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  • 23 June 2015
  • Eric Michaels

5 Challenges All Start-up Solopreneurs Face

Launching a business is as challenging as it is exhilarating, and those who choose to run theirs as one-person brands have more obstacles to overcome than the rest. There is no second-in-command available, no one to bail you out from a mistake, and no one to blame when you miss an opportunity. In fact, solopreneurs should line up the challenges that are guaranteed to arise and plan to confront them one by one. Here are the top five challenges all solopreneurs face:

1. Balancing selling and building
A business originates from a big idea, but turning a profit usually involves plenty of selling to investors and clients. The seed-harvest analogy is often used to describe the balance you must strike: While you are planting seeds, you cannot be out harvesting (and vice versa). Successful entrepreneurs figure out how to balance the two early in the game.

The ability to concentrate and close chapters allows for results.

In some cases, you might learn you are far better at building new products than you are at selling, while in others you will learn the opposite. This realization should lead you to consider taking on a partner or manager to handle the part where you are less strong. Being a one-person brand is not for everyone, and recognizing your strengths leads to more success.

2. Delegating for success
How good are you at accounting, website design, and marketing? Solopreneurs will need these skills and more—unless you plan to delegate related tasks to someone else. You will need to decide whether bringing on employees or outsourcing tasks is the right fit for your personality.

Since you will have to price each service in your area (or online), the decision is partly financial. However, you are also deciding on a different direction for your company once you start taking on employees, even freelancers. Technology can help, but there are only so many time-saving apps out there. Businesses were not meant to run on a single brain.

3. Fighting isolation

Running a company solo can be lonely, and that loneliness only increases as your business expands. Entrepreneurs have different ways of dealing with the isolation, but you will need some sort of strategy that allows for human contact in the course of a workday and in your free time.

Networking events work for some people, while reading clubs or sports leagues suit others better. Whatever you decide, make sure you maintain the social elements in your life or you can set yourself up for hard times later. Entrepreneurs usually launch companies to enjoy more social time, not less.

4. Protecting yourself financially
Do you have a safety net if the worst happens? Shockingly, many entrepreneurs do not consider what could happen if an investor falls through at the last minute or a finished product turns out to be defective ahead of the launch. These things can happen so be prepared.

Even when you believe your business is totally safe and cannot fail, you need a plan in place to protect yourself financially. Do yourself a favor and establish a safety net.

5. Finishing what you start
How many ideas are you working on at the moment? Most entrepreneurs have multiple ideas running at once, which is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you always have a new project waiting to launch. On the other hand, having too many burners going at once might distract you from finishing what you start.

The successful one-person brand sees each part of a project through to the end before shifting focus. The ability to concentrate and close chapters allows for results. Otherwise, you end up with several great ideas but zero completed projects. No entrepreneur survives on promise alone.

Solopreneurs face these challenges and more during the creation of a company. Prepare to confront yours at some point. When you need assistance in any aspect of the process, the UPS Store's professional partners are here to help.

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