Starting a One-Person Business
Starting a small business is hard work even when you have others helping you, but starting and running a one person business on your own presents even more challenges.
Maybe you’re exhausted from working for someone else, and have always dreamed of starting your own business. But, before you jump ship, let me share some wise words: Starting and running a business alone isn’t for everyone. You need to put in a lot upfront (mostly consisting of time and some money) in order to reap the rewards in the future.
A U.S. census from 2010 indicated that there are more than 20 million one person businesses in the United States, accounting for more than three-fourths of all U.S. businesses.
One of the biggest attractions for starting your own one person business is being your own boss, and setting your own schedule – at least in theory. This ideally works best for singletons and small families, where the man or the woman can put in the necessary time into the business, while the other parent focuses more on the family.
Running the show solo requires ample amounts of determination, discipline, and fearlessness. I’ll never forget when I started my first business, and at times just wanted to bury my head in the sand and ask, What did I get myself into?
If you think you’re up for the challenge, and got what it takes, here a few tips on starting your own one person business.
Starting a One Person Business
Choose a business that involves something you know about. The less time you need to spend learning the business, the more time you will have to run it. Keep the future in mind when starting up your business – Do you want to sell your business eventually, or do you just want a change of lifestyle?
Another idea to keep in mind is how much cash you might need. There are some who will tell you that you need an ample amount of cash to start-up, however I disagree with this thinking. If everyone needed large amounts of capital for start-up, nobody would be starting a businesses. And just in case you don’t believe me, read this article: 6 businesses you can start for under $200.
Focus on the Big Picture
Time is a solo entrepreneur’s biggest friend. A hawk-like focus on your most important functions as a business owner is essential. Rather than spending too much time doing administrative work, you should be focused on marketing your business and driving sales.
Most sole proprietors say that their biggest challenge is finding the time and resources to generate new business. Being a double solopreneur I know first hand that time is tight most of the time, and without focus on the big picture it’s very easy to get sidetracked.
When you’re starting out, you’re trying to build from the ground up, so you need to be clear on who your customers are, because you don’t have any time to waste on those who aren’t your customers.
In the beginning I kept things pretty simple in marketing. I used web presence through Twitter, and our home page to establish the company online.
Keep It Small
There years since starting one of my business, I still keep it small as a home based business. I converted my second bedroom into an office in which I do a lot of work from, this way it saves me time and money by not having to rent a facility.
I’m also employed full-time, and as much as I enjoy seeing my business grow, I’m not interested in it blowing up overnight. Slow, steady, and gradual growth is what I’m after, this way I’m able to handle the work load, and perform the task at hand in best of quality.
Being a solo-entrepreneur isn’t for the easily distracted. To manage your limited amount of time effectively, you have to be disciplined. I try to do specific tasks on specific days. One day of the week I really focus on doing a lot of business development. Other days in the week are for the business planning and the numbers side. Another day is heavily focused on customer service issues.
Taking care of small details is crucial for business success. For example, if you’re starting a cleaning company, having antimicrobial shelving units from a trusted company such as Schaefershelving.com would be a good investment for future business growth and to maintain the quality of your work.
If you want to succeed as a business owner, you need to put your business first and foremost. There have been many times that I backed out of social gatherings simply because there were more important things to get done. Sacrifice is key to your success.
Realize that you are the most valuable part of your business and take care of yourself. Without you, your business would not be able to survive. I’m the first one in line for hard work in order to reap the benefits in the future, but every animal needs a break once in a while. Work hard to reach your goals, but remember to find some time for living life as well.