It is the desire of many employees to have their own personal business. While some of them really go ahead to take that bold step, some others are fearful and never want to leave the ‘comfort zone.’ For those who have taken the bold step to venture into a one-man business.
Whether you expect to add employees in the future or plan to stay solo, the following tips will make it easier for you to run your one-person business right. Choose the right form of business
- Choose the right form of business
As a one-person business, if you do nothing else you will be treated as a sole proprietorship for legal and tax purposes. However, you can enjoy some important legal and tax advantages by choosing a different form of business. Many one-person entrepreneurs find that a Limited Liability Corporation is a good solution. A LLC protects your personal assets from liability in case of any lawsuits or claims against your business. A LLC also allows you to claim business profits and losses on your personal tax returns, eliminating much of the paperwork and headaches involved with forming a regular corporation.
- Write a business plan
Just because there’s only one of you doesn’t mean you can dispense with creating a roadmap for your business in the form of a business plan. In fact, since your time and energy are so precious, it’s vitally important that you clearly plan out your goals and how you will get there.
Taking some time in the beginning to draft a business plan will save you time making decisions down the road. It will also help you foresee problems that might occur and plan for how you will avoid or deal with them.
- Create a business website
A website is the face of every business, and especially for a one-person business, it’s essential to presenting the right professional image. If you want to create the illusion that you’re not just a one-person startup but a thriving, successful business, a business website can really help.
For example, you can include contact information for different departments within your business, such as customer service, sales and accounting, to give the impression that you have multiple employees and build confidence among prospective customers.
- Set up a business bank account
Yes, there’s only one of you, but paying your business expenses from your personal bank accounts is a recipe for trouble at tax time and can even cause legal problems with your LLC. Instead, open a separate business bank account, order business checks and obtain at least one business credit card to pay your expenses. This makes record-keeping easier and helps prevent problems with the Internal Revenue Service.
- Manage your time effectively
There is only one of you, and there are only 24 hours in a day—so make the most of them! Your business plan can be a good guide here. Break down the goals in your business plan into a series of small steps you must take to achieve them. By focusing on smaller tasks, your to-do list won’t seem so overwhelming, and you’ll make steady progress. If you still find yourself struggling to keep up, spend a week or so tracking how you actually spend your time each day. You’ll probably find at least a few hours of wasted time that could be spent on more productive tasks. Also, try to identify when you’re naturally most and least energetic— for example, are you a morning person or night owl? — and, when possible, schedule your most important tasks for the hours when you’re at peak performance.
- Tap into technology
Take advantage of the myriad small-business apps out there to help your one-person business run smoothly and fit more into your day. For example, putting your business documents in the cloud means you can access them anywhere, anytime instead of rushing back to the office.
There are apps to help you do everything from tracking business expenses and generating invoices to signing documents and accepting payments from customers on your mobile device. Ask other entrepreneurs which tech tools they rely on, and set up systems to streamline your daily duties.
- Get help
As soon as you can possibly afford it (and maybe even from the start of your business), enlist outside help to handle some of the tasks involved in your business. Which duties should you delegate? Two types: those that are low-value relative to time spent (such as sorting through email to find the important ones, scheduling meetings with prospects, or scanning and organising documents), and those that you just aren’t good at (such as bookkeeping, and designing a logo among others).
When deciding what to delegate and how much to pay for it, you’ll need to have some idea of what your time is worth. For example, if you’re starting an IT business billing $100 an hour, it’s worth your time to pay someone $20 an hour to do bookkeeping, because that frees up more of your hours to do billable work.
- Be ahead of competition
Apart from knowing what your competitors are doing in your nature of business, you must also think ahead of competition. Be ahead of competition you must have business intelligence report about your nature of business and how best to exploit it positively and maximally to stay afloat.
It is essential for you to know your-type-of- business terrain well before dabbling into it. It is not enough to say because my friend is in it, I can also do it. If you have to understudy that nature of business from those who had been in it, please do. You may think it is easy but it may not be easy as you think. Get knowledge and be fully persuaded of your nature of business.
Operating a one-person business is challenging, but these strategies will help make it more rewarding.