Yes, folks, there’s a new buzzword in town: “solopreneur.” If you’re a home-based business with a sole owner (hmm, sound familiar?), that snazzy title belongs to you! And if you’re a true solopreneur, one of your main concerns is probably the growth of your small business.
Check out these seven ways to reach your goals – without growing pains.
1) Invest. “You’ve got to spend money to make money” can be a true statement. Whether it’s hiring a part-time employee, spicing up your marketing materials, or saving up to spruce up your website, putting capital back into your business is of vital importance. You don’t have to break the bank, but don’t be so frugal that you miss opportunities to grow.
2) Plan. Know the goals you have for your company and focus on them. It helps to write out a thorough business plan – then you’ll have it handy to refer back to when needed. And don’t forget to update your plan if circumstances change!
3) Be Flexible. Solopreneurs know that it’s necessary to stay on your toes and think fast! You should be able to switch gears if new opportunities present themselves (i.e. manufacturing your product in a different way, or changing your company’s overall mission).
4) Outsource. You don’t have to rush into hiring full-time help when you’re just beginning your growth. Plenty of contractors are out there, from accountants to administrative assistants! Check local staffing agencies also – that’s how I found my new designer!
5) Stay Professional. It’s simple logic to keep your personal life and business affairs separate, but that can be difficult if you’re a sole owner and/or are working out of your home office. Just treat your business like any other business – keep regular hours, answer the phone in a professional manner, give yourself breaks throughout the day, etc. Also consider using an invoice system that’s online- or software-based (this tracks your payments and expenses, and looks great when customers get real invoices from you).
6) Get Out More. Meet with your clients in person and attend community networking events. If you don’t belong to your local Chamber of Commerce already, join! There are great opportunities there for business-to-business contact.
7) Use Technology. This might be the most important factor, one that encompasses all six of the above points. To maximize investment, reach clients, and look professional, you must have a solid web presence. Schedule email newsletters as part of your marketing campaign, use social media to broadcast a new product, turn your blog into a forum about your industry, hire a designer to build you a sleek new website… there are so many ways to utilize the tech resources available to every solopreneur today.
Don’t sell yourself short just because you’re a small, home-based business. You can run with the big guys!