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Solopreneurs typically work in freelancing, consulting or web-based industries. — Getty Images/Prostock-Studio

A solopreneur is an individual building their business on their own and being responsible for its success or failure. Solopreneurs enjoy a lot of control over their business, but it can be challenging to manage everything independently.

What is a solopreneur?

According to Merriam-Webster, a solopreneur is “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise without the help of a partner.” Or, to put it more simply, they’re “a solo entrepreneur.”

A solopreneur works independently and doesn’t hire employees or other team members. Solopreneurs often run service-based businesses, like freelancing, consulting or web development.

Pros and cons of being a solopreneur

There are a lot of advantages to being a solopreneur and working on your own. For many people, the biggest appeal is the low level of financial risk. Since you aren’t bringing on employees, you don’t have to worry about meeting payroll each month. And since solopreneurs typically have low expenses, they get to keep a greater share of the earnings.

Solopreneurs have a high level of control over their business. You don’t have to consult with investors or other partners, and you get to decide on your hours and working environment.

However, it can be stressful to run a business on your own. Since you’re in charge of running all aspects of the business, it can be difficult to take time off. There are no employees to offload some of the work to.

And it can get lonely working by yourself. Some people find that they miss the camaraderie of an office environment.

There are a lot of advantages to being a solopreneur and working on your own. For many people, the biggest appeal is the low level of financial risk.

How to be successful as a solopreneur

The good news is that it’s pretty easy to get your business up and running as a solopreneur. Here are some ways you can set yourself up for success:

Identify a need in the marketplace

For your business to work, there has to be a demand for what you’re offering in the marketplace. Are there other people operating successful businesses that are similar to yours? If so, what are you going to do to make your business stand out against the competition?

[Read more: 10 Service-Based Business Ideas In Demand Now]

Register your business

Technically, you could operate your business as a sole proprietor, but it’s worth it to take the extra step and register your business as an LLC. LLCs provide legal protection, so your personal assets won’t be at risk if you're ever sued.

To get started, you’ll need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS. From there, you’ll set up a business bank account and register your business with the Secretary of State. You may have to pay a small filing fee to get started.

[Read more: Sole Proprietorship vs. LLC: Which Should You Choose?]

Figure out how you’ll find clients and customers

Once you have a business idea, you’ll need to figure out how to find customers or clients. In other words, you need a marketing strategy, and this can take a lot of trial and error to figure out.

Whatever marketing strategy you decide to try, make sure you stick with it for at least 90 days. After 90 days, you should know whether your plan is working. If not, you can try something else out.

[Read more: 5 Small Businesses Reveal the Online Marketing Tools They Can't Live Without]

Expect ups and downs along the way

Finally, running a business isn’t easy, and you should expect a lot of ups and downs along the way. For instance, you may hit a slow season in your business — this is normal and not necessarily a sign you should give up.

It’s helpful to network with other business owners. Not only will they understand what you’re going through, but they may be able to offer helpful suggestions along the way.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published January 27, 2022