It can be tough to decide whether you should remain a solopreneur or grow a team. There are so many different options and business models to choose from today: how do you decide on the right one for you?
In this article, we’ll break down the pros and cons of both to help you decide which path makes the most sense for your business.
What is solopreneurship?
Solopreneurship is when you are your own boss and run your own business entirely on your own. This type of business can be extremely rewarding because it allows you to have more freedom in your business; you can work flexible hours and set your own schedule.
However, this also means that you’re responsible for all the decisions and tasks involved in running your business, which can be difficult to handle by yourself at first. It’s also a lot of work to keep everything organized, especially if you don’t have a solid system – like Yocory, for example – for keeping your finances, projects, and business records up to date.
The pros of being a solopreneur
1. Autonomy to make decisions
Autonomy is one of the biggest advantages of being a solopreneur. You are your own boss, you set the rules, and you’re in charge of all the activities in your business. No one tells you what to do, and you have total control over what you do and how you do it. Being an entrepreneur means you are fully responsible for your business – and that’s definitely not bad!
2. You control the company’s culture, image, and reputation.
As a solopreneur, you have complete control (and responsibility) over the company’s culture, image, and reputation.
You can create a brand that reflects your values, services, or products that aligns with your goals and decide on the trajectory for your business. There’s no one stopping you from implementing your vision or changing the course of your business as you see fit.
3. More profit goes back into your pocket.
As a solopreneur, you’re also fully responsible for managing the money in your business. And since your “employee and salaries” expenses are at a minimum, this means potentially more money going back into your pocket. Not only that, but you also have the freedom to reinvest that money into the growth of your business if you choose to do so.
4. You can create your own schedule and get to work when it’s convenient for you.
Working as a solopreneur means deciding when you work and when you take time off. You can choose how much time you want to devote to your business each week. You also decide how much of your time you want to spend working on administrative tasks versus working with clients. You can also choose how often you wish to take vacations throughout the year. If you work for yourself, you don’t have a set work schedule, and you can get work done whenever you have time.
The cons of being a solopreneur
1. It can be stressful to do everything yourself at first.
Starting your own business can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you’re doing everything on your own.
Running a business requires excellent communication, attention to detail, organization, and time management skills. You need to stay organized and manage your time effectively so you don’t become overwhelmed and stressed.
You also need to ensure your business is in order from a legal and financial standpoint. Do you have all the legal documents required to operate your business? Are you keeping track of your finances and filing for taxes accordingly?
It can be very daunting to begin a business of your own without any help, support, or guidance from others, so that’s why many invest in courses, coaches, or mentors to help them out on their journey.
2. You must wear many hats in your business
One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face is learning to manage all of the various aspects of their business, which goes beyond your own craft.
This means being a great marketer, a great writer, a great social media manager, a great project management, a great salesman, and so many things in between. If you don’t have the skills or feel uncomfortable with any of these areas, it can potentially impact your future growth, which is why many people outsource these jobs to focus on what they do best.
3. Uncertain Income
When you work for an employer, you’re guaranteed a specific monthly income based on the terms of your employment contract or your employer’s payroll system. However, as an entrepreneur, your income is not set in stone, and you are solely responsible for generating it. This means setting goals and quotas for your business and putting in the time and effort to ensure that your business stays profitable. If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve probably had to deal with periods of low and high income, making it difficult to budget your earnings.
Although you have the freedom to set your own goals for your business and schedule, it’s not always the case that you’ll have steady streams of income coming in all the time. This can be particularly challenging when you’re just starting and need to establish a customer base for yourself.
It’s a harsh fact, but entrepreneurship can become very lonely, especially if you’re flying solo in your business. Unlike working for a company with an established structure with managers and teams to support and help you, it can be tough to find people to share your thoughts and ideas with or to discuss roadblocks and challenges you’re facing. Many entrepreneurs find they can become isolated in their work and even struggle to maintain healthy relationships with family and friends.
Since we’re discussing some of the key challenges entrepreneurs face, it’s important to acknowledge the loneliness that can come with the territory. Many entrepreneurs prefer to grow their team to join forces with others.
Growing Your Team – Employees vs. Contractors/Outsourcing
As a business owner, you have to decide whether you prefer to remain as a “Company of One” (there’s a great book on that topic called Company of One by Paul Jarvis) or if you want to expand into growing your team.
Eventually, many business owners decide to expand because they want to accelerate their growth and allow them to reach their goals faster. They also want to get away from some of the more tedious tasks that come with being a business owner so they can focus on more strategic tasks and grow their business even more.
However, hiring employees can be costly and time-consuming. You’ll also need to provide them with employee benefits such as health insurance, paid vacation time, and bonuses, to name a few.
But on the other hand, employees are loyal to your business and dedicated to its success. Most engaged and motivated employees will go above and beyond what’s expected of them to help your business succeed.
If you’re not comfortable expanding your business and hiring employees, you might consider using contractors or outsourcing some of your work.
Benefits of hiring contractors
There are lots of benefits to using contractors and outsourcing for your business, including:
- Easier access to specialized skills that you don’t currently have in-house;
- Cost savings because you don’t have to hire and train new employees or pay them benefits and salary;
- More flexibility to cancel a contract if you find the contractor isn’t working out for whatever reason;
- Hiring consultants allows you to use their skills on a project-by-project basis without having to add them to your payroll as full-time employees;
Hiring a contractor is a good option if you don’t need a full-time employee but still need specialized skills and expertise for a project you’re working on. It’s also useful when you need to bring in specific expertise for a short period to complete a particular project.
Next steps to grow your team
You don’t have to grow your team, hire out or outsource if you don’t want to or don’t see the benefit for your business. However, as outlined in this article, it can be beneficial and free up some of your time to focus on more important things and things you actually enjoy doing.
If you do want to grow your team, here are the next steps you should consider:
- Make a list of the jobs that are currently taking up most of your time
- Outline the tasks that you don’t enjoy doing in your business
- Determine which tasks you would like to outsource because they will bring actual results to your business
- Start searching for contractors through social media, direct outreach, or online outsourcing platforms like Fiverr or Upwork.
If you’re not yet ready to outsource or hire out but are confident this is something you want to do in the future, then start by keeping track of your processes and putting together process guides that you can share with team members in the future.
And make sure you’re using tools that make collaboration simple for you and your team. Share real-time updates, calendars, files, and more so that your team is always on the same page. Using a business management platform like Yocory helps you collaborate with your team members on client projects and keep communication streamlined to avoid delays or miscommunications.
Whatever strategy you choose, it’s important to have a plan in place before you decide to expand your business. This will ensure that you hit the ground running once you’re ready to bring your team on board, or you’ll have a strong growth strategy in place if you prefer to remain a solopreneur!