# Beginner’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business as a Solopreneur
The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked a startup boom that continues to thrive. While today’s entrepreneurs are more business savvy than ever before, there is still a lot they need to learn about running a successful business. In this guide, we spoke to Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoît Nadeau, experienced authors and journalists who have successfully run a freelance writing business for over three decades. They shared their insights, tips, and tricks for launching and managing a business as a solopreneur. If you’re venturing into the world of entrepreneurship, here’s what you need to know.
## Section 1: Keeping things simple
Managing a small business requires juggling multiple roles. Whether you’re a writer, dog groomer, real estate agent, or graphic designer, it’s important to simplify your processes. Here are some tricks to make things easier:
1. Get a dedicated workspace: Having a physical space with a closed door helps you concentrate and minimize interruptions, especially when working from home. Establish office hours and teach others to respect your workspace boundaries.
2. Organize with folders: Both digital and physical folders are essential tools for any business owner. Create folders for different areas of your business, such as articles, notes, clients, workshops, and more. Filing folders help you stay organized, making information easily accessible when you need it.
3. File every day: Make it a habit to file papers daily. This practice ensures that important documents don’t pile up and become overwhelming at month-end. Regularly purging your files of unnecessary information also promotes efficiency.
## Section 2: Selective clientele
Learning to turn down business can be challenging, especially for new business owners. However, maintaining professionalism and simplifying your business management is crucial. Here’s why:
1. Complicated clients: Some clients may take you for granted or request special favors, creating unnecessary complications. It’s important to have clear boundaries and recognize when a client’s demands become problematic. Occasional house clearing, where you remove challenging clients, allows you to focus on valuable partnerships and simplifies your business operations.
## Section 3: Choosing the right social media platform
With numerous social media platforms vying for your attention, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here’s some advice for new solopreneurs:
1. Concentrate on one platform: Avoid the temptation to spread yourself too thin across multiple social media channels. Instead, focus on one platform that aligns with your target audience and business goals. Experimentation is fine, but once you find the platform that works for you, invest your efforts there. For example, Barlow and Nadeau have found success with LinkedIn after exploring other platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
## Section 4: Crucial freelance hires
As a solopreneur, you might think you can handle everything on your own. However, there are specific freelance hires that can simplify your business management in crucial areas. Consider the following positions:
1. Computer technician: Investing in a dedicated computer technician for your IT needs can save you time and prevent potential disasters. A skilled technician can assess your requirements, recommend suitable tools, troubleshoot issues, and provide timely support. Their expertise can be especially valuable during emergencies like computer breakdowns or security breaches.
2. External webmaster: Protecting your website from hacks is essential for any small business. Hiring a knowledgeable webmaster who can handle glitches and provide quick solutions is a wise investment. They can address technical issues and ensure your online presence remains secure, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.
## Section 5: Think preventively
Preventing problems before they occur is key to simplifying your business management. Take proactive measures to avoid issues and complications:
1. Anticipate contract problems: When negotiating contracts, think ahead and address potential problems that may arise with clients. This foresight minimizes the chances of misunderstandings or disputes down the line. Perform thorough research beforehand to safeguard your interests and define specific rights in the contract.
2. Hone communication skills: Effective communication with clients is paramount in preventing misunderstandings. Clearly define expectations, deliverables, and timelines to ensure a smooth working relationship. Regularly touch base with clients to provide updates, address concerns, and avoid any potential issues.
## Section 6: Define your purpose
Lastly, finding your purpose is crucial for solopreneurs. Having a clear vision and goal for your business simplifies decision-making and keeps you on track. Answer the following questions to define your purpose:
1. What do you want to achieve with your business?
2. What are your goals and interests?
3. Are you motivated by passion, financial success, or career advancement?
4. How does your purpose align with the services or products you offer?
By clarifying your purpose, you create a guiding compass that simplifies business management and keeps you focused on achieving long-term success.
In conclusion, starting and running a business as a solopreneur can be overwhelming, but by following these tips and adopting a simplified approach, you can navigate the challenges with ease. Keep things simple, be selective with clients, focus on the right social media platform, consider crucial freelance hires, think preventively, and define your purpose. With these strategies in place, you’ll be well on your way to succeeding as your own boss.