Do you love working independently? Have a great business idea and want to see it through from concept to execution? Does the idea of managing a team of employees make you cringe?
If you answered yes to these questions and dream of being your own boss, you may enjoy working as a solopreneur.
What is a solopreneur?
An individual who founds and runs their business independently, without the support of a co-founder or W-2 employees. In other words, a solopreneur is an entrepreneur who performs all duties related to their business alone.
With high job satisfaction and increasing opportunity for independent workers, embarking on a career as a solopreneur can offer sought-after flexibility for those who want to create and operate a business around their lifestyle.
Solopreneur vs. Entrepreneur
Wondering how being a solopreneur differs from traditional entrepreneurship? It is important to note, while all solopreneurs are entrepreneurs, all entrepreneurs are not solopreneurs.
By definition, an entrepreneur is an individual who starts and runs their own business. However, they do not necessarily manage all aspects of their business independently as a solopreneur does. Let’s break down some of the key differences between these two roles.
1. Solopreneurs are both founders and employees.
An individual who works as a solopreneur manages every aspect of their business and does not heavily rely on delegating tasks to others to get things done. Not only are they the founder and creator of their business, but they are solely responsible for producing and delivering the products or services offered to keep their business afloat.
In some situations, a solopreneur may hire a contractor or freelancer to perform necessary tasks, however, this is typically not a part of the daily operation of a solopreneur-run business.
2. Entrepreneurs often hire and manage a team.
On the other hand, many entrepreneurs start off running their businesses solo and eventually end up hiring and managing a team to carry out their business tasks. Unlike a solopreneur who runs the operations of the business and fulfills tasks needed to deliver their products and services, entrepreneurs often outsource the fulfillment of products and services to their employees so they can focus on managing the business itself.
Once an entrepreneur has built a team, they often step into a managerial role in overseeing the work of their employees.
3. Solopreneurs have a single business focus.
Those who choose to pursue a career as a solopreneur are often not pursuing serial entrepreneurship. Solopreneurs tend to start their businesses to offer a specific niche offering and are focused on building a steady customer base to keep their business profitable but are not looking to expand. This keeps the business manageable for one person who intends to continue running things solo.
For example, a solopreneur who offers social media management services to small businesses is more likely to be focused on delivering a set of packaged services to their clients that they know they can fulfill.
On the other hand, an entrepreneur who runs a marketing agency and employs a team of 10 people may also offer social media management, brand consulting, and content creation services to clients because they have a larger team and can provide a broader range of options and may look to add on more services as their team grows.
4. Solopreneurs are not building a business to scale.
For many entrepreneurs, their goal in building their business is to grow and scale their company in an effort to sell it for a profit down the road. While this is not the case for all entrepreneurs, this effort is more common among those who manage companies than those who run their businesses solo.
For many independent workers, they are looking to create a profitable business they can continue to run, work in, and live off of themselves, and are not looking to grow an empire or to sell to another entity. In some cases, entrepreneurs
5. Differences in financial management.
The bigger a company gets, the more financial responsibility the owner has. Not only are entrepreneurs with employees responsible for managing a business that is profitable enough to operate and pay their team, but they are also responsible for making sure factors such as payroll, benefits, and taxes are accounted for depending on their business structure.
Those who work as solopreneurs often manage their businesses as a single-member LLC or sole proprietorship, which are simpler to manage and grant full decision-making authority to the owner.
6. Solopreneurs often have minimal workplace requirements.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, may have more complex workplace requirements depending on the nature of their business. For business owners whose companies create physical products, they will often need space to create and store the products, as well as proper work accommodations for their employees.
Whether you choose to be a solopreneur who fulfills all tasks related to your business, or an entrepreneur who manages a team and grows a company to scale, working for yourself can be a rewarding experience. The best route to take will depend on the nature of your business and your personal preferences. Check out this post to learn everything you need to know to be your own boss.
Originally published Jan 17, 2020 8:30:00 AM, updated January 17 2020