Do you have what it takes to be a Solo Founder?
Here’s a Checklist, by a Solo Founder.
If you have a great idea for a new product or service, you probably want to start your own company.
While the idea is there, however, many potential entrepreneurs face one or more of the following problems:
Lack of resources:
It’s not easy to get funding in today’s tough economic climate. As a result, many people decide to go it alone and start their own company with very little capital. While this is not impossible, it’s hard work.
In order to get your business off the ground, you need time — time to develop your product or service and time to market it once it’s ready. For some entrepreneurs, this can be a problem because they have day jobs that take up most of their time. Others are in school and may not have enough free time to devote to starting their own business while also studying for exams.
The right skills:
To make your startup successful, you need skills in certain areas — product development skills, marketing skills and even financial management skills if you want to keep your business afloat.
If you don’t have these skills yourself, you will need help from others who do possess them. This may prove difficult because there aren’t that many experts around who can give advice on all aspects of starting a business from scratch without spending money on them at the same time.
Ability to delegate:
One of the keys to success is being able to delegate responsibility when necessary — but not all entrepreneurs are able or willing to do this well enough for their startups.
While delegating responsibility will not guarantee success (especially if someone else makes mistakes), if an entrepreneur has the right attitude towards delegation he/she will be able communicate effectively with other people and assign tasks in such a way that they will be completed on time and within budget.
Ability/willingness to spend money wisely:
In order for a startup company to succeed financially, it needs funding — but this is only half the story because if an entrepreneur spends too much money on something unnecessary he/she could run out of cash before they even get started.
That’s why being able (or willing)to spend money wisely is so important — only by knowing how much something costs can an entrepreneur make sure he/she doesn’t waste money on things that aren’t necessary for the survival of his/her startup.
If you think you can handle all of these challenges, then you might just be ready to become a Solo Founder. But wait — there’s more.
What are the challenges?
Starting a business from scratch is a challenge in itself, but being a Solo Founder can be even more difficult.
Here are some of the challenges you may face:
You’re the only person in your startup who has any idea about what’s going on — you’re the only one who knows how to do anything!
As a result, you may have to take on many different roles — from accountant to marketer to salesperson — and try to do all of them well. This is not easy, but it can be done if you have the right attitude and personality.
You don’t have anyone else around who knows what they’re doing, so you will have to learn how to manage people effectively as well as get your product or service developed.
This can be difficult because most people are not used to being managed by someone else — especially if that person is younger than them.
Managing people can be very challenging because each person has his/her own style of working and there are many things that need to be considered when managing people such as how best to motivate them, how best to communicate with them and even what disciplinary action should be taken if they don’t perform their tasks properly.
You won’t have anyone else around who knows anything about your product or service either
This means that even if your startup is successful financially, it may not succeed in terms of quality because you will not know when it needs improving.
So being a Solo Founder does have its advantages (e.g., saving money), but it also has its disadvantages (e.g., no one else around who knows anything about your product or service). If you feel that this is something you could handle then go for it!
However, before making any final decisions, make sure that you read these tips for Solo Founders
1. Make sure you’re passionate about your product or service
One of the most important things you need to do if you want to become a Solo Founder is to make sure that you’re passionate about your product or service. This is essential because if you’re not passionate about it, then how can you expect anyone else to be?
As a result, the first thing you should do is think carefully about whether or not this is something that really interests you — if it doesn’t, then don’t bother going any further with it!
2. Don’t think of yourself as a Solo Founder — think of yourself as a businessperson who happens to be working alone
If you want to succeed as a Solo Founder, then one of the best things you can do is get used to thinking of yourself as an entrepreneur rather than someone who works alone.
In other words, don’t worry too much about the fact that there are no other people around — just focus on the fact that you are running your own business and need to get on with it in order for it to succeed!
3. If your startup involves new technology, make sure that someone has tested it for you first
It can be very tempting for an entrepreneur who has developed a new technology or product from scratch to want to rush into marketing it without testing it first.
However, this is a big mistake because while most people are impressed by new technology they also want to know that it works properly before they will consider buying anything made using this technology.
As a result, before taking any steps towards marketing your product or service make sure that someone else has tested it for quality and performance and reported back on what they found out — only by doing this will your customers feel confident enough in your products/services for them actually buy them!
4. Be prepared for some people not being willing/able to accept your idea
One of the biggest challenges that Solo Founders face is that other people are not always willing to accept their ideas.
As a result, you need to be prepared for the fact that not everyone will like your idea and may even tell you that it’s not worth pursuing. While this can be hard to deal with, it’s important to remember that you have a choice — you can either let their opinions influence your decision or you can go ahead with your idea anyway.
5. Don’t forget about time management — there’s no one else around to help you manage it
One of the most important things an entrepreneur needs to do is manage his/her time effectively — but this is even more important if you are a Solo Founder because there is no one else around who can help you with this.
As a result, it’s very important for you to make sure that you get enough sleep, eat well and exercise regularly so that your body and mind are in good shape and ready for whatever challenges come your way.
6. Learn how to delegate responsibility — but don’t over-delegate
One of the best ways for an entrepreneur to ensure his/her startup succeeds is by being able to delegate responsibility effectively.
However, while delegation is very important, if an entrepreneur delegates too much responsibility then he/she may find himself/herself unable to keep track of what is going on at all times.
This means that delegation should be done wisely — don’t just hand over responsibility without making sure it will be done properly and within budget.
7. Don’t expect everyone else around you to be as passionate about your product or service as you are
As a Solo Founder, one of the biggest challenges is getting other people involved in your startup project — especially if they aren’t as passionate about it as you are.
However, rather than try and force them into taking part in your project (which will only cause problems), why not try working together with them on something else instead?
By doing this, they will learn more about what it takes to run a business successfully and they may even decide they want to join forces with you after all.
About the Author
I am the Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students teach and learn better. I am also a mentor and angel investor in other Startups of my other interests (Proptech, Fintech, HRtech, Ride-hailing, C2C marketplaces and SaaS). You can also find me on Cudy for early-stage Startup Founder mentorship and advice.
You can connect with me on Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexanderlhk) and let me know that you are a reader of my Medium posts in your invitation message.