Posted on June 21, 2023  
by Noel Guilford

The majority of businesses in the UK are owned and run by one person. My practice is a one-person business and, unsurprisingly, these solopreneurs make up the majority of my clients.

Being a one-person business, however, doesn‘t mean you have to do everything yourself – even though some people try to. In fact the opposite is true. Knowing what to do yourself and what to outsource is a skill the most successful solopreneurs have developed and honed.

Here are some of the things I have learned from my one-person business clients about how to be super-successful.

Hire a virtual assistant

It was the TV Troubleshooter, Sir John Harvey-Jones who coined the phrase ‘Only do what only you can do’ which is the mantra of the must successful business owners, which is why you’ll find that they have a virtual assistant.

But they won’t do as good a job as me” the hardcore of perfectionists complain, which may be true but not every task needs to be done perfectly, especially admin stuff.

Time is your most precious resource in a one-person business; guard it carefully.

Outsource your bookkeeping

“I didn‘t start my business to become a bookkeeper,” and yet it frustrates me how may business owners still try, usually badly, to do their own bookkeeping (to which you can add web design, paid online advertising, copywriting and more).

These are tasks you can and should outsource. Yes there’ll be a cost, but now you have the free tine to work on your one-person business not in it. That free time and the additional income it generates will more than pay for the tasks your outsource.

Get rid of limiting beliefs about money 

A business has to spend money to make money. Learn to see the difference between an investment and expenses. Because money is tight when you start your business there is a temptation to skimp on investing in the skills and resources the business needs that you don’t possess (or some else can do better or more efficiently than you).

For most one-person business their mindset around money could do with an upgrade.

Hire a coach or mentor 

Being in business on your own – even if you have a great team to whom you can delegate and outsource – can be a lonely place.

Having a coach or mentor with whom you can discuss your concerns and fears – the things that keep you up at night – in a non-judgemental way is rated by the most successful entrepreneurs as a key ingredient of their success.

A great coach, or mentor, can also keep you on track, listen to your wild ideas, offer constructive advice and be a sounding board.

Invest in yourself

Whenever I hear someone say they’re not prepared to invest in learning and training I know they’re not going to make it.

An already successful solopreneur client of mine has recently signed up to a Business Growth Programme at Cranfield Business School; it is a significant investment of time and money – and she’s a little scared about joining her cohort – but she’s knows it’s the right thing to do to take her business to the next level.

All growth happens outside your comfort zone.

Build systems and automation

If you want to do less of the work – and make things work first time – you need to build systems that you and others (such as your virtual assistant) can follow.

Create a series of checklists and documentation, store them all in one place in the cloud where they are easy to access and update.

Then automate every task you can think of. Software is your friend, your buddy and your trusted companion. It’s cheaper than your VA and doesn’t need time off!

Follow the data

Don’t assume that you know everything, or rely solely on intuition. Collect and become obsessive about data. Have your bookkeeper or accountant run a monthly financial report and keep a business scorecardof your key business metrics.

Ask for reviews and testimonials; conduct surveys and quizzes online to access unique data insights and create marketing campaigns uniquely relevant to your prospects.

If you want your one-person business to survive and thrive, and give you the time and financial freedom to live life to the fullest start making some of these changes today.

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Noel Guilford


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