Entrepreneurship is an equally exciting and daunting journey. Aside from requiring a ton of time, effort, and resources, starting a business needs intensive planning to succeed. And despite that, there are still startups and small businesses that struggle to grow and expand their operations consistently. This is particularly true especially when you are doing it all by yourself.
The road to success in solo entrepreneurship can be twice as hard. While many believe that it’s significantly easier to build an online business, it can still be difficult to find the right groove and make the right decisions. That is why it is important for any aspiring entrepreneur or business owner to understand what it’s like to manage an ecommerce business on their own.
Challenges of Starting an Online Business Alone
Generally, starting a business requires a significant amount of investment. In ecommerce, this may involve the budget to build your ecommerce website, stock up your inventory, or even for paid advertisements and marketing campaigns. Therefore, one of the challenges of starting an online business on your own is that you would have limited financial resources.
It’s not common for startups to immediately blow and grow right after opening. It’s unlikely for any business to start gaining significant revenue and consistently earn to pay for itself. Instead, most business owners experience a rollercoaster ride where their revenue goes up and down for months or even years.
Starting a business alone means that the financial burden of your business lies on you and only you. Thus, whatever business losses you experience would have a heavy impact on your personal finances and stability.
Managing a business is not easy, especially if you’re a solo entrepreneur. Working on your own means that you are responsible for every aspect of your business operations. This includes the likes of inventory management, digital marketing, business networking, as well as administrative and logistical tasks.
Shouldering such a heavy workload can negatively impact yourself and your business. You would have to work longer hours to tend to every important and urgent task. Even then, you may not be able to perform as well as you want to because you don’t have the same level of energy and focus to deal with each task at the highest possible level.
In addition to a heavier workload, another challenge solo entrepreneurs face is that they sometimes have little to no time to work on anything else. If there’s a problem that is needed to be tended to, you would have to put one thing off in order to focus on the urgent issue.
You might find yourself working on one task for hours a day and find that you no longer have the time to work on your other responsibilities. Not only does this can lead to work burnout, but it can also negatively affect your whole business operation.
If you spend too much time working on mundane time-consuming tasks, then you wouldn’t have the time and energy to work on things related to growing and scaling your business.
Slower business growth
While it is not impossible for solo entrepreneurs to succeed and achieve business growth, many say that it generally takes longer for them to reach stability and growth. Spending too much time on the operation side of your business means that you don’t have enough time to tend to your business plan and take the steps necessary for business growth.
Lack of support
Taking on a responsibility as huge as entrepreneurship is challenging, even more so when you’re doing it alone. Solo entrepreneurship can feel isolating and disconnecting to the point that you feel detached and unmotivated. Having no one to confide in or bounce ideas off can affect your business as well as your personal life.
Managing Challenges Faced by Online Solopreneurship
Get an assistant
Sometimes, all that you need is an extra pair of hands and a little help. Hiring a personal assistant to tend to less technical and more mundane day-to-day tasks can significantly alleviate your burden. Luckily, hiring a virtual assistant or an online executive assistant is common practice in the ecommerce industry. You can take simple data entry, administrative tasks, and even customer service off of your hands and focus on your responsibilities as a business owner.
Hire a team
Solo entrepreneurship doesn’t mean that you have to do everything on your own. While you can be the sole business owner, having a team on your side can greatly affect your business productivity and efficiency. You can even let go of certain responsibilities completely.
Leave it to your marketing team to come up with an effective marketing strategy and apply the necessary marketing tactics. All you have to do is oversee and supervise whenever needed.
Delegate tasks effectively
While hiring a virtual assistant or a team to help with your online business is one thing, it is essential that you know how to delegate tasks effectively. It is not enough that you assign a task or give away responsibility.
It is crucial that you exercise your delegation skills and ensure that any task you assign would be done timely and properly. Without proper delegation, your employees would only feel lost in their work which would negatively affect your business operations.
Join a community
One of the challenges that solo entrepreneurs face is the lack of support within their immediate circle. While it’s possible to find solace in your family and friends, having the support of people from the industry can benefit you and your business more.
To do this, don’t be afraid to join communities that share the same interest in entrepreneurship and business. Build a social network of people of your like-mindedness and you would be able to find the support that you need giving your exact situation.
Tips On Growing Your Online Business
Ecommerce is a highly competitive industry. Since it’s considered easy to start an online business, many are enthusiastic about the world of online retail. However, much like any other business venture, starting and growing a young business is not easy. With that, here are some tips that may help you in scaling your business slowly and surely.
Learn about target audiences
The internet is used by vast and diverse people. So if you are looking to sell digital products, goods, or services online, it is important that you know how to determine the right audience and market for it.
Utilizing targeted marketing and sales campaigns can help direct your reach to the group who are most likely to be interested in what you offer from the million others of users online.
Build a user-friendly website
Your ecommerce website serves as your online store where people can browse through your products, learn about your services, and know more about you as a brand. Taking this into consideration, it is crucial that you create a website that is easy and hassle-free to use.
Learning about the basic principles of user interface and user experience design can help you in creating an ecommerce website that people would love to spend so much time on than anywhere else.
Find the right platforms for your online campaigns
Business is all about upping your competition one way or another. In ecommerce, the platforms that you use to conduct your business and marketing campaigns can significantly affect your online visibility and presence.
Considering this, it is important that you choose the right online platforms and digital channels to ensure a good customer experience. Whether it’s the ecommerce platforms your shop is hosted in or the sites where you do your social media marketing campaigns.
Solo entrepreneurship can be scary and daunting. It is a demanding responsibility that would most likely require your utmost time and effort. However, don’t fret as many solo business owners are able to carve their way to business growth and success. Knowing and preparing yourself for the challenges that you may face is one step to becoming a great entrepreneur.
What to know more about starting an online business? Sidekicks is an on-demand virtual company and we’re eager to help visionaries and entrepreneurs like you. Get a free ebook and learn more about how we can help you by signing up for our newsletter. We also offer a free 30-minute consultation if you prefer something more personal.