As we enter the latest recession, everyone is trying to find their own way through these uncertain times. Because of the risk of job loss and the challenges of making ends meet, a lot of people are looking for ways to augment their income.
Starting a business can be far more lucrative than taking on a side hustle. Instead of trading time for money, companies run on a system that sells products or services to address needs. Thus, you won’t strain your already limited time to earn additional revenue.
Even though the current climate might be risky, there are some real opportunities for entrepreneurs to secure startup funding in the new normal. You can certainly use your own capital, but that’s not the only option.
Still, running a business means typically networking and managing people. If that’s your Achilles’ heel, should you abandon a promising concept?
The path of the solopreneur
It’s possible to start and run a business entirely on your own. Many people have already gone down this route; in recent years, the term ‘solopreneur’ has risen in popularity.
Strip down the requirements of starting a business to the essentials. Can you grasp the overall perspective enough to flesh out your idea into a business plan? Can you analyze the market to find your ideal audience and connect with them strategically? What will be your sales and pricing model, and how do your finances project?
You can simplify some of these tasks, even if you have an aversion to working with other people. Automation, or software like Quickbooks and a cleanup company for support, can help you with the accounting side of things. Online surveys, Google analytics, and similar tools can provide adequate insight into the market, even if you’re not a marketing professional.
Entrepreneurs must wear many hats. By choosing to launch your startup as a solopreneur, you can free yourself from having to function in some of those roles. This allows you to play to your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
A question of readiness
If you’re the sort of person who likes to get involved in all the details of a project, running a business with other people can mean surrendering control. That’s unpleasant for you, and few employees appreciate working under a micro-manager. Being a solopreneur might seem like a great way to avoid that situation entirely.
But just because it’s possible to run a business alone doesn’t mean you should immediately take that path. Other people have succeeded, but for every solopreneur success story, how many thousands have failed?
Working with others in a startup offers the same benefits as collaborating on a project. You might disagree with others and get into arguments. These situations can take time to smooth out, and maybe the process is less comfortable than you’d like. Yet, in the process, you benefit from the different experiences and perspectives of your teammates.
Involving other people in running your business helps distribute the workload. It’s not only about delegating tasks, but also sharing intangible burdens, such as decision-making. Before you decide on going solo, be honest with yourself: are you ready to shoulder all the work?
Taking an intermediate step
If you aren’t ready to be a solopreneur, then taking the plunge too early will result in a diluted focus on essential aspects of the business. There’s no way you can succeed in that manner. But that’s no reason to give up. You simply need to consider an intermediate step.
Dipping your toes into the freelance industry is a great way to shore up some of the weaknesses you might have to face when running a business. You can practice collaborating with other people you’ve never met. Learn how to write contracts, subcontract to others, build trust, communicate effectively, and hold them accountable. In the process, you can grow a network of freelance contacts. Later on, you can tap them to work on various aspects of your business.
Relevant experience can also be gained through regular employment. If you’re not getting that through your current job, maybe it’s time to change that. While others compete to find jobs that offer great compensation or career advancement, you’re in the job hunt for learning purposes. Look for work that gives you a behind-the-scenes preview of running a company.
Sure, this could mean taking a step back in terms of your career and compensation. Or, in the case of freelancing, it could mean sacrificing your free time for a side hustle. But if you’re committed to becoming a solopreneur in the long term, this setback will only be temporary. In the end, it will enable you to run a successful business without needing to manage other people.