Being a successful solopreneur is a career path many people dream about but few ultimately succeed in achieving. Most solopreneurs fail in their first year of business and many of these people are forced to return to ‘normal’ work.
Creating a thriving self-made business is a lot harder than most people imagine. Even when purely internet-based, there are many different factors which influence just how well that business will do.
In the majority of cases, the reasons for failure revolve around easily rectifiable mistakes. Although rectifiable they are frequently ignored or deemed none applicable. And it’s some of these factors we want to explore in a little more detail in this post.
With a few simple adjustments to mindset and working habits, you can quickly increase the likelihood of your business meeting with success.
7 core reasons why most solopreneurs will fail within their first 12 months include:
Many solopreneurs begin their business imagining they’ll meet with relatively quick success and be the next big thing. They take the words of marketing and business gurus to heart and assume by simply putting their business out there, then customers and clients will begin to arrive.
Unfortunately, for most business owners, the initial few months tend to be a hard slog with little in the way of immediate success. It takes time and a huge amount of hard work to develop a successful business, in any industry. Unrealistic expectations can leave solopreneurs doubting themselves too soon when all they need to do is keep pushing forwards.
Being a successful solopreneur requires having clear goals and objectives. When you know what you want to achieve and how you’ll do it, then growing a business becomes a lot easier. There’s certainly more chance of meeting those targets when you can see them clearly on the horizon.
A big mistake new solopreneurs make is accepting a foggy notion of what they want to achieve and hoping clarity will come as they progress. However, reaching particular targets requires pinpoint decision making. If you don’t have a clear picture of your objectives, then you won’t be able to hone in on the most relevant strategies, options, and decisions.
As a solopreneur, you’re either selling products or services, or a mixture of the two. Therefore, you have a target market to reach. When you fail to properly understand your market and their needs and desires, then succeeding as a solopreneur becomes very difficult. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when creating your own business.
A target market can be diverse and seemingly disparate, yet underpinning this particular market are common needs. It’s only when you better understand your customers or clients, can you find ways to solve their problems and fulfil their desires.
You can have the most amazing products and provide the best services but if no one is around to view them, then your business will stagnate. A common problem among solopreneurs is marketing their business effectively. It’s natural to place a lot of focus on developing products and improving services but often this comes at the expense of getting the word out.
There’s a wide variety of different marketing techniques which solopreneurs need to learn, enact, and maintain. From copywriting and regular blogging to social media, video marketing, and networking, there are marketing strategies to suit every type of business, market, and personality.
A disorganized solopreneur is a disaster waiting to happen. Creating and running a business requires excellent organization skills. There are so many multifaceted tasks to complete and strategies to implement at any one time. A solopreneur needs to effectively organize their time, priorities, systems, and communication channels.
Successful solopreneurs make good use of modern technology including some of the many thousands of different digital tools and apps available nowadays. If working by yourself, then these tools can act rather like a digital workforce. Examples include automated invoicing software, time-tracking systems, appointment schedulers, and Kanban boards.
Many small business owners who see their efforts fail are those who weren’t willing to delegate tasks to other people. It’s all too easy for a passionate business owner to try and do everything themselves but this risks burnout. Even if the business survives, it stagnates and there’s a distinct lack of growth.
Successful solopreneurs understand the power of delegation and working with other professionals. They know how to find good freelancers and delegation partners who can work on different tasks more effectively and quickly than they ever could. Placing a little more trust in other people can make a huge amount of different to your productivity and results.
Ultimately, the biggest reason why many solopreneurs fail to reach their potential is mindset. There’s a huge excitement in the early stages of any new business adventure but after a weeks or months, this positive energy can begin to wane. The harsh realities of running a business kick in and it’s at this stage where mindset makes the different between success and failure.
A poor mindset, filled with negativity, anger, and blame, does more to wreck a solopreneur’s business than any outside influence. Giving too much credence to self-doubts leads to rah decisions, poor logic, and an increased tendency to give up.
If you’re to succeed as a business owner, it’s imperative to work hard on developing a positive mindset and taking time to practice self-improvement.
Reaching your potential
As can be seen, most solopreneurs fail because of poor mental habits and work procedures. Luck does play a part as do many other outside variables. Yet these outside influences also affect successful business owners who nevertheless manage to adapt. This shows that ultimately it’s many of the abovementioned factors which lead to the downfall of so many solopreneurs.
If you’re currently working hard to keep your business afloat and you’re worried about a lack of growth, then consider some of the above points. You may find a few little changes can dramatically improve your fortunes.