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Working as a freelancer and self-employed can definitely help you earn a living, but it’s a whole different story when you want to build a business.
In many cases, entrepreneurs usually start out as solopreneurs in their early stages of business building. They can be working on side hustles, run a physical business or even work from home full-time. In the beginning, they are the only responsible entity for running a business and ensuring its success.
If a solopreneur’s business is running smoothly, they can continue flying solo and running it on their own. However, this also is quite limiting to your business, as it can’t reach its full potential. When you juggle many responsibilities throughout a single day, you just can’t fully focus on growing your business and increasing revenue. If you really want to grow, you have to start trusting other people enough to help you out.
Taking a business to the next level is one of the most common reasons why the solopreneurs transition to business owners. This also is a strong indicator that your business is doing well enough for you to build a team and hire employees. After you successfully handle the distribution of responsibilities within your business, you can focus on other areas that are important to help you grow.
The road from solopreneur to managing a team can be quite a rocky road, especially if you’re used to working alone. It takes a specific set of skills and even a change in mindset to make a smooth transition.
In this article, we’re going to give you a few tips on how to make your journey from a solopreneur to an established business owner as trouble-free as possible.
Define your purpose
Most will tell you that if you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you have to be sure of your purpose. Your “why” is the most important part of forming a business mindset. Not sure what your “why” is? Think about why you get up in the morning. What is pushing you to do better every day? It’s that drive that will help you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Whether you offer a service or a product, you should be able to talk about why you’re the best in the game.
When you are fully aware of your intentions, you will be able to find the purpose of your business. You begin to ask yourself questions like “why does my business deserve to grow?” or “why would customers buy my product?”. The answers to these questions will only help you further develop your purpose. When you are passionate about what you do, you can also be a great motivating force for your team. You can encourage employees to do meaningful work and work towards a common goal. When times are tough and challenges are making work difficult, the “why” is what will keep everyone focused on sticking around through thick and thin.
Know who to hire
Having a common goal and purpose can be the strongest part of your business if you have the right team. You need to know what your strengths and weaknesses are in order to hire the right employees for the job. Find talented individuals who believe in the same outcome as you and who can also handle the responsibility they take on.
Besides seeing eye-to-eye with your team, there are a few other things that you have to consider during the hiring process. The people you want to hire should be diverse and also fit the company culture. Your employees all play an important role in your company’s growth.
Other things you might want to consider when hiring staff is how responsible they are, if they bring a positive vibe to the office, have the drive and passion for your business as much as you are. These individuals are the ones that can take care of tasks without having the need to be micromanaged, helping you build a strong and stable team.
Build trust within your team
The best leaders are the ones who have earned the trust of the ones they lead. This is true for businesses as well. When working solo, you don’t really have to worry about others because they might not be essential to the growth of your business. But if you’re going from a solopreneur to managing a team, then you have to build trust among your employees.
If your team doesn’t trust you as a leader, then that could be a serious threat to the success of your business. So how do you ensure that your team trusts you? Well, you can start by giving your team the freedom to work on their own terms. Of course, everyone will be aware of some ground rules, but this shows that you believe in your team enough to not have to monitor them.
What you can also do is try to connect with them on a personal level. Dedicate some time to talk to each of your employees about things other than work. You might even be surprised and find out about some hidden skills and talents. These can also help your business in the future and give the employees the opportunity to do the things they like within a working environment.
Delegate instead of control
Knowing when to let go of the reins can be the hardest obstacle to overcome when you start to manage a team. As a solopreneur, you’re used to having control over everything and overseeing every part of your business. When you transition to a leader, you have to be aware that your team’s opinions and decisions also have to be taken into account.
Of course, you’re still the boss who will have the final say, but a good leader is one who will know when tasks need to be delegated. When you assign tasks to your team, you are freeing yourself from the stress of having to deal with everything. The tasks that a CEO has to complete can only be completed by a CEO.
Don’t forget that delegating tasks doesn’t mean that your team has to be monitored when completing them. Just as we mentioned earlier, trust your employees to do their work. Hovering over them and critiquing their work will negatively affect productivity and motivation. So be ready to work together with your staff, but also let them do their own thing.
Master the art of self-awareness
Being self-aware is a trait that all leaders need to develop. It’s absolutely important for them to grow and be able to deal with weaknesses. For entrepreneurs, it is one of the most crucial skills to have in order for a business to be successful.
When you know the strengths and weaknesses of your business, yourself and your teams, you will be more aware of who you surround yourself with. You know which people can handle which tasks and you know who can fill in the blank spaces. If you are amazing at marketing but not as good in finance, you might want to find a suitable person who can turn your business’s weakness into a strength.
Additionally, when a leader is self-aware, they are able to develop their business with the help of their employees’ strongest assets. This way, you can build a brand that is authentic and true to what you and your employees believe in. You’ll also be able to make better decisions faster and also know when things need to be done.
Learn to prioritize
Managing a team requires a great deal of involvement in the prioritization of tasks. As a solopreneur, everything is important and urgent. You have multiple roles to play and you’re passionate about your business. But when you transition to a business owner with a team, you need to think about which tasks are more important than others.
As an entrepreneur, you will have to focus on the bigger picture, rather than the day-to-day. It’s essential to know what tasks will be better for your business in the long run, let’s say in 5 years for example. Knowing how to prioritize work, tasks, clients and responsibilities is a key aspect in the growth of any business and the success of a leader. And don’t forget, as a leader you have to focus on tasks that will help you achieve your long-term goals, instead of daily tasks.
On a final note, deciding when it’s time to start a team can be a little scary. Your routine will change and you will have to adapt to a new work environment. But don’t forget that there’s nothing better than having a team that will back you and works with you to achieve the goals you’re passionate about. Use the tips above as a guide to help you make your transition from a solopreneur to a leader much smoother and make you a better leader.