Starting a business is complicated, but starting and running a business on your own is especially difficult. It means you no longer have the luxury of trusting a team or people to support your goals, but being an aspiring entrepreneur means combining your passion and hard work to create something great and make your dreams come true. It's a chance.
However, building a profitable solo business can be difficult. As your company develops and grows, you will be alone in facing countless business and personal obstacles.
We explore expert advice on starting and running a personal business, and share business ideas and success stories for inspiration.
How to start a personal business
We've gathered tips and advice from successful solopreneurs to help you start your own business. Every entrepreneur and business is different, but many guidelines will apply.
1. Start your own business as a side job.
Many successful entrepreneurs recommend starting your own business as a side hustle, at least initially. Growing your business with a side hustle has the following benefits:
- You will maintain your main source of income for as long as possible. Starting a business as a side hustle allows you to maintain a steady stream of income and save money while gaining customers and traction. By the time you quit your day job to start your startup, you should have enough money saved up to minimize startup costs and get you through the difficult early stages.
- You can lead your business to success. Starting a side hustle will also set you up for success when you emerge from your current situation. If he spends a year or two building a customer base while working a full-time job, he'll have extra income and be ready to grow his already established brand once he's started full-time. Having a head start will ease the challenges and reduce your stress levels when starting your business.
- You may find that the adventure isn't for you. Starting a business on the side may also help you gain clarity about it. Maybe you'll come across an unexpected challenge that you don't want to overcome. After pursuing that business idea for a few months, you may decide it's not the right career change for you and move on to something else.
Many retirees are turning to self-employment to make money in retirement and turn their hobbies into successful businesses.
2. Find the right business structure for your personal business.
It is important to consider which legal entity type is best suited for your business.
Sole Proprietorship vs. Incorporation
The obvious choice for a sole proprietorship is a sole proprietorship, which is the simplest business structure available. However, this business structure has its pros and cons.
- Sole proprietors have flexibility. Sole proprietorships are very flexible and allow you to be an independent contractor or operate a small business in a more traditional sense. For example, if you want to become a freelancer writing marketing copy for companies, becoming a sole proprietor is a logical choice.
- Being a sole trader can involve risks. A sole proprietor is responsible for all of the company's profits and debts. As your business grows, this can become a problem. If you are involved in a business lawsuit, your assets are at risk. You will be responsible on behalf of the entity. The more customers we serve, the more relevant potential litigation becomes.
Some experts recommend forming a legal entity, such as an LLC, to protect your interests. “I recommend forming an LLC or incorporating your business,” said Deborah Sweeney, former CEO of MyCorporation.
Liability protection is the most obvious benefit. “Many entrepreneurs often choose to form a sole proprietorship for their small business. This business entity is perfectly fine, but the liability protections like a limited liability company (LLC) are important to owners. ,” Sweeney said. “If an entrepreneur decides to start his own business as a sole trader, he will be held responsible for everything (foreseen and unforeseen alike) that may affect his business. you need to know.”
Consider your business type when determining your legal structure.
Different business ideas are suitable for different business structures. If you think your business may face litigation, it may be best to incorporate your business.
For example, if you set up a private company to help other businesses collect debts, you're more likely to face legal repercussions than an e-commerce business that sells art.
Business structures may evolve.
A sole proprietorship may eventually add team members and change from a sole proprietorship to a partnership, partnership, or LLC. Just because you start as a solopreneur doesn't mean you're locked into that structure for the rest of your entrepreneurial journey. Even if you run a successful business by yourself, it doesn't mean you can't eventually become a multi-person organization.
If you operate as a sole trader, you need to understand the tax benefits and deductions of self-employment and how and when to pay taxes.
3. Prioritize your tasks to succeed as a solopreneur.
Time management is very important when running your own business. Without delegating to employees, private businesses must continue to perform tasks so that employees are not overwhelmed. Here is some time management advice for personal businesses.
- Prioritize your workday. If you only have 2-4 hours each day to work on your business, don't spend too much time checking email or doing boring tasks. You want to make significant progress on a major project. “My main advice is that you have to prioritize your day and schedule,” says Mark Aselstine, founder of Uncorked Ventures. “You're literally being pulled in every direction, and emails, calls, and texts all seem so important, and everyone wants an instant response. But when you actually need it?” Aselstine advises limiting your time to focus on the long-term health of your business.
- Set goals and hold yourself accountable. To stay on track, set your business goals several months in advance. If you're starting from scratch, set a target date for establishing your online presence, including building a website and establishing social media accounts. By setting goals and holding yourself accountable, you can push yourself to achieve something. “I work on her 90-day cycle,” says Isabel Paquin, her Pinterest marketing strategist. “Every quarter, I set goals and set two or three projects to focus on. The next important thing is to have the discipline to put on the blinders and focus on good implementation.”
- Don't go completely alone. Just because you run your own business doesn't mean you need help. Hiring a freelancer can help your business grow, make achieving your long-term goals more realistic, and free you up to focus on other aspects of your business. “My advice to anyone starting out is to know what you don’t know and surround yourself with great people.” [like] other small businesses and independent contractors who can provide services that you can’t,” said DJ Public Affairs President Diane Jones. “For example, I'm a public relations professional who provides a variety of services, including website development, graphic design, and video production. However, I personally don't do all of those things. I'm a great website developer, graphic We work with designers, video production companies to create the final product, and I manage the process. It's a win-win for both of us, and the client gets the product they want in the end. can.”
To make your business more organized, block out time for different tasks. Pay attention to when you're most productive and put the most energy into the tasks that matter most.
4. Build a community of supporters for your personal business.
Running a business alone can be mentally exhausting. To combat this, connect with like-minded people outside of work.
“To be honest, the only thing I struggled with was being ‘alone.’ I didn’t have a team to talk to about everyday things,” says Kathryn Selby, founder of Selby NYC. “If you're successful with a small team, like me, try to find activities outside of work that give you a sense of community, like group fitness classes or dinner clubs. These are the two things I find most effective. These are two of the things I found to be helpful. “
Here are some ways to connect with business colleagues, get advice, and fight loneliness.
- Network on LinkedIn. Networking on LinkedIn is a way to connect with people in your industry with whom you might work together in the future. There are many groups you can join where you can participate in discussions, answer questions to show your expertise, and share relevant content.
- Reach out to your local peers. Even if you don't have a solo show, reach out to local business owners and entrepreneurs. Talking to experienced businesspeople in your area will build connections and give you a network of people you can ask for advice. You can also share your advice and perspective with them, making it a beneficial two-way relationship.
- Participate in SBA events. The Small Business Administration (SBA) hosts community events throughout the year. Search for events in your area and attend the ones that interest you most. You'll meet people in your area who are also starting businesses and experiencing the same ups and downs. Network and learn during the event. Many of the events are free.
Regardless of how you connect with others and build a community of supporters, it's essential to reach out and meet people who can support you on your entrepreneurial journey. As counterintuitive as it sounds, running a business on your own is not a good idea.
“I think it helps to remember that you are never alone,” said Bridget Burnham, founder of BurnBright Communications. “You are part of a large community that wants you to succeed. Don’t forget to reach out and share openly about your successes and struggles. It’s amazing how resources and leads turn up when you tell people what you need.”
Financial support is just as important as a supportive community. If you need funding for your personal business, consider government loans for entrepreneurs, the SBA, and alternative loans.
5. Understand the limits of personal business growth.
The world's largest and most successful companies have teams of hundreds, if not thousands, of people. You might be able to build a multi-million dollar business by yourself, but that's not possible. If you want to build a large company, you're going to need help.
“It's possible to be successful in your own business,” said Ari Boone, founder of Hipster Investments. “But there's a limit to where the money stops. You can't grow this big without a team. So once you find that limit, the limit that you can reach and maintain on your own, you can do what you want. As long as we can make sure we keep it that way.”
At some point, you may want to add team members to your venture. ” [You’ll]You need to consider your definition of success,” Boone advised. “If you're making enough money to get by and your goal isn't to build an empire on any level, you might be perfectly content to be alone. If that's the case, you should start thinking about having a team.”
Smart hiring practices can help you take your personal business to new heights. Take the time to plan your recruitment and carefully consider job descriptions to attract top talent with desirable perks like flexibility.