According to the Federation of Small Businesses, as of the end of last year, small businesses accounted for 47 per cent of private sector employment and 34.4 per cent of turnover. Natalie Ekberg explains what this means.
Opening your own business has never been as popular as it is today. However, doing business the solo way is not for everyone. To check whether you have the solopreneur mindset, answer the following questions as honestly as you can.
Your ability to make decisions If you are considering opening your own business and running it alone, assess your ability to make decisions and your ability to accept the consequences. There will be times when your decision will make for a happy ending. But there will also be times when your decision will result in a disaster. Can you live with the consequences? Will your resolve crumble when that first deal falls through? Will you be able to get up and start all over again?
To help you overcome a fear of indecisiveness, Suneet Goomer, the owner of Divine Interior Designs (http://www. divineinteriordesigns.co.uk), recommends connecting with other like-minded business owners: “Your decision-making process should always stem from the direction you want to take with your business. However, having good business-minded colleagues around you helps; they can give you a grounded and professional opinion when those decisions aren’t so clear. “
Your capacity for self-motivation
It is easy to feel motivated when projects move along smoothly and the income is flowing. But in reality, the life of a solopreneur is more like a roller coaster: the highs of success follow the lows of disappointment. Over time, the positive experiences prevail, but what will you do when things don’t go your way?
As Yvonne Douglas, an author, speaker and holistic coach (http://www. yvonnejdouglas.com/) puts it: “Motivating myself can be difficult at times, especially when cash flow is a challenge. However, knowing that my business and my clients depend on me to be the best that I can be is a huge motivator. I also find it important to remind myself that my services are needed.” Your ability to be flexible As a successful solopreneur, you absolutely must think on your feet and come up with creative solutions to problems. If solution A didn’t take you where you wanted, have solutions B, C, and D at the ready – always. It is crucial that you be flexible in the way you perceive success. Many people mistakenly believe that success is a linear line that starts where they are and ends somewhere close to heaven. More conservative folks accept that success is a step by-step progress but still going onward and upward. The truth is, success is a bit of a back-and-forth, up-and-down, side-to-side commotion. Be flexible and you will excel. Your ability to be organised This skill is crucial as a solopreneur. Francesca Geens, the owner of Digital Dragonfly (http://www.digitaldragonfly.co.uk/) points out that when you start running your business, you have to be able to take your organisational skills to another level: “There are so many different skills you need to develop and so many activities you need to run simultaneously that your ability to get efficient and super organised becomes a necessity”. One of the best ways to stay organised is to set realistic and achievable yet challenging goals for your business. If you are ambitious and driven and you want to take your business places, your goal setting should never stop. As your confidence grows, your goals will become bigger and bolder.
Your ability to follow your intuition If you want to succeed on the adventurous journey of building your own business as a solopreneur, you must possess a solid belief in yourself. More importantly, you need to be at peace with yourself and trust that inner voice that only you can hear. Sometimes your hunches will have the power to lead you to your best decisions ever; never underestimate them. Statistically, four out of five start-ups fail. My fundamental belief is that we are capable of succeeding in everything we set our minds to, as long as we are heading in the right direction, and we allow ourselves enough time, self love, and self-support to get there. Only you can decide whether solopreneurship is right for you, but at least you now have a list of basic mindset requirements to consider. I hope this list has helped to make the decision making process fun, exciting, and rewarding. Be the next one out of five businesses that succeed.