Can You Aim High When You Go Solo?

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A lot of people are getting a little tired of the daily grind, working for someone else, certain all the while that they have the talent and knowledge to taste the kind of successes their bosses have tasted. So they decide they should quit their job and start their own business. In fact, many of these budding entrepreneurs even go about it completely solo. A one-person operation, without employees.

Seems pretty bold, right? But if you succeed, surely you’re going to walk away with an insane amount of profit? Well, if you want to succeed as a one-person business, you really need to ensure you’re ready and willing to put in the work it takes. And there’s a chance you could be underestimating the difficulty of this endeavor.

This is an essential guide to aiming high when you go solo.

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What it takes

When you start a solo business, there are many traits you need to have. In fact, many of those traits are the ones you need when you start any type of business, employees or not. The degree to which you need those traits is generally what makes the difference. Let’s take self-determination, for example. You need self-determination if you’re going to start any sort of business. If you’re easily intimidated, then you’re not going to get very far. When you have a bunch of employees working for you – who, in a way, have your back – it’s easier to feel confident in certain things. But when you’re on your own? You’ll need even more self-determination.

Ask yourself: are you someone who can work independently? You may be surprised at the degree to which you may need someone to tell you what to do. Can you create a business plan for yourself and follow the variety of tasks that will result? How are you going to go about getting advice and criticism on particular ideas if you don’t have a boss or employees? You must be sure-footed when it comes to independent work.

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The resources you need

You may think that getting money for your business is the first thing you need to worry about. But this isn’t always so. Remember: a one-person business is going to cost you so much less than other sorts of businesses – the biggest business expense in the vast majority of companies is that of salary payment. So you’re freeing up a lot of room, financially speaking (well, as physically speaking!), if you don’t have a lot of employees you need to pay. So there’s not quite as high an urgency to get a bunch of money to begin your business.

However, you should have a good amount of money saved up. You may want to consider getting a small loan. But you should remember that there a lot of ways to get started with your business idea without capital. As long as you have other resources available, you should be able to get a lot done. If you have a space in which you can work, a business website (if you haven’t created one, then you should read more about doing so), and a computer, then you can get started with a lot of the basics without waiting for funding.

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Your day job

So what you want to do now more than anything is quit your day job so you can get started chasing your dreams, right? While that may sounds like the only way to ensure your full focus is on your business idea, you really don’t want to rush into this pursuit. First of all, your priority should be on getting enough money saved up. If you’re going to focus on this, then you’ll need to be able to fund your living expenses for a little while!

Perhaps you could consider moonlighting. After you’ve finished your regular day job, you should get home and work on your business. Get as much done as you can during weeknights and weekends. Yes, this means your free time is going to be eaten up. It also means that you might end up essentially working two jobs at once for a while. But this may be an essential step towards getting your business off of the ground.

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How far can you go without employees?

A lot of people talk about the one-person business as though it’s guaranteed to bring you a stunning amount of profit. And, sure, there’s the potential for that. But the truth is that your business is highly unlikely to be as big as the businesses you’ve previously worked for unless you start hiring employees at some point. It doesn’t have to be within the first year, nor even the first two. But you really can only go so far by yourself.

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