Many solopreneurs are hesitant to prepare a business plan, thinking it is unnecessary. However, we here at Sum of All Numbers believe that creating a business plan is beneficial for everyone. The process of writing down your goals and intentions can provide clarity.
As a solopreneur– an entrepreneur that runs a business venture all on his own– it’s important to be able to find funding for your business. Not only can a well-written business plan help you secure funding, but it can also help you run your business more successfully.
Your business plan will help you clarify your vision and mission statements, outline your marketing strategies and financial projections, and help keep you focused on the important things in your business.
While the traditional format of a business plan—a document that outlines your company and its goals in detail—is still relevant, many solopreneurs are opting for shorter documents with fewer sections that can be delivered faster than the typical plan.
What is a Solopreneur?
First of all, a solopreneur is someone who starts their own company and runs their own business, usually in the technology, creative, or services industry without having to answer to anyone else. They are usually independent and self-employed, often doing work for other companies or for other customers within the neighborhood.
A solopreneur’s role in the company may vary depending on the type of business they are running, but it is typically related to general management, marketing, sales, finance, or operations– whatever the business requires to survive.
Being a solopreneur is tough. It’s not easy to come up with the funds to start your business, especially when you’re starting out. That’s why it’s important that before you dive into your project, you should have a plan of action.
In many cases, the solo businesses will transition toward becoming a small company (such as in the case of DuckDuckGo). Solopreneurs are typically much more passionate about what they do. So it isn’t just about money, but rather about the kind of business the solo entrepreneur might want to build.
What are the Components of a Solopreneur’s Business Plan?
Many people take their chances and try entrepreneurship without a plan. They expect to make it big and be rich overnight, but in reality, it takes time and hard work to build a successful business.
As solopreneurs, we want to find the best way to start our business plan from scratch so that we can see ourselves succeed in the long run. Taking it step by step will save us a lot of stress and help prevent any setbacks we might encounter.
A solopreneur’s business plan should be revised and updated as necessary to reflect changes in the company’s mission, goals, and strategy.
These are some components of a solopreneur’s business plan that you should think about if you’re thinking about starting your own company.
1) The Executive Summary & Description of the Company
The executive summary is the most important part of your business plan. It’s the first thing anyone will read, and it makes a big impact in the time-poor world we live in. If you can’t grab their attention with your executive summary then you’ve lost the reader.
The executive summary is not a place for flowery prose. It’s the place to give a snapshot of who you are and what you do. In just a few short paragraphs you want to address: who you are and why you do what you do; who your target audience is and what your plans are for monetization.
Your description of your company is another important part of your business plan. This is where you introduce what type of company you have, the products or services that the company offers, and a brief description of the culture within your company.
In short, the Executive Summary & Description of the Company covers the basics of the company and what it does. It should convince the reader that this is not just a dream but can become reality.
2) Your Market Research
One of the first things that you should do is identify your target audience or market. You also need to think about how your product or service fits into the market and whether or not it can distinguish itself from other products in the same niche. This part of the business plan is essential for any company looking to succeed.
Research, therefore, is an important part of your solopreneur business plan. It helps you figure out how big the market that you want to enter is. Research also helps you find out what your competitors are doing and provides a launching point for your own marketing strategy.
There are three types of research that you will want to do – industry research, competitive research, and consumer or customer research. Through your market research, you will want to:
- Know more about your industry– how the business landscape is like, opportunities are available, and what market conditions you should be watching out for.
- Analyze your competitors and learn about different business strategies so that you can set yourself apart from them.
- Paint a picture of your customers – what their behaviors and habits are, what their pain points are, and what their usual questions are leading to the discovery of your products and services.
Market research includes the use of surveys and questionnaires as well as telephone and face-to-face conversations. It is important to have a thorough understanding of the industry (market) you are planning to enter.
As a solopreneur, you’re the only one who is going to know what your ideal customer looks like. You need to do market research and see if your product or service is something people want. If so, then you can move on to the next step: what are your goals?
Having goals will help you keep track of where you are in the process. It also helps when choosing which products or services to sell and how much they should cost.
Some of your goals might be expanding your business by adding more products and services, finding valuable customers, and working towards financial success. However, these goals might not always align with each other. For example, maybe expanding your business isn’t as important as focusing on making more money.
3) A Description of Your Company’s Offerings
In a solopreneur’s business plan, you need to clearly describe what your company offers. This is especially if you’re looking for funding– investors want to know what they’re getting into.
You need to be able to identify your key offer as a company. Which customer pain points are you specifically able to address with your product or service? What are the main benefits of your company offerings?
You should also include information about your company’s target market and how it will make an impact on the industry in general. If you want to create a more personal touch for your company, include some demographics as well– like who are the people that might be interested in your product or service? What’s the ideal customer profile?
4) Details of the Company’s Operational & Management Structure
The solopreneur’s business plan should include a description of the company’s operational and management structure. This information is necessary in order to understand how the company will operate and manage its resources.
Be clear on the operational and management structure of your company. For instance, you should have a clear idea of how you will find work, which functions are you personally responsible for, what you will be outsourcing, and how much time you will spend working.
Define your organizational structure, strengths, and weaknesses in order to avoid any potential problems down the road. If you know your strengths and weaknesses as well as what you can offer to the market, you will have a better chance of succeeding as a solopreneur.
The format for this section will certainly vary depending on the type of business, but it is important to include all relevant details in order to provide a clear picture for investors and other stakeholders.
5) Legal Framework of the Business
Solopreneurs must consider their legal framework when planning for their business. As a solopreneur, you will be the company and you should know what this entails for your own business.
For example, if you are self-employed, then you will have to pay your own taxes on your earnings. If you are an LLC owner, then you will have to pay corporate taxes on your earnings. You should also know where to find the best possible location and terms of employment for yourself.
There are other things that solopreneurs need to keep in mind when thinking about their legal framework as well. Your legal framework will also determine how the business is taxed and managed. Legal documents such as a company constitution, bylaws, licenses, contracts, and memos should be created or updated as needed.
A good lawyer can help draft these documents for you if you are not familiar with them yourself.
6) Your Sales & Marketing Strategies
A solopreneur’s business plan must include a clear idea of their sales and marketing strategies. This includes identifying potential customers, developing a clear marketing strategy, and creating a solid plan for reaching out to potential clients.
If you are working on your own, then it is up to you to determine what your customer base looks like. If you are partnering with other solopreneurs or individuals for distribution, then it will be helpful to have this information in your business plan. Not only does this help you develop a strategy for reaching out to customers, but it also helps make sure that both parties are on the same page as far as what they expect from each other.
Once you have your customer base in mind, it is important to create a strategy that works with that audience. The best way to do this is by using analytics from your website or social media channels. You can also reach out directly to people in person by coming into their local coffee shop or bar where they’re likely spending time after work and ask them about the types of products or services they would like to see more of.
It is important to know the most effective sales and marketing channels for your company. The different avenues to generate revenue and reach out to your potential customers should be chosen according to the requirements you have analyzed for your business.
7) Funding & Financials
It’s important to note that a solopreneur may not have to think about funding and finances in the beginning stages of starting their business. If they’re lucky, they might be able to start with a personal loan or credit card. However, if they need to get an investment from outside sources, then it’s important that they have a solid plan in place.
Some of the benefits of being a solopreneur are that you can work on your own schedule and you only answer to yourself. But there are also drawbacks that come with being a solopreneur like no potential for growth and limited visibility.
Solopreneurs must keep these two factors in mind as they build their business plan: how much money will it take them to start their business? What is the number one goal they want to accomplish? How long will it take them to reach these goals? And finally, what is the exit strategy?
Other Business Plan Tips That Might Help You (as a Solopreneur)
A well-written plan will help you make better decisions, support your business with more relevant information, and explain more clearly to others what you’re doing and why. For these reasons, your business plan will be tremendously helpful to you as a solopreneur.
Here are several other tips to keep in mind when preparing your business plan:
- State your purpose clearly.
- Keep it simple. Keep your business plan short and professional.
- Use the right words. Avoid buzzwords, jargon, and acronyms.
- Keep your plan focused.
- Know your target market in and out.
- Use the right language. Avoid using the passive voice. Use the right tone.
- Know your total investment required.
- Have a good idea of what your profit margins and customer acquisition costs are going to look like.
- Make sure to include all the important information.
- Follow a format that is easy to understand.
- Use keywords and phrases that will help you sell your idea.
- Make sure all materials are consistent and correct from beginning to end.
- Have a system in place to track progress and keep everyone on the same page.
- Keep a copy of all documents for your records.
A Final Word About a Solopreneur’s Business Plan
In order to successfully launch your company and start earning money, you need to craft a plan that helps you make the most of your resources. A business plan is a road map to your company’s success.
A solopreneur’s business plan should be concise and not over-ambitious. It should include details about the present and future of the company.
The data, research, and roadmap to attain your goals will be critical to your success. More importantly, how you organize that information and present it to banks, potential investors, or partners will dramatically improve your likelihood of attracting their support.
A business plan is not just a document you create once and forget about. It is a living document that can help you grow your company more effectively, as well as help you make decisions as you start and grow your business.
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, let’s talk about your growth strategy here at Sum of All Numbers. Your business plan will certainly be part of the equation, and we’ll also talk about other action items to prepare you for greater profitability and explosive growth.