If you want to be a solopreneur, you have to be prepared to dig into all the areas of your business. Even if you hire some outsourced help, you still need to know enough to communicate what you need, make sure you get what you asked for and can manage the people you hire. Some of the business skills you need may be new or uncomfortable for some people but it’s important to have at least some level of mastery.
The first skill you have to acquire is comfort with technology. A lot of people make the mistake of blindly outsourcing their tech needs without learning some basic skills first. It’s fine to outsource your tech needs, but if you don’t at least have some knowledge it can be hard for you to get what you want and need from your tech person. I’ve seen a lot of people have their outsourced tech project go awry even though their hired contractor tried their best. Even if you have no interest in actually learning any tech processes, it will make you a better client to your hired contractor if you learn some of the vocabulary, concepts, limitations and best practices of the area you are working on. Of course, if you want to go the full solo route for some of the more accessible tech projects that’s an option too.
The second skill you need some basic financial analysis. This probably sounds horrible to you if you are a right-brain, creative type but you can get away with very little in this area. Some basic numbers to look at: sales, number of customers, where sales are coming from, expenses and reach (total number of people you can reach on email and social media for starters). In general, you want sales and reach to go up over time. Expenses should go down, stay flat or increase by less than sales increase by. There are many more financial and numerical measures you can look at, but this is a place to start and it’s a minimum for any solopreneur business owner.
The third area is writing. This may be hard for some people because they simply don’t like it, aren’t good at it or are slow writers. It’s possible to build a successful business without any writing, but as a solopreneur your life will be a lot easier if you can do some of your own writing. Even if you decide to outsource this to a large degree, you’ll get better results if you can provide a good description of what you want.
Being a solopreneur isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean the only option is a job at a big company. If you have areas of your business you just can’t bring yourself to master, try taking a middle ground instead of running the other way. Gain enough familiarity to make yourself a good client and see if you can find some help. Your business will be better served by you gaining the knowledge you need than trying to duck it.
Curious if you have what it takes to be a one-person business? This is one of the topics I cover in my book “Is a Solopreneur Business Right for You?” Grab you copy and find out if you are solopreneur material!