I’ve experienced most of the different modes of business, starting from employee, contractor, freelancer, limited company, online startup.
Right now you could say I’m a solopreneur.
What is a Solopreneur?
What’s the difference between a solopreneur and the other types of entrepreneur?
We’re getting to hear more and more about people who call themselves solopreneurs.
My conclusion is that the best way to build a business and be your own boss is to be a solopreneur.
Being a solopreneur gives you the greatest amount of freedom of all the different business models. You could also call it a lifestyle business – and some do.
But fírst of all, what exactly is a solopreneur?
The word “solopreneur” comes from two words – solo and entrepreneur.
So a solopreneur is an entrepreneur who works largely or entirely by his or herself.
He or she is not building a conventional startup company which has staff and possibly managers. It’s a much smaller and more simpler business unit than a startup. It probably does not involve having an office or other heavy business assets.
Starting a small business traditionally meant starting a “bricks and mortar” type business. In other words, you rented or leased retail premises, an office or a workshop somewhere. You then went in each day to those premises to run your business. Creating, processing, selling whatever is you were selling.
A solopreneur by contrast almost always works via the Internet. The Web serves as the main marketing communications and sales channel for the business. The business product or service may well also be digitally based – some form of software, an app, a training course or other information product.
And another major feature of the solopreneur business model is that you often do not even need to have a physical office.
You can work from home on your laptop or PC. You can use the Cloud for storage, you can use email and instant messaging, Skype, webinar meetup apps and other services to communicate with your customers and contracted freelance staff.
And this all means that your customers or clients can potentially be global too. Location hardly comes into it for a solopreneur.
But there’s more to being a solopreneur than just working solo.
Is Solopreneur Just Another Name for a Freelancer?
So is the word solopreneur just another term for a freelancer?
No. There are some similarities with freelancing, but also a number of crucial differences.
Solopreneurs have some things in common with freelancers. They tend to run their own show, maybe also working on their own.
But their business model differs from that of a freelancer.
Solopreneurs usually focus on developing products or services which they sell to many different clients or customers, rather than simply working for one client at a time and selling their working time to that client.
Solopreneurs Sell “One-To-Many”
Solopreneurs strive to set up business process – product or service creation, and marketing processes, which makes them independent of any one client. They are selling a product – and multiple instances of that product, to many different clients or customers. In other words, their business model is “one to many”.
This is in contrast to a freelancer or self-employed person who is selling “one to one” – usually selling their time to a customer or client. The self-employed person, as the name suggests, is employing his or her self in the form of selling their own working time by the hour.
And as there are only so many working hours in the day, this means the earning potential of a freelancer or self-employed person is strictly limited. Solopreneurs do not have this restriction.
So a solopreneur has much more upward potential for increasing sales volume and sales revenue than there a freelance or self-employed person.
A solopreneur may also work on more than one business idea. Having successfully created and built one business process with the products or services in place and being marketed successfully, they often go on to pursue another business idea and launch another business process.
In that case they could be said to be serial solopreneurs.
How Do Solopreneurs Differ From Startups?
A solopreneurship is more smaller scale than a conventional startup. Solopreneurship is about maintaining and fuilfilling the needs of one sole entrepreneur rather than a group of investors or partners. It’s much more individual and personal, tailored to the needs of one individual.
Solopreneurs do not usually involve partnerships. Nor do they have large capital investment requirements. So there is less risk and less external control and involvement of third parties with solopreneur businesses.
The emphasis for solopreneurs is very much on individuality and working by themselves. Being solo.
For me, I like to keep things in my business small and manageable. And I like being able to run my business from practically anywhere.
Is Solopreneurship for Me?
Starting a business is ultimately all about your own personal fulfillment in life.
It depends on what your goals are in business and the kind of lifestyle you want to enjoy. And just as importantly, the kind of lifestyle you know you definitely DON’T want to have.
When you are clear about these questions, you’ll be able to decide which business model is best for you – solopreneur, freelancer, startup, self-employed, or whatever.
There’s no single right answer. It depends upon your niche, your product, your business and your lifestyle wishes.
My advice: Whether you define yourself as a solopreneur or not isn’t that important. What matters is the type of market you are serving. And also the kind of lifestyle you want for yourself.
It’s true that some business sectors are better suited to solopreneurship than others.
So which business activities are best suited for solopreneurs?
Here’s a brief overview of the ten main business areas best suited to solopreneurship right now.
The e-commerce or online retail sector is vast and continually growing.
However, e-commerce requires a lot of perseverance, know-how and experimentation to be successful.
You can sell physical as well as digital products through your own online store as well as via third party sales channels such as Ebay and Amazon.
In the case of physical products you can sometimes have the fulfilment or drop-shipping handled by the supplying merchant meaning that the products may not actually have to be physically handled by you.
Dropshipping or remote fulfilment can make business easier. But bear in mind there are potential drawbacks to dropshipping and there can be reliability problems.
I know from experience that these problems can negatively impact your business reputation with customers and this in my opinion is the main disadvantage with the dropshipping/fulfilment business model. Your own customer service ratings on third party platforms such as Amazon or Ebay can suffer as a result.
My advice: good quality control and careful selection of dropshipping agents and services is essential. Also, try not to rely too much on third party sales platforms. Aim to develop your own website e-commerce site and traffic to it.
If you’re interested in e-commerce, check out the excellent Proven Amazon Course from Jim Cockrum.
The mobile software apps sector is another fast growing sector right now.
You don’t have to know how to program for yourself. You can contract out or buy in the programming expertise you require.
Good quality control and proper project management systems are absolutely essential here if you are to be successful.
Software development can be a good way to get into online business, but this requires technical programming know-how unless you are going to entirely outsource the programming taskś. Again, quality control and good project management are vital.
An important point with both mobile apps and software creation is that the product should meet an actual need and provide a viable solution to your potential customers.
There’s a lot of potential scalability here. But you need to be prepared and committed to continual improvement of your software over the long term.
However, it’s very easy to lose a market position in the software creation industry, to competitors offering a similar product.
My advice: Only enter the software development – and mobile apps – sector if you are dedicated and prepared to stay in for the long term.
Online affiliate marketing is now a vast sector, but many people only achieve mediocre results.
Again, with affiliate marketing you have to be dedicated, you have to be prepared to take a long term view, and above all, you have to add value to the offer. An offer without added value will be largely competing on price and that’s not a good marketing strategy.
The good thing about affiliate marketing is that you can promote other people’s products. You do not have to create your own. But if you do create your own products, then you can become a merchant yourself and recruit other affiliates to promote for you.
There is a great deal to affiliate marketing, both as an affiliate as well as a merchant.
My advice: If you’re going to go into affiliate marketing, make sure you get a thorough training and understanding of how it works and where the trends are. My recommendation is to check out the excellent Affilorama program.
Information Products, Courses, & Membership Sites
Creating a training course or an information product or a membership site is a great way to build an online business as a solopreneur. This is truly a one-to-many sales model.
Again, there is a lot to learn if you want to pursue this model successfully. And you have to have a strong UVP – unique value proposition as I call it – a strong reason for people to want to buy your product or service.
I don’t recommend simple blogging as a business model. Blogging may be one-to-many in the sense of creating content which is then read by many readers, but it’s a very hard slog, both in terms of content creation and traffic generation.
But also in terms of generating revenue. In most cases, it simply isn’t worth it. If you are thinking of blogging in order to win Adsense advertising or similar, then my advice would be to forget it. It was a – half – viable business model 10 or 15 years ago, but no longer.
But – as part of a focused strategic marketing campaign, then blogging can make sense.
A blog is a marketing platform that can support many of the other business models mentioned here. A blog in itself can become a valuable media property – but this has more to do with the charisma and attraction of the blogger concerned, and most likely their activities in other areas, production of a YouTube video channel, a podcasting channel and so on. And successful such instances tend to be rare.
My advice: Don’t pursue blogging as a main solopreneur business activity. If you want to learn how to use blogging properly for marketing purposes to support a business, then check out the Blog Marketing Academy.
Audio & Video Podcasting
Podcasting is big and still growing. Both audio and video. Especially video. Podcasting is similar to blogging, in terms of also being a content creation activity.
Podcasting satisfies the one-to-many requirement, but to my mind it does not qualify as a solid business model by itself.
If you are putting out videos or podcasts on Youtube and other platforms solely to earn Youtube advertising revenue, then you are placing yourself in a vulnerable position.
I know people who do this and they are in a high risk situation. Your videos can be deleted by YouTube (which is now owned by Google), or your entire channel can even be shutdown on their whim. This happens. Terms and conditions are also subject to continual change with little warning.
My advice: The best way to regard podcasting is as part of an overall marketing strategy to help promote and sell whatever it is your business sells, not as a business by itself.
Writing and Online Publishing
This is a subset of the Information Products sector.
Through the Internet, it’s easy to write, publish, and promote your own work. Writing and selling e-books is a one-to-many business model and so it’s highly suited to solopreneurship.
You don’t even have to submit to Amazon, you can set up your own website bookstore and sell exclusively through that, retaining full control over pricing and product – though it won’t necessarily be easy to attract traffic.
SEO / Traffic Generation Services
Good SEO and traffic generation techniques are essential for attracting customer traffic on the Web and no business can do without them.
So if you are able to create content which is properly keyworded and structured for SEO purposes, then you may be able to earn a living through this activity.
Doing SEO work or creating SEO content for clients does not by itself meet the one-to-many requirement, but there is also potential to contract out SEO work – or buy it in as “white labelled” services for reselling on to your clients under your own branding.
As with SEO activity, website building does not by itself qualify as a true solopreneur business. Website building is more a freelancer activity.
But – it is also possible to contract out the work or buy in as white-labelled, similar to the SEO traffic generation services outlined above.
Discover How To Start Your Own Online Business Using Fulfilment By Amazon
Amazon is the world’s biggest online shopping store.
But did you know YOU can also sell your own products using Fulfilment By Amazon?
Fulfilment By Amazon is a program which enables independent sellers to sell their products on Amazon.
Fulfilment By Amazon is THE way for you to get the benefit of Amazon’s great popularity and high volume traffic to sell online with minimal fuss and overhead.
What’s more, Amazon take care of warehousing and shipping for you as well.
Fulfilment By Amazon or FBA enables you to reach a much bigger audience than you ever could with your own rcommerce website.
Provided you know how to do it.
As many newcomers will testify, selling on Amazon FBA isn’t so easy in practice.
Amazon is open to practically everyone.
But it’s the sellers who utilize the techniques the professionals use that know how to sell the most and make the highest profits.
To sell and compete successfully on Amazon FBA, you need to equip yourself with the technical know-how that will put YOU ahead of the competition.
Jim Cockrum’s Proven Amazon Course will show you how to use Amazon FBA to build an ecommerce business which maximizes your sales AND your profits in the shortest possible time.
Who is Jim Cockrum?
Jim Cockrum is one of the most world’s most reputable and well-known ecommerce marketing professionals.
Jim has been an active seller on both Amazon & eBay since 1997 while also training others to be successful in the ecommerce business. He now has a large network of former students turned partners & coaches all running their own successful online businesses.
Jim Cockrum has appeared in numerous news and radio programs as well as publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Men’s Health magazine, and others.
Jim’s two membership sites at MySilentTeam.com and OfflineBiz.com serve as a premier source of advice, training, know-how and online community for over 10,1000 active members.
What is The Proven Amazon Course?
The Proven Amazon Course or PAC as it’s sometimes called, focuses on teaching you how to get the most out of Amazon’s FBA or Fulfilment By Amazon Program.
The PAC is designed to help people with no experience of commercial selling on Amazon FBA.
The course includes multiple step by step videos on the aspects of building an Amazon FBA business that you won’t find anywhere else on the Web.
What You Get With The Proven Amazon Course
- An Introduction to Amazon FBA – both audio interview and full transcript
- Categorized course videos covering every aspect of setting up and running your Amazon business
- Business automation tools that will enable you to smoothly run your business “hands off”
- Multiple strategy guides for sourcing profitable product inventory
- Moderated discussion forum for course members where you can ask questions, share creative ideas and receive help.
- Lifetime full access to Jim’s MySilentTeam.com community. Thousands of members pay separately for access to that community, so this alone is worth more than the price of the PAC.
- Access to the private moderated Facebook group for course members for those who prefer Facebook to traditional forums.
- Jim’s Private Label Strategy video training course
- Jim’s Advanced Retail Arbitrage training program which shows you how to source products locally.
The Proven Amazon Course Is Designed For Entrepreneurs Anywhere In The World
The Proven Amazon Course isn’t just for US-based entrepreneurs.
The PAC has successful students from all over the world. Fulfillment by Amazon enables you to accept sales orders across 27 European countries offering local returns handling and customer service in UK, Germany, and France.
Where you live does not matter. Amazon FBA is open for business throughout the world.
How You’ll Profit From The Proven Amazon Course
The Proven Amazon Course will show you the techniques and insider know-how to put you ahead of the competition and give your business the clear advantage.
The Proven Amazon Course will show you:
- Where to locate profitable product sources no matter where you live in the world.
- The easiest way to ship your inventory in bulk at low prices directly to Amazon’s warehouse from where they ship on to your customers.
- How to price your product lines higher than your competitors – and still outsell them.
- How to automate your entire sales process so there’s no need to see, touch or even store your product inventory yourself.
- How to run your Amazon business from anywhere in the world – and make yourself truly location independent if you wish.
You also receive a FREE copy of Jim’s “Selling on Amazon Mentorship Series” (SAMS).
SAMS is a package of 15 detailed video training sessions with top Amazon sellers who were paid to share their selling secrets with the course.
SAMS includes such topics as:
- How to increase your sales on Amazon to the next level
- How to use gift cards for promoting sales
- How to source products such as health & beauty, cleaning supplies, toys and games
- Issues around sales taxes
- Selling internationally on Amazon
Plus There’s Another Bonus!
When you purchase the PAC you also receive automatic membership of Jim Cockrum’s mysilentteam.com forum with over 8,000 members – at no extra charge.
The Proven Amazon Course is Great Value For Money
The Proven Amazon Course contains tens of thousands of dollars worth of Amazon seller know-how. The price should really be at least ten times what is actually being charged.
If you want to build your own successful ecommerce business on Amazon, then Jim Cockrum’s Proven Amazon course is probably the best and most comprehensive course you can invest in.
Grab Your Copy of The Proven Amazon Course – And Get Started Building Your Business On Amazon NOW
The Proven Amazon Course has now sold thousands of copies throughout the world.
It’s one of the most solid, reputable and professional training courses available and has already helped thousands of people get started selling successfully on Amazon FBA.
The Proven Amazon Course can do the same for you.
Don’t waste any time.
Grab Your Copy of The Proven Amazon Course – and discover how to build your own highly profitable ecommerce business on Amazon right NOW!
For more information visit www.provenamazoncourse.com
Important note: The Proven Amazon Course is not an official Amazon course and nor is it endorsed by Amazon.
The Proven Amazon course is an independent training program created, managed and operated by Jim Cockrum, an experienced Amazon seller and ecommerce coach.