Running a solo business brings all the glory and all the grief. On the one hand, the business owner is free to make every decision. On the other hand, he or she bears the burden of performing every last task.
Here is a list of some of the challenges associated with solo entrepreneurships, along with some measures you could take to work around them:
- Getting Stuck in a Rut. Even the most brilliant minds need someone to bounce ideas off of. Especially when you are starting a business, it’s important to have a sounding board to fine-tune your good ideas and head off your less realistic plans. To this end, it’s a good idea to consult with an “advisory board” of family, friends, and/or colleagues to discuss your business’s direction. Don’t worry about bothering people with this; they will likely be flattered that you respect their opinions.
- Lack of Direction. Once you have a great idea for a new business, you need concrete plans about how to develop it. You also have to consider the end-game: will the business remain small, or would you like to continually expand and/or sell it? One technique to ensure that you remain focused on your business goals is to create a well thought out business plan.
- Financial Drain. Starting and running a business generally requires a signifcant financial investment. Determine whether you can, or want to, take on the full financial burden. You might decide in the end that you will need to take on investors or partners. Take time to speak to an attorney about setting up your business in a way that protects your personal assets.
- Time Drain. There is not enough time in the day to perform every task. You need business development, bookkeeping, client relations, and purchasing, in addition to actually doing whatever your business does. Consider hiring employees or consultants to cover some duties. To better manage your time, assign yourself certain tasks for certain times of the day, and do not allow yourself to veer from those times. Remember also that allotting personal time is essential to your well-being.
- Skill Deficit. No one is an expert in every domain. You might be great at buying and selling, but know nothing about keeping track of account receivables. Where necessary either hire workers or outsource tasks to those who know how to do them.