Let’s cut to the chase – starting out as a solopreneur is challenging. Although you don’t have to deal with certain aspects of running a business like payroll or employee benefits, you’ve got to have the other core operations and administrative components covered like:
- Customer service
- Public relations
- Strategizing and planning
All of those things and more need to be done to keep your business afloat – and you’ll be the one doing them.
Overwhelming? You bet it can be. But by taking action on the following tips, you’ll make your journey as a new solopreneur less mysterious and more empowering even straight out of the starting gate:
Get Social as a Solo Small Biz Owner
Connect face-to-face and build relationships with other solopreneurs and small business owners. They’ve walked the walk and can relate to most – if not all – of the specific challenges you’re facing as a new entrepreneur. Join your local chamber of commerce, a Toastmasters group, ABWA, or some other professional group – most have at least a few solo business owners within their memberships. Actively participate and interact, and you’ll likely find that your fellow members will be happy to lend their insight and advice to help guide you through tough decisions and situations.
Link Up with LinkedIn Groups
Although as a rule I don’t tell anyone that they should be on a specific social media platform, LinkedIn is the exception. A purely professional network, LinkedIn lets you connect with not only clients, prospective clients, and business colleagues, but it also provides you the opportunity to join online entrepreneurial-minded groups. And groups exist for many niche industries and specific locales, too. Got a problem you don’t know how to solve? Need advice on how to handle a particular situation? Post your question as a “discussion” on the page of a group that has a membership rich with people who are knowledgeable about the topic or your area of business. I’ve gotten some very valuable guidance, tips and tricks through discussions on several group pages focused on writing and editing and on a group page dedicated to businesses located within my county. Group members are generally very willing to share their thoughts and guide you to additional resources to help you with your challenges. Just be sure to reciprocate and occasionally check discussions to see how you might be of assistance.
Get One-to-One Guidance
As a solopreneur you don’t have to totally go it alone. As a startup, you can find free help in wrapping your arms around all things business. Organizations like SCORE (who has 365 chapters nation-wide) provide free mentoring to new entrepreneurs and existing small businesses. Also look for other nonprofits in your area that give cost-free business consulting.
No, it really isn’t easy being green, but it doesn’t have to be painful either. With some concentrated outreach effort on your part, you can go from novice to in-the-know solopreneur without too many scrapes or scratches.
What resources do you tap into most to learn best practices and get real-world experience about being a solopreneur?
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