If you’ve started your own business, congratulations! You are officially an entrepreneur. But are you also a solopreneur? While the two terms are similar, there are a few important distinctions. We’ll break down the differences and help you decide which business model will help you achieve your goals.
What’s the Difference Between Solopreneurs and Entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurs are business owners who usually hire a staff of employees. Salary or wages are claimed on the entrepreneur’s tax returns. They also often co-run their businesses with other people and might delegate management tasks to others.
Solopreneurs also start and run their own businesses, but they do this without traditional hiring practices. Instead, they either complete the work entirely themselves or employ independent contractors when needed.
Another way of thinking about it is that solopreneurs are a subset of entrepreneurs who prefer to keep their business solo.
While it would be hard to run a coffee shop, automotive repair, or nail salon without employees, a smart solopreneur can find a niche for his or her talents and business idea.
For an industry to be a good opportunity for a solopreneur, it needs to be scalable and possible to run with just one person.
Some popular solopreneur businesses include:
- Specialized Baking
- Event Planning
- Child Care/Home Daycare
- Lawn/Landscaping Service
- Cleaning Services
- Handyman Services
- Social Media Management
- Web Design
- Graphic Design
While many different skill sets can be suitable for a solopreneur arrangement, the common thread in this list is the ability to work on your own, control the amount of work, and set your own rate. While the skill set required for a photographer is different from a bookkeeper, they can both manage a solo business.
Is Solopreneurship Right for You?
While starting any business takes commitment and drive, solopreneurs also need to be comfortable having full responsibility for all aspects of the business. A one-person business can be a great fit for someone who likes to be in charge and handle every aspect of the business hands-on. While it can be challenging to work without many delegations, many solopreneurs enjoy the freedom to scale their business up or back to accommodate other areas of their life, like a day job, education, or family. Many solopreneur ventures start out as side hustles and can later transition to a more traditional business model once the founder achieves some success. Whatever your work preferences are, you can be sure that a solopreneur lifestyle will present you with plenty of creative challenges.
As with everything else about running a business, knowledge is power for a solopreneur. Invest in yourself and your business with training and resources designed specifically for those running a business on their own. Before you rush to sign up for expensive conferences and training sessions, check out our free Business Guide for Solopreneurs. With a little additional information, you can be prepared for the opportunities ahead.