As an independent professional, you will spend part (or, in some cases, all) of your career as a solopreneur. With a high degree of flexibility, autonomy, and control, being your own boss has a lot of advantages.
The choice to go solo does have challenges. Respondents to our 2023 State of Independence survey cited unpredictable income, uncertainty about future projects, and low job security as top concerns of independent professionals. While these factors are part of the solopreneur package, there are ways to mitigate risks associated with them. One way is to create a support team.
When you think of your support team, consider the departments or functions common to any company, Functions like accounting, HR, and marketing are as necessary to a solo business as they are to a large company.
Team Members for Today’s Solo Entrepreneur
These support team members represent some of those critical functions.
Mentor or Coach
One of the challenges of going solo is the lack of human interaction in the business. A mentor or coach can provide this interaction in very valuable ways. Their expertise can help you climb the learning curve more quickly, offer insight into strategies you are considering, and call out areas where you may have blind spots.
Mastermind or Peer Advisor Group
These groups offer the opportunity to interact with other solo business owners. Among other things, you can contribute and receive expertise, get help to brainstorm ideas, and get a group focus on a challenge you are dealing with.
Your legal advisor can advise you about the best structure for your business. They can also help you with the associated paperwork, and then be on hand to consult when needed.
Tax Advisor or CPA
Taxes are an ever-present item to manage, and with continual changes to tax codes, it is vital to have a good tax advisor or CPA on your team. They can prepare your annual tax documents and offer input into tax-related business strategies.
You’ll interact with your tax advisor periodically and work with your bookkeeper monthly and even weekly. This valuable team member will keep your finances in order, create financial statements, and, in some cases, take care of customer billing and payment of your bills.
Your personal assistant handles administrative details and communications that do not need your direct attention. Among many responsibilities, they can keep your schedule, receive and make phone calls for you, and manage your email.
Depending on your business, marketing may need more than one member. For example, you may need someone to manage your website and oversee your SEO, someone else to implement your social media strategy, and someone else to create and manage email campaigns. You may need a content manager to generate the copy to be used on your site, in your social media, and for your emails.
Digitize, Automate, and Virtualize Team Members
Many of the functions of your support team can be accomplished digitally with just a light human touch. This is a significant plus for a solopreneur as the costs for such support is far less than hiring people to fill the functions. For example:
- Hire human help by way of an online talent marketplace. You can find and contract with personal assistants, marketing specialists, bookkeepers, and even tax and legal advisors.
- Make use of bookkeeping/accounting software like QuickBooks and TurboTax. Hire a bookkeeper with expertise in your selected software and share your records with them. Purchase live tax advisory services through your tax software.
- Use cloud services like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive to save and store your documents.
- If your business relies on an appointment calendar, automate scheduling software to handle the lion’s share of interactions.
- Use a content management application to publish and track the content you generate.
- Use a platform that allows you to schedule social media posts and email sends.
- Your mentoring, coaching, and group interactions can occur over the internet, giving you a wider range of contacts to support your business strategies.