One of the most common expressions I hear in the entrepreneurial space is that business owners tend to “wear a lot of hats” — meaning they perform many different roles within their job as CEO.
This expression is so common because it’s true. And it’s especially relevant when it comes to running a business on your own, as a solopreneur.
When you’re the only employee in your business, it’s up to you to make sure your brand is thriving in all areas — from backend operations to marketing and everything in-between.
You also have to learn how to prioritize what matters most, when it matters most, if you want to get things done and keep the needle moving forward.
With that being said, today I’ll be sharing my top pieces of advice for starting and running a business as a “solopreneur” on the blog.
And remember — while it may be tricky at times, it’s not at all impossible to build a successful business on your own. It’s the way most CEOs start!
If you’re still in the early stages of business creation and planning, your first step is to create a business plan. This is essential when it comes to knowing where to direct your efforts and attention over the course of the following months (potentially years).
When you’re first starting out and you have to be in charge of everything, it can be difficult to know where to focus your energy. So make it simple by focusing first on the things that have the potential to make you money (like sales and content creation) and second on the things that help your brand as a whole, but don’t actively generate income (like designing your logo or going over your bookkeeping). These tasks are important, but your #1 priority is staying in communication with your customers and leading them to your product/service. This is how you actually make money in your business!
Oftentimes, people want to start a business because they believe it’ll result in immediate cash flow and freedom. But that just isn’t true. Running a business on your own is not for the easily distracted, and if your only motivation is money or time freedom, you’ll soon find that entrepreneurship may not be for you. But if you have a true passion for the brand you’re building and are willing to put the work in (even when it’s challenging), that discipline will pay off. A good way to turn your internal discipline into action is to create a schedule for how you plan to run your business. Dedicate specific tasks to specific days of the week, or try out an A/B schedule system.
Running a business on your own doesn’t mean you can’t get help. Virtual independent contractors (like virtual assistants and online service providers) specialise in basically any skill-set you would need assistance with. This way, you don’t have to worry about bringing on a full-time employee — you can get help exactly when you need it. When you delegate the parts of business that aren’t in your “zone of genius”, you have even more time to focus on the money-generating activities we were just going over — without anything else on your “to-do” list suffering. Think about it like this: if you’re spending 20 hours a week learning web design, that’s 20 hours a week you could be putting towards marketing and bringing in new clients.
When you start running a business by yourself, it can feel like there’s no separation from work and your real life. It is SO important to create that separation intentionally and keep the work/life lines from becoming blurred, in order to avoid burnout and stay in a good headspace. Realize that YOU are the most valuable part of your business — so if you don’t take care of yourself, the whole operation suffers.
Ultimately, if you still find yourself feeling uncertain about where to direct your energy as a solo entrepreneur, bringing on a trusted mentor and business advisor can always help.
While I’m currently booked out for business coaching, you can join the waitlist for my coaching services or book a strategy session to address a specific area of concern in your business.
I hope you found this advice helpful!