Posts Tagged ‘starting a one-person business’

January 23rd, 2021

5 Tips for Starting a One-Person Business

by Rahimah Sultan







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Included in the abundance of business advice is the fact that you should delegate certain tasks so you can focus on your business rather than work in your business. This is sound advice, unless you happen to be the only person in your business or you’re just starting a business.

Can you run a small business on your own?

You can run a small business on your own, although it requires planning and lots of patience.

Following are 5 Tips for starting a one-person business from some entrepreneurs who have successfully done so. You can use your own plan, although this framework tends to lead to success.

1) Start as a Side Business

It’s going to take time to build your one-person business, and quitting your job will create financial challenges if you don’t have quite a bit of money saved.

For financial security, starting your one-person business on the side is often the way to go. If you develop a client base while working a full-time job over a year or so, you’ll be bringing in money and be set  to grow an already established brand once you take your venture full time.

Starting your business on the side allows you the time and opportunity to see what challenges may occur or whether you should change course and choose another type business.

Starting your business from home on the side affords flexibility to make mistakes and fail without losing your only source of income.

2) Determine the Right Structure for Your Business

The type of clients or audience you want and your branding play a part in structuring your business.

The simplest forms of business available are sole proprietorships which offer a lot of flexibility. You can be an independent contractor, operate a small more traditional business or do freelance work.

Although this seems like a logical choice, you are solely responsible for everything including any potential lawsuits that may occur and any applicable employment taxes.

The usual advice is to form an LLC or incorporate the business. In doing so you, as the owner, are provided with liability protection.

If you’re a one-person business and operate as a sole proprietorship you can change the structure when you become a multi-person organization.

Click here for more information on choosing a business structure.

3) Prioritize Tasks

Since you’re the only one working in your business, it’s critical not to procrastinate or waste time.  You need to prioritize your tasks.

Schedule your day and your tasks. You’re going to be pulled in many directions with phone calls and messages and such. You have to decide what needs immediate attention and what can wait.

Organize tasks with both a short- and long-term view. Block out times of the day to work on different tasks and long-term goals and projects. If your working only a few hours a day on your side business, there’s not a lot of time for tedious tasks and checking emails.

Help prioritize your tasks by setting long-term goals.

When working alone it’s easy to get off track and make little progress. Take a long-term goal setting approach, and hold yourself accountable to those goals. You can set long-term goals to accomplish in three-month increments.

Let’s say you’re just organizing a plan of action because you’ve not actually started your side business. Consider how you’ll get the word out about your business. Consider whether you’ll use a blog, social media or both. Then set target dates for having these in place. Set dates for when you want to begin posting to your blog. Decide how often you want to post and when you’ll write your posts. Setting goals helps you stay on track.

Although sticking to the grindstone and getting work done is great, you’ll need some help from other sources. Surround yourself with great people. That can be other small businesses and independent contractors who can provide a variety of services such as website development, graphic design, and video production. Working together and exchanging ideas and being flexible benefits you and your clients.

4) Community Supporters

Running a one-person business can be mentally tiring, so connect with like-minded people and build a community of supporters. Find activities that are not work related to get involved in like joining clubs and joint fitness groups for human interaction to allow time away the day-to-day office drama.

Connect with business peers for advice and to reduce business loneliness. Reach out to local business owners and entrepreneurs. Talk with experienced business people in your area and share advice and viewpoints with them. This builds connections and gives you a group of people to turn to for advice. LinkedIn is an easy way to connect with business people in your area and quickly build a network.

Attend SBA (Small Business Administration) events in your area that interest you and meet others who are experiencing what you’re going through.

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, it’s not wise to run a one-person business alone.

5) Growth Limitations

Your growth limitations are determined by your definition of success. You can grow only so large without a team. If you find the limit that you can get to on your own and are able to maintain, you can certainly sustain that as long as you desire.

If you have no goals of building any level of empire, you might be completely content to stay on your own. But if your definition of success involves anything more than that, you’ll need to start considering having a team.

So, write your business plan, with these five tips for starting a one-person business in mind,  meet with a business advisor to discuss activating your plans, and be patient.


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