Many of the small startups you see today started out as one-man operations. An innovator has an idea and begins working on it, usually from the comfort of a home office or kitchen table. Often that work is conducted over nights and weekends, after putting in full days at a day job. Fortunately, thanks to the many tech tools available today, you can easily get your idea well underway with minimal startup capital.
But how do you get started? Whether you plan to tackle your new business full-time or you'll keep your day job for a while, here are a few steps you can follow to improve your chances of solopreneur success.
Follow Your Passion
If you're starting a business just to start a business, you're already starting off on the wrong foot. You should find something you enjoy doing and incorporate that into your business idea, even if it's merely a tool that speaks to something you enjoy. When you're passionate about your product, your customers, investors, and business partners will feel that passion, as well. If you're an avid fisherman, perhaps your invention will be a new app that helps your fellow hobbyists find the perfect fishing spot. If you love cars, your new business could center around products that revolutionize the way consumers interact with their vehicles.
Create a Vision
From the beginning, you should have a vision in mind for your new company. You can incorporate this vision into your business plan when you're ready, but mostly it's important that you have it in mind as you're working. Your vision should include attainable goals that allow an adequate timeframe for getting where you want to be. When you have a plan in place, you're more likely to keep going when it seems there are just too many obstacles.
Set a Budget
You'll likely have all the tools you need to get started, including the computer you've been using for personal endeavors. But you'll eventually need to put money into marketing, product development, and travel to conferences and networking events. Set money aside while you can and put a budget in place for each of these items so that you'll know what to expect. This will let you know if you'll need a loan, investment capital, or to save even longer before you begin your solopreneurship.
You don't have to be an expert in accounting, billing, or project management to put these services to work in your business. There are many tech tools available that will automate these processes for a nominal fee. You'll also need a system in place to gather information for your taxes at the end of the year, capturing your expenses to allow you to deduct them to save money on your tax bill.
Don't Try to Do It All
As a solopreneur, you'll expect yourself to handle everything alone. That attitude will quickly lead to burnout, since you can only sustain those stress levels for so long. While your budget likely won't allow for many expenses, spring for an outsource worker occasionally.
Drew Hendricks from Infographics says "You may also be able to hire local college students as interns or rely on friends and family members for help in the early days. You may find a friend knows a graphic designer who would love to do your logo inexpensively in exchange for being able to use it in his portfolio, for instance."
If you're thinking about starting your own solopreneurship, a clear vision and the right resources can point you in the right direction. Don't feel pressured to go full-time right away, but with some hard work on nights and weekends, in time you'll likely find you're ready to go for it.