What Does it Mean To Be a Solopreneur?5 minute read
If you have heard the word "solopreneur" lately and wondered what it means exactly, you are not alone.
This term is increasing in popularity these days with the rising of online businesses and more and more people ditching their 9 to 5 jobs to start their own businesses.
But what exactly does it mean to be a solopreneur?
If you have been asking yourself this question, keep reading below. In today's article, we will share the definition of solopreneur, how to become one, and how it differs from the term "entrepreneur".
What is a solopreneur?
Oxford Languages defines a solopreneur as "a person who sets up and runs a business of their own", and attributes the origin of this term to the 1990s.
A solopreneur can be defined as an individual who owns, manages and runs a business venture independently and without the support of one or more partners or co-founders. Solopreneurs do not hire employees and manage the whole aspects of their business entirely on their own.
These kinds of business owners can be found in all industries and niches. You might think of freelancers as solopreneurs: these are self-employed individuals that offer a specific service to their clients and work from project to project.
Consultants can be another type of solopreneur: they are individuals who provide advice to other businesses or entrepreneurs.
If you are selling online courses, you are also a solopreneur! In this case, you can also be defined with another word: Infopreneur (someone who sells informational or educational digital products such as online courses, or makes money by teaching).
Influencers can also be solopreneurs! If a social media influencer has a big enough audience, they can decide to monetize their audience and start their own business this way.
Even the more classical definition of business owners can translate into solopreneurship. Whatever business you decide to start, if you do it all alone, you are a solopreneur.
Solopreneurs vs Entrepreneurs
The terms "solopreneur" and "entrepreneur" are often used interchangeably, but they are some important differences between these definitions of business owners. Let's see them below:
The main difference is in the actual definition: while a solopreneur is an individual who starts a business venture entirely on his/her own, an entrepreneur does so with the help of a business partner, investors, co-founders or employees. Many solopreneurs businesses are also bootstrapped, meaning they don't rely on funding and investments. While entrepreneurs can also choose this path, it is more common for them to grow their business with the financial assistance of investors, since they require more funding to support employees and other large business expenses.
The day-to-day function of entrepreneurs and solopreneurs can coincide, however, the main difference is that solopreneurs handle all aspects of the business themselves: from research and development to marketing and promotion, to customer service, product development and much more. While entrepreneurs also have these tasks to take care of, they have the opportunity to delegate a few jobs to partners, employees or consultants.
Due to the structure of the business, a venture run by a solopreneur is generally harder to scale and grow to the same level that an entrepreneur with many employees might expand their business to since there is only one person taking care of everything. While with entrepreneurs, their businesses can more easily scale and branch out to different regions or countries.
The Advantages of Being a Solopreneur
Now that you have learned the definition of solopreneurship and how this term differs from "entrepreneurship", it is time to see what are the benefits of becoming a solopreneur.
If your dream is to start your own business as a solopreneur, keep reading below to learn why you should go for it!
The biggest advantage of solopreneurship lies in the decision-making process. As a business owner, you are faced with countless decisions to make about your business every day. While it can be overwhelming to decide everything yourself, it can also be extremely liberating not to have to deal with others when making major decisions for your business.
Solopreneurs are free to choose whatever they want for their business and can do it extremely quickly since they do not have to wait for other people's approval. This means that business decisions are taken much quicker, and their business can grow faster and more effectively. If there is a problem, a solopreneur can act on it immediately.
Being a solopreneur is also a great way to get a flexible schedule. Generally, solopreneurs do not have designated work hours and can choose to work whenever they need. Depending on the kind of business, a solopreneur could potentially juggle his/her business with a full-time job or even another business.
Financially speaking, solopreneurs do not have to worry about paying for employees' salaries or sharing their revenue with partners (and if they decide to start a bootstrapped company, they don't even have to pay back loans or investors). In the event of business failure, this makes sure that solopreneurs are less liable compared to entrepreneurs with lots of employees depending on them or investors looking for their money back. That said, this can be both an advantage and a disadvantage of being a solopreneur.
Let's see below what are some disadvantages you should be aware of if you want to become a solopreneur.
The Disadvantages of Being a Solopreneur
Have you decided you want to be a solopreneur yet? Great, but hold on a moment!
While we do believe that starting your own business is totally worth it, there are a few aspects of being a solopreneur that you should be aware of before diving into it.
First of all, as you probably already understand, a solopreneur is an entrepreneur who decides to start a business on his/her own. This means that as a solopreneur, all the responsibilities, duties and challenges of starting a business fall on you - and you alone.
While flexible working hours are an advantage of solopreneurship, if you are the only one running your business, chances are that you will spend most of your time working - especially at the beginning. Even when your business grows, tasks and responsibilities will stack up, and if you are still the only one running the business, it can get extremely busy and repetitive.
This is why many solopreneurs decide to hire a virtual assistant to help them with the day-to-day, more repetitive tasks of their business. If you want to learn more about how to hire a virtual assistant, check out this article from our blog: Should You Hire a Virtual Assistant to Help You Build an Online Course?
While as a solopreneur you are not responsible for other people, and you are less liable if the business fails, starting a business on your own can be riskier than being part of a more established organization that can benefit from investments, capital or employees.
How to Become an Infopreneur
Our favorite type of solopreneur is the infopreneur.
Infopreneurs are individuals who start their own businesses by selling their knowledge. This can be done through online courses, coaching programs, setting up membership communities and more.
This kind of business is one of the safest and easiest to start: all you need is your knowledge, and a few tools.
In this article from our blog, we compare different business models and describe why selling online courses is one of the best ways to make money online and start a solopreneur business: The Benefits of Selling Online Courses vs Other Ways to Make Money Online
What would you teach as an infopreneur?
Once you have an idea for an online course, all you have to do is sign up for Heights Platform and start building your program: congratulations, now you are a solopreneur!Create Your Online Course Today