Solopreneurs are individuals who have decided to start a business by themselves without the support of a partner or co-founder.
It is important to understand that although the term, ‘solopreneur‘, probably sounds weird among people outside the business sphere, it is fairly common to find startups led by a single person.
Operating ‘solo’ comes with a unique set of pros and cons that founders should understand before they launch their very own one-person venture.
Although modern companies like Camino Financial offer small business financing to every type of business owner, investment alone doesn’t make up for the lack of a peer to share the business’s responsibility as a whole.
For example, sharing the workload when it comes to strategy, marketing, technology and so on as well as other important decisions, all adds extra pressure on the solopreneur and more so as the business grows.
With that in mind, this article aims to take a closer look at the reality of being a solopreneur and whether businesses are successful according to data compiled by government institutions.
Let’s start with understanding the difference between a solopreneur and an entrepreneur.
Solopreneur or Entrepreneur?
Here’s a quick summary of how you can quickly identify a solopreneur from an entrepreneur.
1. Solopreneurs are the founders and employees of the firm.
Although they can delegate some minor assignments, they usually execute most of the business’s day-to-day tasks. By contrast, an entrepreneur is happy to ‘outsource’ or hire the resource to do the work.
2. Solopreneurs rely on their technical expertise.
Solopreneurs are the gurus of their business, which means that their success depends entirely on what they know and can do. Entrepreneurs will engage the best experts they can afford and back them to deliver results.
3. Solopreneurs don’t rely on external financing.
Most – if not all – solopreneurs don’t have partners or shareholders. They commonly fund the business by using their savings or by securing some small business financing. Entrepreneurs mostly prefer to use other people’s money, i.e. institutional funding, angel investors etc.
4. Solopreneurs don’t see the business as an external entity
Since the business depends almost entirely on their input, solopreneurs become one with the business – insofar as the latter cannot exist without the former.
Entrepreneurs want the business to be successful without them in it, i.e. they want it to exist and thrive without them, and this strategy makes the business worth more to a buyer.
Which are the benefits of launching a one-man venture?
There are multiple upsides to being a solopreneur.
One of the most prominent ones is a reduced operating structure, which results in lower fixed expenditures such as wages or payroll benefits.
This situation allows solopreneurs to offer competitive prices compared to small firms that have larger operating expenses.
Freedom of choice
Meanwhile, another advantage of being a solopreneur is not having to convince someone else to implement new ideas or launch new products/services as you will be in charge of making those decisions.
Moreover, solopreneurs can quickly adopt financial austerity measures in case the business suddenly experiences a downturn. In contrast, the decision of applying for instruments like small business financing can be taken quickly if some extra funds are needed.
Are there any downsides?
Despite the significant upsides of launching a business by yourself, you should also be aware of some downsides of being a solopreneur.
You’re ‘all things to all people’
The first of these cons is the challenge of having to come up with ideas by yourself.
Creativity is a resourceful skill that team members can bring to the table if the business founder suddenly finds himself in a ‘dry’ period.
Solopreneurs rely on their own ideas and problem-solving skills, and this can cause bottlenecks and then frustration for customers when issues take longer to solve.
Furthermore, small business finance, staff hire, dealing with legal matters, marketing and sales and so on is all on the shoulders of the solopreneur, whereas entrepreneurs can share the burden with their team.
The Path To Success
If you are considering becoming a solopreneur, you are joining a big club of around 30 million people like you in the United States.
The path to success has its challenges, but statistics compiled by the US Small Business Administration show that the median income for these individuals is around $51,000 per year, making it a rewarding path compared to some other employment choices out there long as you make it.
And don’t let funding be a showstopper, even as a solopreneur some lenders will lend to you, i.e. small business financing so this can be one less thing to worry about.