People often have a romanticized, but misguided view regarding what life is like to run a one-person business. They tend to think it’s going to be much easier than the tedious corporate job that they’re currently stuck in.
While working for yourself does have its benefits, if you want it to be successful, you’ll need to adequately prepare both yourself and the business. This is why most one-person businesses fail within the first year—they’re unprepared for what lies ahead.
We want to share with you five tips on things that you can do to successfully run your own business. They will give you the foundation and support that you need to move forward and forge a successful one-person business.
Have a Business Plan
Before you hang your proverbial shingle above the door of your home office, sit down, and create a business plan. It will provide you with an invaluable roadmap as you start to grow your business. Without it—you might focus your efforts on the wrong areas and wind up wasting both time and money.
A business plan should spell out your goals and how you intend to achieve them. Try to add a few milestones along the way—even a small win is still a win. This can have a tremendous psychological effect upon your morale and give you the mental energy you need to move forward towards the next goalpost on your business plan.
Build a Business Website
There’s no excuse not to have a business website in this day and age. Even if you don’t know how to code, there are plenty of online companies that offer free or low-cost sites that you can get up and running in just one afternoon.
Having a website not only gives prospective clients and customers a chance to find your business on the internet, but it also helps add legitimacy to your brand. You can show off products, services, or thought leadership by adding a few blog posts.
Most people nowadays will Google a company before doing business with them. By having a professionally-designed website live on the internet, you’re putting forth a more professional appearance—even if you work in your pajamas from the couch.
Manage Your Time
As the sole owner of your business, you will wear multiple hats daily. Accounting, sales, customer service, and even janitor are all things that will take time out of your day. Keep in mind that when you work from home, you’ll also need to schedule time for cleaning the house, making dinner, or taking the kids to school.
The best way to manage your time is to create a calendar. Google offers a free online calendar that you can use to plan your day or week ahead. Once you finish a task, simply delete it and then go on to the next one. By forcing yourself to stick to a calendar, you won’t find yourself scrambling for time because you forgot to do something.
Find Like-Minded People
Once the proverbial honeymoon period comes to an end, and reality starts to set in, you might find yourself a tad bit lonely. While your spouse, family members, or friends might be totally supportive of your new business, they don’t fully understand what you go through daily.
This is why it’s crucial to find other business owners who are in the same niche as you. They can provide support and a level of camaraderie that the well-wishers in your life just can’t understand.
The best and quickest way to find like-minded business owners is to hop on Facebook. There are plenty of support groups for small business owners. They’re usually free to join, and there’s often a wealth of information on not only how to run your business, but how to maintain your health and mental sanity as well.
Seek Professional Advice
While the services of a Certified Public Accountant may cost you a few hundred dollars, they can help save you a tremendous amount of money in the long run. For example, running your business as a sole proprietor might require you to pay self-employment taxes at the end of the year. Your CPA might advise you to incorporate as an LLC or S-Corp, depending on the nature of your business.
Not all CPAs are created equal. Some of them will go above and beyond and offer free consulting services. Unless you’re paying them a lot of money, the bigger CPA firms will often provide you with only the services that you pay for. Sometimes smaller CPA firms will offer free advice and won’t charge you when you call them with a question on your taxes.
Be Prepared Before You Launch
If you take the time to adequately prepare yourself and your business before you launch, you’ll find that you have the right tools that you need to succeed. Running a one-person business is a lot of work, but if you run it the right way, you’ll most likely find that it will be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
Keep in mind that striking out on your own without any help is a risk, no matter how well you’re prepared. This is why some business owners choose to buy into an already established business, such as TravelHost Owner. It helps remove much of the uncertainty and can provide you with a proven road map to success—along with a network of supportive and already successful business owners.