. According to Fit Small Business, Zoho is the best overall solution for small businesses. While Hubspot is the top free option, and the Streak is ideal for busy solopreneurs.
Another worthy tech investment is financial management software. There is no reason for you to spend hours tracking expenses, managing invoices, and doing your taxes. QuickBooks Online is arguably the market leader, with plans starting at €14 per month.
Of course, it’s not all about digital services. The physical tools we use for business these days are more powerful than ever. If you have the funds, it’s well worth investing in a top-of-the-line smartphone for your business so that you can communicate with clients, take high-quality product photos, receive and return emails, and run any apps for your business. If you’re into iPhones, the iPhone 11 is a high-powered phone with a top-notch camera and extended battery life. If you prefer an Android, the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has a nice display, many features, and a long-lasting battery.
Solopreneur doesn’t have to mean “doing every single job in the company.” Thanks to job boards like People Per Hour, it’s now easier than ever to find flexible, gig-based support for any tasks that you need help with.
This can be in something that’s not your area of expertise (say, developing a website) or just something you don’t particularly enjoy (like data entry). You may even want to hire a virtual assistant to take care of several of your administrative tasks. Depending on what you need, you will either be hiring a one-off service or seeking an ongoing relationship. Remember that in the case of the latter, you are not hiring an employee. The freelancer has the power to decline the work, so it’s in your interest to find someone you like and trust.
The biggest barrier to hiring freelancers for most entrepreneurs is the cost. Budgeting for freelance support can be difficult, but it’s possible. Set clear milestones to keep track of your expenses, prepare to pay more for more expertise, and bear in mind that the complexity of the project will likely influence the hourly rate, not just the number of hours.
When you’re just starting out, it’s natural to want to save as much money as possible. You may even find that you don’t struggle to balance all the demands of the business. However, as your venture grows, you will inevitably need to start investing in support. Start by identifying your weaknesses (or your biggest time drains); there’s definitely a piece of tech or a freelancer out there that can help you.