I wrote a post on October 5, 2008 titled, “Ready To Be The Boss?” In it, I challenge would-be solopreneurs to think about some tough questions to see if they are ready to take the plunge into solo self employment.
One question that I posed was, “Can I swim with the sharks or should I get back in the boat?” After reading my post, a friend who is employed as a commission only sales manager asked, “What boat? I’ve been swimming with the sharks for years.”
Although my friend will only earn an income if he sells something (which is financially riskier than being a salaried employee), there is still a big difference between his responsibilities and liabilities versus that of his employer.
Following is a list of SOME business related “sharks” that if not respected and properly handled, have the ability to maim or kill your business:
- Market Research & Analysis
- Business Planning
- Creating Strategies & Implementing Tactics
- Legal Issues & Costs
- Licenses & Certifications
- Raising Financing
- Business Insurance
- Health Insurance
- Security Systems
- Retirement Accounts
- Monthly Lease (of office space)
- Maintenance (of office space)
- Product Development
- Product Implementation
- Purchasing Materials for Products
- Web Site Costs & Maintenance
- Accounts Payable – Managing Vendors
- Accounts Receivable – Managing Customers
- Customer Service
- P&Ls and Managing Cash Flow
- Phone Bills
- Electric Bills
- Gas Bills
- Office Equipment Costs
- Small Equipment Costs
- Capital Expenditures
Of the 29 different species of “sharks” listed above, my commission only friend is involved with maybe 5 of these and responsible for 2 more.
The “boat” that I refer to is the security provided by his employer from the management tasks, costs and liabilities for the other 22 “sharks”.
As a solopreneur you are saying that you are willing to dive in and handle all of these “sharks” on your own. I do recommend that you outsource and set up systems for the attributes that you don’t have time for or experience in managing. And for the remaining categories, you will increase your chances of survival if you are passionate about what you are doing, educate yourself about your business and your market, plan your journey, take swift and decisive action, and stay focused on the horizon.
If not, get back in the “boat”.
All the Best,
The Solopreneur’s Guide