Being a solopreneur may be a dream come true but it’s no walk in the park. When you’re your own boss and call all the shots, you also bear ultimate responsibility for the outcomes. The burdens tend to be many and the road lonely. Technology can be your greatest asset here. Not only can it lighten your load, but it can also secure friendly helping hands whenever you need them.
Here is an overview of how tech and tech-based assistance can make your journey as a solopreneur more productive and enjoyable:
Get the basics right with a customized setup and connectivity
Don’t underestimate the power of a solid foundation. Before you consider advanced tech-based services and assistance, get the basics sorted. A powerful smartphone and laptop, a fast internet connection, office equipment, and peripherals are all essential aids for the solopreneur. When you’re happy with your setup, your work becomes more fun and less taxing. Further, having reliable equipment is critical — you can’t have it give out on you when you need it.
With the right setup, you will be able to stay connected with clients and execute your myriad tasks smoothly, regardless of your location and without dropping the ball. Take your time in choosing your equipment and make sure it’s to your liking. Have other important basics – like a quiet working space with a comfortable chair – sorted.
Find a fitted out co-working space to focus better
When you’re a solopreneur, your home is your office. Working alone may boost your productivity, but it can take a toll on your mental health, says Vatix. Further, working alone requires immense self-discipline – and it can be wearing and tough to do sustainably. That’s where a co-working space comes in. You can surround yourself with people, partake of the shared energy, and just focus better.
Being in a co-working space has an added advantage – you can use the latest technology like equipment, connectivity, and software without paying for it out of your own pocket. Co-working fees are tax-deductible, so you save money in other ways too. Finally, you’ll be able to hobnob with other solopreneurs. Apart from finding connections, you can also barter for direct technical assistance.
Enlist a virtual assistant for day-to-day minutiae
As a solopreneur, you have a hundred tasks big and small to handle, from sending out emails, scheduling, and talking to clients to taking memos and maintaining files. It’s possible to manage these tasks by yourself when you’re just starting. But as your business grows, your plate becomes too full. It pays to seek help before it all becomes unmanageable.
Administrative assistants are a worthwhile investment. They can take care of day-to-day tasks in your stead, leaving you free to focus on more critical ones – like decision-making and engaging with clients. Yes, you’ll lose money on the hire, but you’ll more than make it back eventually. It’s not hard to hire these assistants online. Use a freelancing platform such as Upwork, advertise your job, and choose from one of the many applications you’ll receive. Your assistant can be location-independent and work with you over the internet. To prevent problems, you can run background checks on them.
Form a beneficial business structure using an online service
Owning a business comes with risks. Your business structure determines whether you’re personally accountable for them. As a solopreneur in the US, you default to a sole proprietorship business structure. This means your personal assets are at risk if your business is ever sued. It can also have tax-related implications – your personal income is not separate from your business income.
Whether you’re just finding your feet or already have some momentum going, forming an appropriate business structure is critical for long-term business success. For most solopreneurs, LLCs are the best option because of their inherent limited liability. They shield your personal assets and have other advantages – like less paperwork, more favorable tax terms, and extra flexibility. All states have their own rules about forming LLCs, but you can do it online. For instance, to start an LLC in Utah, you can use a specialized agency and save time, money, and energy.
Leverage apps to catapult forward
Apps should ideally be spearheading all your business and growth efforts. They can optimize your workflow, ramp up efficiency, and generally save you huge amounts of time and money. You’ll find apps for every business process – from lead generation and marketing to bookkeeping and customer relationship management. Every solopreneur should come up with a bunch of mainstay apps and learn their ins and outs for maximum growth.
The Enterprise League has a comprehensive list of apps for reference. Some highlights worth a mention are SaneBox, Attentive, Blinkist. The first gets rid of all your superfluous emails, leaving you with only the most important ones. The second allows you to automate promotion and customer engagement. The third is a self-improvement app – you can read extracts from the best business-related books.
Outsource business tasks to save time
The last suggestion we have for you is to outsource key business tasks – like website making, content creation, and marketing. Not only does this save you time, but it also allows you to utilize experts at areas they’re best at. Freelancers can contribute greatly through their professional experience and also counterbalance some of your weaknesses. Using specialized teams for critical tasks like search marketing could be worth the initial investment.
If you do decide to outsource your tasks, you can use technology to stay organized. A project management solution like Asana allows you to assign tasks and keep tabs on their progress. A team hub like Slack allows you to collaborate and keep everyone on the same page.
There’s never been a better time to be a solopreneur. The economy is bouncing back, demand is up, and the tech keeps improving and becoming more accessible. The sky’s the limit for what you can achieve. All you need is the right mindset and preparation. Make sure to educate yourself on the latest happenings and developments in the tech space, learn how to leverage them, and you’ll always be able to give yourself the competitive edge you need to succeed.
*This blog post has been created for Set Fire Creative by our friends at DIY Darlin.*
McCain is the founder and VP of Client Services at Set Fire Creative. When he isn’t busy helping his clients grow their business through digital marketing, you will most likely find him with his nose in a Stephen King book, eating spicy buffalo wings, hanging out with his wife and Blue Heeler Ozzy, or listening to Guns N’ Roses—sometimes all at the same time.