Are you a “solopreneur”? Solopreneurs are similar to entrepreneurs, but according to Podia, “Solopreneurs are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of their small business and tend to execute nearly all of the work themselves.” You aren’t in the minority, though, as Podia goes on to report that 73 percent of all businesses are sole proprietorships. As a solopreneur, your main focus isn’t to expand and build a team but to expand and grow your business. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t get some help.
Bring on the Freelancers
Chances are, you don’t want to hire a permanent employee — at least not anytime soon — but you can still hire someone to help. Freelancers are a business resource you should definitely tap into. As opposed to an employee, you don’t have to offer benefits, insurance, paid leave, or even a 401(k), and you only pay them for the time they spend working as opposed to snack breaks and social media browsing. Freelancers have a wide range of skills, including in those business areas you aren’t familiar with or just hate doing. Delegation isn’t an option for solopreneurs, but with freelancers, it is. They’re easy to find — just browse a job board to recruit freelancers and connect with a dependable and qualified candidate for the task at hand, such as web design, graphic design, or project management.
Get the Right Phone
Your smartphone is one of the many keys to your business success, as it probably doubles as a work phone. You answer emails, texts, and calls, check business accounts, conduct research, and post/track your social media accounts — to name a few. So, if your phone isn’t in your hand, it’s probably within arm’s reach. As such, you need a data plan that can support it all, so it all boils down to finding a provider who can meet your needs (and budget). Verizon is growing in popularity due to their strong network and 5G Ultra Wideband expansion, as well as 4G coverage guaranteed to cover 98 percent of the U.S. population. You can even add a business line with this provider, which is something you might want to consider to avoid having your personal number floating around online. Plus, this enables you to have some control over your work-life balance, sending business-related calls to voicemail after a certain hour.
Certain Tools Are Popular for a Reason
If you were to do an Internet search for “best solopreneur tools” you’d have pages and pages of results, but you’ll find that there are some tools that keep popping up. Why? They work! The following are a few worth checking out:
Invoicing: There’s a lot that goes into creating an invoice such as payment terms, invoice numbers, details of the product/service, etc., but Invoice2Go automates the entire process. E-signature software such as HelloSign and DocuSign can make it easy for you and your customers to get the necessary signatures too instead of printing, signing, scanning, and re-sending.
Email: Your phone and computer are constantly dinging with new emails, and Gmail seems to be the number one tool for solopreneurs due to its low price, personalization, and security. You can take it a step further with free plug-ins such as Boomerang and Sortd to schedule emails, set follow-up reminders, and sort emails into carefully organized vertical lists and folders.
Time management: Your time management and multi-tasking skills might have been one of the many reasons you decided to go into business for yourself, but there are limited hours in the day. If you find yourself writing out sticky notes and phone notes and never getting to them, you might look into one of the many time management apps available. For example, Evernote lets you take notes, create lists, and make voice reminders while Focus Booster is a timer-based app to enhance productivity, track progress, and break up tasks.
Solopreneurs have lots of goals, and one of them is to achieve solo success. You don’t have to do it completely on your own though. Take advantage of all the tools and resources available so that you can continue to be the best you can possibly be.