If you want to start your own business but you don’t have any partners to split the work with, you can still fulfill your entrepreneurial dream on your own. The key to success for being a solopreneur is often in effective time management. But managing your time as a one-person business doesn’t just mean self-discipline and long hours. Instead, it involves these key elements.
Usually, an entrepreneur goes into business because they are good at what they plan to sell. But there is a lot more to running a business than just putting that skill or product to work. You also have to keep books, make sales, report to government agencies, work with creditors, negotiate, and handle unsatisfied customers.
While you can — and probably will — eventually learn how to do many of these tasks, don’t spend all your time trying to do so. If you’re not good with unhappy customers, for instance, hire a professional answering service filled with trained individuals who are. They can handle the more routine calls and then escalate only what you really need to handle.
There are many tasks, both large and small, you can hire others to do. If learning to keep your own books will require significant time, hire a bookkeeper who can do it much more efficiently. Don’t know how to design a logo? Hire a graphic design student from a local university. Do you want a blog for your website? Look for independent contractors who provide piecemeal content.
Technology can make the life of a solo business owner much easier when taken advantage of. Good use of technology prevents redundant data entry, makes documents available wherever you are, and helps you keep to a good schedule.
Make use of software to keep your accounting, create estimates or orders, and manage customer files. Use cloud-based apps and websites to manage your calendar, schedule projects, and store documents for use on the road. Hire virtual assistants who can do administrative or marketing tasks remotely. Use automated order entry and shipping notifications.
You will have many competing priorities, so you must learn how to prioritize and compartmentalize your time. Many individual business owners set specific hours or day to do certain tasks. You may want to schedule one day each week, for instance, to work on the weekly books and one day to focus on marketing.
Set a reminder or a timer on your phone so you spend the allotted time on these important, but non-urgent, tasks. Prioritize these activities on these days — perhaps even turning the phone over to the answering service for that period. If you arrange in advance to have a set schedule and inform others, such as the answering service, you are more likely to actually make it stick.
Managing your time as a solopreneur also means knowing when to turn off the business and have a life as well. Many new owners fail to take time off for themselves, and this can lead to quick burnout.
Even if you have pressing issues or it slows growth a little, make time to unplug from your work. Hire an answering service and turn your business phone over to them each evening or on a weekend day. Let customers know your business hours upfront and when they can expect responses to inquiries. And avoid feeling like everything is an emergency that must be handled right away.
If you can master these four key time management elements, your venture into solopreneurship has a high chance for success. At Professional Answering Service
, we offer a variety of remote answering options as well as other time-saving services for small businesses of all types. Call today to learn how we can help you.