For many, the perfect career dream is to start a venture of their own. Finding the right job, satisfactory pay, a cordial work environment, and functional independence is difficult. Hence, many opt to take the route of entrepreneurship. Some float a company, hire staff to run the business; others prefer to tread the path alone, operating solo. They can opt to be freelancers, consultants, or contractors too.
Doing business on your own or running an organization of people needs one to be innovative, organized, and diligent.
Before venturing further, let us define what the differences between a solopreneur and an entrepreneur are.
A solopreneur is someone who goes into business alone, operating from a home office or space marketing, or selling a product or service. An entrepreneur can be a solopreneur in the beginning, setting up a business and establishing it before he or she expands and hires people to join in the venture.
Here are a few tips that will help both stay ahead of the game.
Solorpreneurs and Entrepreneurs need to be good at marketing and networking.
To garner business, a solopreneur needs to build a personal brand and equity. He needs to use social media to connect to likely clients and update people of the activities.
Networking with known sources and people from within the community is also essential to know of likely leads to follow.
Since the work is remote mostly, Solopreneurs need to establish a unique calling card, viz a website, social media presence, etc to distinguish themselves from others as the space has become competitive with more people opting out of the rat race.
Entrepreneurs, too, need to have an active digital marketing cell. A presence in the social media sphere is essential for any enterprise. People look for leads, source business needs etc from the internet. It is the yellow pages of yore. Experts say that 47 percent of revenue will be driven by digital marketing in 2020. On top of that, 56% of CEOs believe that improving their digital strategies boost profiles.
Element of Risk
Both a solopreneur and an entrepreneur need to be risk-takers. They need to move out of their comfort zone.
Tips for Solopreneurs
A solopreneur needs to be organized. Being a solar operator can either be overwhelming or underwhelming both. If you accept too much work and are unable to deliver, then it is problematic. No job because of a lack of organization and procrastination is equally harmful.
Set office time for work. Use enterprise tools to help sort out your calendar, mails, and contacts.
If you are overwhelmed, outsource some of the tasks. If you are a writer and need some graphics, instead of doing it all, find someone who is a fellow solopreneur in that field. You can collaborate and generate income for others this way, adding to the economy.
Find solopreneur platforms where you can engage in an exchange of information, look for clients, and in general, keep up with what is happening in the field.
Many platforms put up freelance jobs, which you can pitch for.
An essential point for solopreneurs is to have a billing list handy for the projects you undertake. Some freelancers, in their eagerness to get a job, sometimes undercut rates. This might help you get the job but is harmful in the long run.
Do not short sell yourself. Otherwise, it will take a longer time to reach the market rates you deserve.
Charge hourly or project-wise. Be clear in your communications about that. Use Toggle or Hours to keep track.
Tip for Entrepreneurs
They need to have a business plan in place. A well thought out business plan is almost 50 percent of the task done for new entrepreneurs. A well laid out plan helps you budget well, set goals, and even enables you to get financing.
Your business should be niche and sustainable. It should fill a gap in demand for a product or service. Being too niche or generalised limits your customer base.
It is all about the money
Your business takes off, and your revenue is steadily rising, which means the company is paying for itself and is a good thing. But is it making money?
Instead of concentrating on the revenues, focus on profits. If the business is eating up all the money you are making, then it is not profitable.
It cannot be emphasized enough that everything is about building a customer base, sustaining the same, and expansion. Find unique ways of engaging with the customers. Event planning, promotions, and digital reach are marketing mantras that need to be followed.
Solopreneurs and entrepreneurs both need to be focused, organized, and customer-centric to get returns on their efforts.