Do you sometimes think that it’s almost impossible for a single person to run a business successfully? Well, it might interest you to know this is possible when equipped with the right knowledge and skills, on how to start and run a one-person business.
Many successful businesses are run by one person, (the owner).
They are not large businesses, but they have managed to survive for years.
Their success stories can give you the inspiration to start your own one-person business.
The only way to make a one-person business work is by arming yourself with the right knowledge on how to do it.
If you’re aiming to go solo, here is vital information on how to start and run a one-person business.
How To Start And Run A One-Person Business
Pros And Cons Of Starting And Running A One-Person Business
Before starting a one-person business, you should learn if you’re capable of doing it.
Here’s a list of the advantages and disadvantages to help you gauge if this kind of business is for you.
Advantages Of Starting And Running A One-Person Business
- You have complete control over the business.
- You make all the decisions without needing approval from anybody.
- A one-person business can have the same privileges and rights as any other type of company.
- It could be easy to set up and could require a low cost to maintain.
- You can work anytime and anywhere you prefer at some point.
- Opportunity to develop several skills simultaneously.
- You can file business taxes and pay bills as an extension of your personal finances.
This makes bookkeeping easier.
However, doing this is not recommended.
This will be discussed later on in this article.
- No more office politics and stress.
Disadvantages Of Starting And Running A One-Person Business
- You are responsible for your business.
Depending on how you set up the company, you could have unlimited liability for your business.
Even more, a complainant can go after your personal assets.
- Once something happens to you, there’s no plan of continuity.
It means that there’s no formal way of ensuring your business will continue in case of death or accidents.
- It’s difficult to convince other people to invest in your business.
This is because they wouldn’t have any rights in your business.
For this sole reason, it would be impossible to raise capital from outside investors.
- You may not be able to apply for a business loan.
And if you do, lenders may require you to take full responsibility.
This means that a lender may get your personal assets in case you can’t pay.
You see, businesses owned by one person have their own ups and downs.
Even big businesses with employees struggle at some point.
If you feel that you can handle the disadvantages of this type of business, then you should study how to start and run a one-person business.
Starting A One-Person Business And Running A One-Person Business
If you’re ready to pull a one-man show, it’s now time to learn how to start a business.
Follow these steps to starting a one-person business.
Create A Business Plan
All successful businesses start with a business plan.
It is your blueprint for your business.
Since you will start this business on your own, a business plan will help you keep yourself on track.
Also, a business plan will keep you from wasting time and resources.
If you have a vision, you must take the time to draft a business plan.
Focus on implementing the business plan that you have made.
Your business plan should really be a living document.
Yes some things will remain unchanged, however, you will often find that you will need to make changes to the plan as situations around you change and evolve
The important thing is that you have a guide that you can follow.
Set-Up A Business Website
If you plan to run a business by yourself, it may be a good idea to set up a website.
Many successful businesses use the Internet to reach their target market and conduct business transactions.
As a newly started business, having a website will help you gain exposure and reach your target market.
The cost for a business website isn’t as expensive as getting your own physical store or office.
Also, there are many website builders that are user-friendly.
This can help you save money for hiring a web designer.
Check out reviews of different website hosting services so you can make the right decision.
You can consider setting up a presence on different social networking services.
Many businesses set up accounts on these sites to reach their target market faster.
Open A Business Bank Account
Next, you should consider opening a separate bank account to pay your business expenses.
Using your personal bank account may result in legal problems in the future.
Have a separate account so you can issue and track business checks and as well as have a business credit card.
Set Your Schedule
Since you’ll be doing everything on your own, you need to schedule your tasks.
Create a time table of when you want to work.
In this way, you’ll be able to manage your time effectively.
You won’t be wasting much time and you can be productive.
Look For Business Apps
Business applications are effective ways to become more productive and efficient.
You can use cloud storage so you can access your documents anywhere.
You can also use apps to track down expenses and invoices.
For instance, you could create filters in your email such that emails on different subjects go to different folders.
Explore applications that will help you schedule your tasks.
Consider using online banking so that you minimize unrequired trips to the bank.
Improve On Certain Skills
You’ll be doing tasks designed for many people to accomplish.
If you want to succeed as a one-person business owner, you should improve on certain skills.
Such skills include content management, social media management, marketing, and automation.
There are many websites that offer short courses on these topics.
You can enroll and study from your home.
Learning these skills will help you run your business more effectively.
Once you’ve started up your business, you should learn how to run it properly.
All your hard work will go to waste if you don’t have the skills and knowledge.
Here are the important things you should know when running a one-person business.
Take Advantage Of Your Productive Hours
Even though you can choose your work schedule, you’d have to seize the chance to become productive as much as possible.
Determine the hours of your day when you’re most productive.
Block out your schedule for the most vital tasks of your business.
Remember, the success of your one-man business relies on your proper time management.
Failing to do this may cost you your entire business.
This pairs with the point mentioned above.
Once you’ve determined your most productive hours, you should make a list of tasks according to their priorities.
You might get a lot of calls, e-mails, and SMS.
These clients may want your immediate responses.
However, you should determine which ones need them the most.
Prioritize those who need your responses the most.
Then, you can set a time of your day when you’ll be responding to all of the minor inquiries.
Also, segregate the tasks into piles – urgent, important, and unimportant.
- The urgent tasks: These are ones that would affect your business in the long run.
They are also tasks that can have a bad effect on your business if you don’t address them quickly.
These are tasks like responding to client problems, releasing new products, etc.
- Important tasks: These are tasks that are vital to your business but aren’t as urgent.
It means these tasks will affect your business, but won’t have a bad effect even though you don’t address it ASAP.
- The unimportant tasks: These include sorting out e-mails and reading newsletters.
These are tasks that won’t affect your business as much as urgent and important ones.
You should assess their value to segregate them effectively.
You can sort these out on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on the kind of business you’re running.
Again, you can use apps to help remind you of the tasks you should finish within the day.
Every minute counts, so make the most out of your day.
Manage Cash Flow Actively And Efficiently
Since you don’t have accounting staff, you need to manage the cash flow by yourself.
The great thing here is that you have total control of it so you handle any ups and downs in your business.
Using business applications is one of the vital parts of being a sole entrepreneur.
You can use apps that can help you with client payments effectively.
Taking a long time to send invoices means that your clients will also take a longer time to pay you.
Give payment options like credit and debit payments.
Also, keep track of clients who still owe you money so you can follow-up on their unpaid invoices.
Build A Support System
Setting up a business can be mentally and emotionally draining.
Running it by yourself can be more stressful that’s why you should have supporters along the way.
You should set a time for refreshing your mental and physical health.
It means you also deserve a day off.
Connect with peers or family members.
You can also join business communities.
There are active online communities where members can support other small-time and solo business owners.
From here, you can ask questions if you’re new to this type of business.
You can also guide others who may be struggling.
Joining events is also a great stress reliever and a support system.
You can learn about running a business from professionals who’ve been doing it for years.
It’s a relaxing way to learn and be productive.
Consult A Business Adviser
As a one-person business owner, you can hire a business adviser or counselor to give you advice about your business.
A business adviser is helpful and effective, especially if you don’t have teams who you can ask for ideas.
You can hire ones within your area or have online business meetings with them.
This will all depend on your availability and preference.
Consider Using Virtual Assistants (VAs)
A VA or virtual assistant is a remote worker who can do many tasks for you.
They can come from the same country as you or from other countries.
Businesses owned by one person can benefit a lot from virtual assistants.
You should consider hiring one too as you plan to start and run a sole business.
First, you won’t need to have a physical office to hire them.
They often work form their own homes.
Also, it’s cheaper to hire a virtual assistant compared to hiring an office employee.
Also, many experienced virtual assistants can multi-task.
It means that you can delegate a lot of tasks to them without worrying if they can finish it on time.
But, you should be careful when hiring a virtual assistant since not all are as skilled as you expect them to be.
It’s best to tap into a community of business owners to know more about hiring a virtual assistant.
You’d also want your business to become financially stable first before hiring a virtual assistant.
You have to pay your virtual assistant on time.
That’s why it’s best to build a stable business first so you can have extra expenses for a virtual assistant.
Ideas For A One-Person Business That You Can Start
Once you’ve understood the steps on how to start and run a one-man business, it’s time to decide on what business you want to start.
If you already have a vision of the business you want, then go for it.
But, here are some ideas for businesses that one person can run because you haven’t decided yet.
You can use your expertise to run a consulting business.
For example, if you have expertise in marketing, other businesses can consult with you about marketing their products.
A consultation business is a great start-up business since all you need to do is share what you already know.
Once you’ve established yourself as a great consultant, clients will likely refer you to other business owners.
Selling products or services is another way to make a living on the Internet.
You can start and run your own virtual shop or business with the use of different websites and applications.
You can also start a business that’s out-of-the-ordinary.
Some examples of niche businesses include selling customized dolls, repairing antique items, or animal rentals.
Since these are uncommon, it’s possible to capture a market where only you and a few other businesses offer these items and services.
You only need creativity and patience to make it a success.
Dangers Of Starting And Running A One-Person Business
You already know the disadvantages of setting up a business on your own.
But, there are more dangers that you should watch out for.
Starting and running a one-man business means that all the responsibility will fall on you.
There are no other employees or shareholders who can share the downfall of your business.
Being a one-person business owner also means that you should give up most of your free time for your business.
It’s because your absence can mean a big loss for your company.
You may need to say goodbye to day-offs, sick days, and vacations, especially for the first few months of launching your business.
This can take a toll on your health.
If you want to start and run a one-person business, don’t expect that your business will grow overnight.
Fewer people might mean slower growth.
Even when you try to do everything, numbers mean a lot to a business.
Set a timer on your schedule to work on the growth of your business.
Of course, your clients are important.
But, you may be stuck where you are if you don’t work on your business as well.
You may have full control of your business.
However, you may not see the disadvantages of your decisions if you’re on your own.
Many large corporations become successful because a lot of minds gather and input their ideas.
As for a one-person business owner, you can only rely on your own judgment.
A single wrong decision may cost you your entire business.
That’s why it’s important to hire business consultants or coaches from time to time.
They can help you clear out your mind to decide on what’s best for your company.
Every day, many company employees experience burn-out.
All the pressure from their work causes them to feel tired and fatigue.
The chance of burn-out is higher for solo business owners because they do everything.
Decision-making, management tasks, and others can be too tough for one person to handle.
So, if you are thinking of starting and running a one-man business, burn-out can lead to health problems.
Even more, this may eventually lead to a failed business.
Conclusion on How To Start And Run A One-Person Business
Running a business on your own can be daunting and overwhelming.
There are many dangers of running a one-person business.
Many have tried and failed.
It might have a great effect on your health, family, and life.
However, it can also be rewarding.
To avoid failure, you should know how to start a business and run it on your own.
You should be prepared for the challenges that might come your way.
There’s no perfect business. Problems will come, regardless of how hard you work.
The important thing is that you’re ready.
Also, being a one-person business owner doesn’t mean that you will be alone all the time.
You can hire business consultants for advice about your business and plans.
You can also hire virtual assistants who you can delegate tasks to take some off your plate.
The success of your business is in your hands.
Make the most out of your time, skills, and resources, and you’ll surely fall on the road to success.
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