According to UKIFP there are 2.8 million sole trader businesses in the UK and 63% of new ones fail in the first year.
It can be incredibly challenging and lonely running your own business. This not only includes sole traders, but solo ltd businesses and even many businesses where there is one owner and it feels like all the employees do is turn up to take a salary (more of that in future blogs) .
Starting your own business offers the prospect of many rewards, the potential earnings of course, but also independence, flexibility in life and a massive sense of achievement that comes with growing a business of your own.
Are you a sole trader, solo ltd business or solo business owner?
Do you recognise these challenges ?
- There is no dividing line between home life and work life, as most of you work from from.
- It can be very lonely, often going through days without any interaction.
- There is nobody to share the stress and pressure with and you end up sharing that with the people close to you which does not help.
- You are really good at what you do, but have found that most of your time is spent elsewhere in admin, marketing, accounts and sales.
- You don’t like the thought of selling but you are the only one to do it!
- You are working long days and often 7 days a week.
- You don’t know when is the right time to go Ltd if you are a sole trader.
What can you do to make your business more enjoyable, less stressful and more successful?
Here are 5 key steps to take:
1. Develop a time management project for how to use your time effectively.
Go back to basics and decide on some changes you want to make and need to make and start to introduce them week by week. Don’t go for revolution necessarily but evolution. Find some useful resources. There are 3 blogs on my website on time management, so use these and other resources to decide on the changes you MUST make. Develop some new and effective habits. One vital one it to close your business down for the day, which means close your diary, shut down your PC and don’t retrieve any more emails on your smart phones! Also do this at the weekend, even if you only choose to take one day off at the weekend.
2. Shout for help!
Whichever area it is, don’t try and do it all alone. There are many experts out there and many communities to join (online and physical). So get connected and ask questions and ask for help. If you are a sole trader, go to your accountant and understand when you should go Ltd and plan for this for example. You may wish to get a 2nd opinion from a 2nd accountant. I advised one of my clients to do this recently and they have now changed accountants and have a plan to go Ltd.
3. Develop your skills
You may well have never sold before or had to market yourself or had to control a revenue and profit forecast. So as well as using the support of others, as in the point above, get some books and audios on areas you struggle with or attend a seminar or training course to bolster your skills in these key area. There are plenty of free ones out there too. Develop projects for yourself in these areas. What do you want to achieve on a month by month basis. What are the priorities for your education and skills development.
4. Plan to build a team or virtual team
You may not have the finances or the inclination to bring in permanent employees, but there are an array of virtual resources you can use – creative designers, marketing specialists, virtual administrators, telemarketers and of course coaches! Decide on where you are most challenged and plan to bring in resources in those key areas. You could have these as rewards or actions based on reaching certain revenue or profit positions. You can then start networking and looking around for possible candidates in the meantime, as you build the business to the point where it can sustain this. If you are looking to bring in permanent employees, it is vital you plan for this, as it needs to be done properly and will impact on your time initially. There is some short term pain for the long term gain.
5. Find a coach or objective business partner
You need someone objective who can stand back from your business, advise you objectively and bring a fresh pair of eyes to what you are doing. You are too close and too emotionally involved to be able to do this successfully alone.
A WAY FORWARD FOR SOLO BUSINESS OWNERS …….
If you would like to find out more about a club that has been designed to help you with the areas above and much more, I run a coaching and development club specifically for solo business owners.
The Solopreneur club has been specifically designed to meet the needs of sole traders and solo business owners working in isolation.
The club provides the tools and strategies to have a major impact on your business results:
– We use key elements of a coaching system that delivers an average of 68% increase in net profit per year.
– We work with you to ensure maximum effectiveness in the use of your time.
How this is achieved:
– A monthly skills workshop with a highly experienced business development coach, bringing the essential knowledge and tools to gain that competitive edge.
– Areas focused on include:
a) strategic and business planning; b) staying motivated; c) generating more leads; d) improving your sales conversion rates; e) staying in control of the finances; f) how to make the best use of your time; g) effective communication of your business messages; h) networking and i) building a successful virtual team.
– A monthly action plan focused specifically on the development of your business.
– A monthly coaching review to support you with the implementation of your action plan.
– A forum for those vital questions to succeed and grow.
– A supportive community of 12 solo business owners, where you share insights with others who have similar pains and aspirations as you.
If you would like to find out more, come along to a FREE event “5 Critical Strategies To Grow Your Business” or join us for a free Webinar “From Isolation to Success” where there will be more information about the Solopreneur Club too.
The next Seminar is on September 13th 9.30 am at the Country Cottage Hotel in Ruddington
To join us for the free webinar – “From isolation to success – How to grow a solo business”
There are 3 bites of the cherry:
–Tuesday August 28th at 9.00 am – book here BOOK WEBINAR PLACE
–Tuesday September 4th at 12.30 pm – Book here BOOK WEBINAR PLACE
–Monday September 10th at 4.30 pm – Book here BOOK WEBINAR PLACE
– Friday September 14th at 4.00 pm – Book here BOOK WEBINAR PLACE