It can be lonely operating a one-person business. Where do you go for business advice, especially when you are faced with difficult problems and challenges in your business? Who can you trust?
One entrepreneur who runs a retail homewear store and online shop has been able to overcome the depths of loneliness that solopreneurs feel. She shares retail space with three other business owners. They are able to split the rent and have a roster so that owners can take a break. This arrangement also gives the solopreneurs an opportunity to work on their business rather than in their business.
The owner of a small consulting business finds that the absence of colleagues to call on for advice and support is a challenge. This entrepreneur has tried to get around this challenge by taking on a business mentor, engaging with online forums for advice and calling on other professional advisers and personal supporters, according to a report.
Where do you go for support as a solopreneur or small business owner?
Some small business owners may not want any advice at all. They are quite happy running their business, making their own decisions without the support or assistance from other experienced business people. Yet these are often the businesses that are cruising along with a basic business model such as simple retail sales and may have no competitive threats in their local market.
As soon as challenges arise, the solopreneur or small business owner is working in a more complex and dynamic business environment. Changes could come about through the entry of a new competitor, customers turning to substitute products or a decline in sales. When these challenges threaten the existence of a small business solopreneurs can feel the real pain of going it alone. They spend long days and late nights trying to figure out solutions on their own.
One source of help for a solopreneur is a personal network of other solopreneurs or small business owners. It doesn’t have to be a formal thing. You can get together with a local business person just by taking them for a coffee and talking about your problems, difficulties or challenges. For quick, on-the-spot advice, two minds together dealing with a problem can often be better than one. If you are a good listener, you might find that the other business person provides you with a fresh perspective that can help you solve your problem.
Online forums for small business advice are plentiful but the quality of advice varies. It’s best to look for an online business adviser by doing a thorough check of their track record and testimonials from satisfied customers. For the would-be solopreneur trying to come up with a new business from scratch, the loneliness can be even more intense. Yes, family and friends might be helpful but in many cases they can discourage you from exploring your dream business. An objective, experienced outsider may be able to give you the perspective and advice you need.