There are few goals bigger and more rewarding than running a successful company on your own. Not too long ago, this was a desperately prohibitive idea, and a path few had the means to follow. Today, solopreneurs can see their ideas grow thanks to increased access to technology.
Solopreneurs vs. Entrepreneurs
To understand why solopreneurs have such an advantage in the digital age, we must first take a look at how they’re different from entrepreneurs. Simply put, a solopreneur is a business owner who starts a company without planning to add any regular staff members. An entrepreneur may start a company on their own, but over time, they intend to build an employee base around themselves to support the work required to make the business thrive.
A solopreneur prefers to have complete creative and managerial control over their business. They may hire contract workers or outsource tasks to consulting companies, but their ultimate goal is to directly handle both the big picture and day-to-day tasks in the long term.
In the past, solopreneurs would have had little means to do the work of running a business on their own. As a result, they would either be forced to transition to a more traditional form of business ownership, or they’d face major burnout. Fortunately, the advent of technology allows intrepid individuals to strike out and manage their companies their way. So, here are a few ways tech can help you and your business thrive.
The Best Tools
As recently as two decades ago, the average person didn’t walk around with a fully functioning computer in their pocket. Today, 81 percent of Americans own a smartphone. Odds are good most solopreneurs start off with a calendar, calculator, web browser and a phone all in one device. Depending on your phone’s capabilities, that list of available tools gets much longer.
However, this tool can wind up letting you down if you don’t have reliable service. Make sure your provider has the coverage and data capabilities to support you, whether you need to call a client or post an update to your website. You’re probably going to wind up talking, texting, and using more data as a business owner than you did before. As such, make sure you choose a cell plan — whether it’s a multi-line business option or a regular unlimited plan with a few more bells and whistles — that matches your budget and your needs.
Access to Great People
Once, business owners were limited to traditional professional networking — seeking people out at conferences or events, or begging an old coworker to set up an introduction. Although those options are still available (and still useful!), digital connectivity has brought those walls down.
If you want to get to know a solopreneur you admire across the country, you can reach out to her on LinkedIn. Want to pick an industry leader’s brain? Email him through his website, or follow his blog. Your access to valuable connections is nearly unlimited in the modern age.
Client and Customer Contact
Thanks to the internet, business owners today have their customers right at their fingertips. From your business website to social media to review sites, there are so many different ways for you to get customer feedback and create connections.
As a solopreneur, it’s important to have an ear to the ground when it comes to your social media sites and website contact page. If someone reaches out to you, it’s vital that you respond promptly – a fast reply keeps you on their mind and improves the power of the connection.
Online customer or client connections can go both ways, as well. Make a point of regularly reaching out to potential clients with pitches tailored to their needs. The more personalized you can make it, the better. It’s not enough to show that your business is great: You need to prove your business will be great for them.
Running a company all on your own is a big task, but there’s never been a better time to take that task on. Make the most of the tools available to you, and you can see your business soar.
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