5 Steps to Scale From a Hungry Solopreneur to an Unstoppable Enterprise
Above all else, focus on your product and your customers.
Many entrepreneurs start as solopreneurs: They start a new business by themselves and don't have any partners or staff members to assist them with their business's management and operations.
This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the circumstances. If you start a business by yourself, you have total control over your company's leadership decisions. You aren't forced to consult with a partner about anything beforehand. You'll also own 100 percent of the company, which means you won't have to split the profits with other owners or partners.
It is not a great idea to remain a solopreneur forever, though. Eventually, there comes a point when you want to scale up your business, and it becomes impossible to do so unless you hire more help. Let's examine the top five key pillars to scaling from a hungry solopreneur to an unstoppable enterprise.
1. Create a popular product or service
Solopreneurs try to do everything themselves. Aside from managing their businesses, they must focus on creating products or services which people will want to purchase. That can be difficult for a solopreneur because they have so many other things to focus on. These distractions make it difficult to perform the proper research needed to learn what consumers in their market are demanding.
If you don't want to feel overwhelmed as a solopreneur, then start your business as simply as possible. Don't worry so much about renting commercial property, marketing your website, printing business cards or any other repetitive task. Instead, focus entirely on your industry's target audience and what they are demanding from companies in that industry. Then create a product or service which matches their demand.
The idea is to put all your energy into creating or offering something that people will want to buy in overwhelming numbers. If you're selling products, it is OK to hire a manufacturer to create those products for you on a contractual basis. And if it's a service, offer it to the best of your ability and make your customers extremely happy. When you have something worthy to sell, everything else about running your business will come easy.
2. Hiring and outsourcing
Solopreneurs are usually on tight budgets, which is why they do all their daily tasks themselves. They don't want to outsource work or pay employees to help them because they cannot afford it. Do you feel this way too?
You will stress yourself out by taking on too many responsibilities. Don't expect to become your own accountant, marketer, tax advisor, customer service representative and manufacturer. It will get to the point where you become too tired and exhausted to produce quality work, and your business will suffer for it.
There is nothing wrong with working 12-plus hour days to grow your business. But once your business starts making money, you should hire additional workers to help you. These could be freelancers, part-time employees or full-time employees. Start with one freelancer or employee and gradually hire more people as your business generates more profits.
You'll know you have an unstoppable enterprise when you have several different managers and employees working under you. But you cannot get there unless you break free from being a solopreneur at some point.
3. Invest in a CRM system
Your customers are the backbone of your company. Even if you think you can handle all the managerial responsibilities on the backend by yourself, how will you manage all your customers too?
The more you grow your company, the more customers you will receive. It will become nearly impossible to answer all their questions and fulfill all their orders without some way to manage them better. Therefore, you should invest in a customer relationship management system to manage customer information, sales and actionable insights. Building a strong relationship with your customers is how you get repeat business. As a solopreneur, you'll need all the help you can get in that department. That is why a customer relationship management system is an invaluable asset to bring into your company.
Related: 6 Tips for Hiring the Right People
4. Invest in fast and easy marketing techniques
Automated marketing is a great way to save time as a solopreneur. Some experts will tell you to post classified ads and blog messages to attract new customers online. But these actions are repetitive and time-consuming. You will have trouble devoting each day to marketing when you have so many other tasks to do as a solopreneur. It is better to invest in fast and easy marketing techniques, such as pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
In PC campaigns, each time someone clicks on your ad, you pay the bid price set in your campaign for the searched keyword. You only pay when people click on your ads and visit your website.
The point here is that you don't need to spend as much time doing search engine optimization or ad postings because the PPC campaigns do all the advertising for you. After you set up campaigns, you can leave them on autopilot and let them get to work promoting your business for you.
5. Don't sell out
As you build your business as a solopreneur, you'll increase the value of your company significantly. If the business generates a lot of profit, you might get offers from investors who'll want to purchase your company for a decent amount of money. It is always tempting for a solopreneur to sell their company and collect a nice big check. But do not give in to this impulse.
If you have a business that is worth buying, then it must be a valuable business. Why would you want to sell it when you could build and expand it? The whole point of creating a business is so you can turn it into a huge success. Don't just sell because you achieved a little bit of success. Go all the way with it until it is an unstoppable enterprise!
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