After years of freelancing, you’ve made the big decision to turn your side gig into a full-time career. But first, you need to figure out how you’re going to juggle everything involved in running a business without hiring staff. While operating your business as a solopreneur saves money on payroll, it puts a lot of work on your plate — work that makes it difficult to earn an income if you try to do it all yourself, and at the same time leaving you at risk of burnout.
That’s where outside help comes in. Instead of being a jack of all trades, master of none, tap resources like these so you can focus on what really matters and let pros handle the rest.
Web design and development
One of the first items on your to-do list as a new business owner is building a website. But who do you hire: a web designer, developer, or full service marketing agency?
Most solopreneurs don’t require the ongoing services of a marketing agency, which do everything from build websites to design product packaging. Instead, look to freelance web developers and designers for one-off projects like building a website. But which one do you need? If you’re building a website from scratch, the answer is both. Upwork explains that’s because web development is responsible for the back-end of your website — i.e., what makes it tick — while a designer determines how it looks. While small, simple websites can rely on a single freelancer who does both design and development, more complex projects call for multiple pros.
A full-service marketing agency might not be in the budget, but marketing should be. Even as a solopreneur, you need a way to generate leads and engage customers.
For most solopreneurs, that means turning to low-cost, high-impact marketing channels like social media and email marketing. But to really grow a following through these channels, you need to be active frequently. Do you really have time for that?
If writing click-worthy copy isn’t your strong suit, a freelance social media marketer is the simplest solution to marketing your business. Many social media marketers also have skills in email marketing, search engine optimization, and pay-per-click advertising, so consider where exactly you want to devote your marketing efforts before hiring.
If you’re confident in your content but need to expedite digital marketing, Namecheap recommends using tools like Mailchimp and Hootsuite to automate emails and social media. These tools let solopreneurs send automated responses, schedule content, and cross-post across platforms with ease.
Bookkeeping and accounting
From sending invoices to filing taxes, accounting is another big time suck for solopreneurs. Not only is managing your own finances time-consuming, but unless you moonlight as an accountant, there’s a good chance you’re doing it wrong too.
Hiring an accountant is worthwhile no matter how small your business. An accountant prepares financial statements, provides a big picture perspective of your business’s finances, and keeps you on the HMRC’s good side.
That’s not to say solopreneurs should hire a full-time accountant, however. You can save money without sacrificing tons of time by investing in accounting software for day-to-day bookkeeping and keeping an accountant on retainer for the big stuff. Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Xero, and Zoho Books are the most popular accounting software for solopreneurs. In addition to low-cost packages for very small businesses, these tools integrate with payment platforms like Square so you can do away with manual data entry.
It’s important to keep costs low when you’re just starting out, but that doesn’t mean solopreneurs should do everything themselves. Instead, look for low-cost ways to get the help you need to start and grow your business. From affordable business apps to freelance services, the right help is out there if you just know where to look!
Photograph by Roy Buri