Congratulations! You’ve taken the leap to become a solopreneur. Most likely, you’re seeing a long-term vision or dream come to life. Expect an exciting, fulfilling ride with lots of hard work and well-earned profits.
That being said, getting started as a solopreneur can be extremely overwhelming. All of a sudden, you’re responsible for setting up every aspect of a profitable business – including scheduling and time-tracking, all communications, website hosting, marketing, accounting, and more. To launch your business as a solopreneur, you’ll want to be prepared with a suite of tools that will help ensure your success. Click To Tweet
Here are a few that can help you to automate administrative processes, establish effective workflows, and strategize on how to successfully market your product or service.
One of the biggest traps that solopreneurs can fall into is wasting precious working hours on tasks that aren’t super valuable or productive – such as trying to work on a task that could be outsourced to someone else, or experimenting with a software product that isn’t really right for your business. When you’re working for yourself, time really is money. That’s why time efficiency is key for solopreneurs to run a successful business.
Automatic time-tracking can increase efficiency and productivity by painting an accurate picture of how you’re spending working hours on a daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly basis. You can use automatic time-tracking both to review your hours and schedule tasks; helping you to set and stay accountable to goals.
Here’s how you can use Timing to maximize your efficiency as a solopreneur:
- Get automatic, in-depth insight into how many hours and minutes you’re spending on specific applications, systems, documents, projects, clients, and more.
- Review when you’re most active and productive by hour, day, month, and more.
- Get a detailed breakdown of your time usage, displayed in helpful charts and graphics.
- Sync your calendar with your time-tracking, to make sure you’re staying on track with scheduled events and meetings.
- Produce helpful, detailed reports for invoicing clients.
Think of time-tracking as a helpful foundation for establishing a successful career as a solopreneur: a tool for helping you to stay accountable to reaching daily goals and using your most precious resource wisely.
To try Timing for free for 14 days, click here.
Website & Website Hosting
As a solopreneur, you may be doing any number of things for a profit: providing coaching, creative services, ecommerce, retail products, or in-person services. No matter what product or service you’re selling, you need a clean, effective website to give prospective clients or customers an opportunity to respond to your offers.
Creating your own website doesn’t have to be expensive. With tools like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace, you can design a clean, professional-looking site for free. However, if you’d like to set up an online store, you’ll most likely need to purchase a tool such as Shopify to sell product. You’ll also want to purchase a domain name, and potentially upgraded plans to give you more customized, technical options for running your website.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you design and set up your website:
- Invest in photography and graphics for your site. This may involve paying a brand photographer or graphic designer to create a logo or take photos of you and your product.
- Unless you’re a skilled writer, outsource copy to someone who can help you find the right words to express your vision and generate sales.
- Some website tools require ongoing maintenance or upgrades. This should be quite simple to perform. Just make sure you stay on top of the ball with it.
- Look into analytics tools (such as Google Analytics) to track website traffic, bounce and conversion rates, and more.
Finally, you’ll want to set up a personal email that links to your website, such as [email protected] This not only provides a professional email contact for prospective customers or clients; it helps keep your personal and business emails separate. Try GSuite for a simple way to set up a new Gmail just for your business.
Depending on your strategy for reaching new clients and customers, you’ll most likely want to set up an email marketing system for connecting with leads and existing customers or clients through special promotions, welcome emails, or special updates.
Mailchimp is a popular option for solopreneurs, as it’s easy to use, cost-effective, and fairly customizable. (Of course, there are multiple alternatives you may want to research, depending on the needs of your business.)
To effectively use Mailchimp for your personal business, here are things to keep in mind:
- Keep your database updated and organized into segments. You want to be strategic about who you’re emailing – leads may have different needs than current buyers or clients, for example.
- Be consistent, but don’t overwhelm your lists. Choose one day per month or week to design and schedule all necessary emails.
- Test all your emails before you send them. Do the buttons link to the correct pages on your site? Have you proofread the copy? Make sure your campaigns are polished, professional, and effective.
Finally, check your open and click-through rates. If recipients aren’t opening your emails or following through on CTAs, you may want to run an A/B test to see what kinds of copy and graphics are most effective.
When you’re first launching your business, you may not have much of a marketing budget. The good news? We live in the age of social media and free marketing. Social media has effectively leveled the playing fields for large and small brands alike; in fact, some of the most popular accounts on social media are from influencers who made it big by knowing how to take a great photo and write a catchy caption.
As a solopreneur, you’ll most likely want to set up accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, at the very least. These are free tools that you can use to expand your reach and create an online presence. If you want to up your game, you can invest in paid advertising to target specific audiences.
Managing social media accounts can be extremely time-consuming, however. Investing in a tool like Hootsuite can help you schedule posts ahead of time and sync them to multiple accounts, saving you potentially hours of work and energy.
Here are several other things to keep in mind as you think about social media marketing:
- Research your target audience. What do they like, and who do they follow? What kinds of content do they like to see online? Remember, your audience may have different preferences than you do; create content for them, not for you.
- Include calls-to-action on social media and drive people back to your site, but also offer valuable content that asks nothing in return. That helps to create trust with your prospect and “humanizes” your brand.
- Consider outsourcing your social media content creation and advertising to a virtual assistant or other digital professional. Draw on the expertise (and time) of others to help your marketing succeed.
Finally, you can use tools like Canva and Adobe Spark to create beautiful graphics you can post on accounts – and Grammarly to make sure that your copy is spot on and error-free.
Finally, Invest in Yourself
As a solopreneur, there are many helpful tools to make your personal business more efficient and productive. But the best thing you can invest in is yourself. Take steps to increase your personal productivity through goal-setting and time-tracking. Learn how to craft a compelling marketing offer to make your website and email marketing more successful. Spend some time researching the success stories of others in your field.
By investing in your own skill set and daily habits, you create a strong foundation for a successful career as a solopreneur. Good luck!