The Solo Business Startup
What do you need to take your small business from startup to profitability?
David Cox | April 02, 2019
According to Statista.com, the number of freelance entrepreneurs in the U.S. has reached 57.3 million. Some experts forecast these solo business owners will outnumber traditionally employed workers in a little more than a decade.
The persistent growth of startups justifies consideration of what is needed by solo entrepreneurs to make these ventures successful.
Skills, traits, and knowledge
We often hear that you need to be courageous and a risk taker to launch and run a new business. I would add that a little insecurity is also helpful. Insecurity can drive you to focus on developing some of the skills, traits, and knowledge that are integral to the future success of your business startup, such as:
Successful freelance entrepreneurs persist through tough times because of their determination to succeed. They don’t merely thrive on reaching their primary goals; they also enjoy the journey. When you’re persistent, you feel driven to work hard, and remain committed to doing what it takes to make your business a success. You’re not interested in “taking shortcuts,” because you’re willing to put in the time necessary to deliver exceptional quality in your product or service.
If you’re going to do everything in your business the same way, all the time, you could miss opportunities for further development and some exciting results. You need to objectively try new things so you can discover what works best.
You also need to enrich your life with new experiences. Doing so could be as simple as talking to new people, taking a class, or getting involved with professional groups online. Each unique experience can become a source of ideas that can lead to opportunities that otherwise would have gone unnoticed.
Learning shouldn’t stop with earning a college degree or a particular certification. A life-long learning process should be the continuous pursuit of a solo business owner.
It’s necessary to keep up with changes in technology, developments in your industry, marketing processes, communications, customer services, trends, etc. In addition to reading and other formal learning opportunities, consider reaching out to knowledgeable people; seeking out those who achieved success in your field to ask for their opinions and advice.
You cannot grow a business and provide exceptional customer service unless you are an effective communicator. However, beyond skills in oral and written communications, you must learn to listen effectively.
Active listening encourages people to elaborate and share more. It requires you to pay attention to the motivations, reactions, and interests of others. You also need to be aware of non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language.
Active listening also helps you avoid appearing as self-promotional or arrogant. You want to build a reputation of prioritizing the interests of others over your self-interests.
Many freelance entrepreneurs have suffered business losses and failures. Rather than look at these occurrences as terminal, they’ve chosen to look at them as valuable learning experiences. They remain optimistic, but they also adjust quickly and move forward. Persistence is essential to your success.
Finding a successful path for your new business is rarely the result of a single idea or a formula for success. Solo business owners who persist in finding the right combination of skills, traits, and knowledge are more likely to discover a path resulting in profitability and sustainability.
If you focus your attention on developing the skills mentioned above, you may not only experience greater success in your startup; you may also experience greater joy in the journey.