By Erica Simpson
“Go it alone,” is an oft felt sentiment that you probably feel as a solopreneur. But, you don’t have to go it alone if you take the right approach. In fact, “alone” might be the last thing that you find yourself.
The term solopreneur came into vogue during the 21st century. Independent spirits have been starting their own enterprises for much longer. Early inventors and solopreneurs like North African cosmetics architects, Nero Claudius Caesar (created with inventing ice cream) and Cai Lun (noted for inventing paper) didn’t realize the far reach of their works. Over the years, these free spirits have impacted the lives of millions.
Does your business benefit enough people?
Some aspired out of need. Think Madame CJ Walker, America’s first self-made woman millionaire. Others like Henry Ford and Garrett Morgan were led by curiosity and a rich appetite for newness. Similar to your products, or services the products and/or services that Ford and Morgan developed were meant to be used by masses of consumers.
You’ve heard it before, so here it is again – to succeed as a business owner, you must have a product or service that benefits others . . . a whole lot of “others”. Do this and you could enjoy tremendous word-of-mouth sales. Stories about your products and/or services could also get splashed across the front page of major media outlets, leading to more sales.
This one might catch you by surprise. Develop a product or service that benefit masses of consumers and you’re confidence about what your business can soar. You need that.
Don’t shatter your solopreneur confidence
Dr. Sangeeta Bharadwaj Badal says that high confidence helps you to “persist in the face of ambiguity and failure, and remain confident in meeting challenges as you pursue business success. You recognize opportunities and initiate action.”
If you market products or services that you know are less than top notch, your confidence as a solopreneur can erode. Ever find yourself second guessing a business decision? Ever find yourself spending hours weighing potential outcomes of new opportunities you’ve been presented?
These are symptoms of low confidence. Your chance to avoid this setback is to seek the guidance and advice of other successful solopreneurs, inventors and business owners. Get help from experienced attorneys and patent filers when registering your inventions with patent and trademark offices.
Only work with reputable marketers and advertisers. A rouge marketer or advertiser can definitely introduce your business to hundreds of thousands, potentially millions, of people. That’s no doubt. They can also ruin your reputation, leaving you to pick up the pieces after your come crashing down off the highest of highs, after your business goes from selling thousands of products a week to selling zero products a month. . . . All because your reputation was ruined.
Developing top-notch products and services that truly benefit masses of consumers, maintaining high confidence and smart marketing are parts of success as a solopreneur. So too is building and managing good, clean financial records.
More steps that lead to success as a solopreneur
Intuit shares that “bookkeeping is the core of any business.” Don’t have rock solid bookkeeping skills? Consider taking an online course, signing up for a low cost bookkeeping course at a local community college or hiring an experienced bookkeeper. Just make sure that whoever you hire is passionate about your business, wants to see you succeed . . . really succeed.
To get (and keep) word about your business in the public, design a fast loading, content rich and visually appealing website. Create awesome landing pages and link them to press releases, digital catalogs, postcards and other marketing materials.
If you’re just starting out as a solopreneur, try carrying business cards, a foldable brochure and product samples with you everywhere (and I do mean everywhere) that you go. Hand your business cards, brochures and samples to everyone you meet. Forget worrying about how many of those people will end up actually doing business with you.
Focus on spreading the word. Because you’ve already knocked out the first step of becoming a successful solopreneur (developing a top notch product or service), spreading the word should be a cinch.