by Donna Amos
According to Startups.com, 73% of all US-based businesses are solo, or solopreneur, businesses. TaxFoundation.org reports that there are over 23 million sole proprietorships currently operating in the United States, making it by far the most popular form of business ownership. And that number is reportedly on the rise as more people become disenchanted with the typical corporate structure and its undependable reputation for stability and longevity.
However, many huge corporations actually began as solopreneur enterprises and grew into other business structures. Some of the most famous include:
- A&W – J. Willard Marriott famously started a root beer standas a sole proprietorship that eventually became the A&W restaurant chain. He did this before eventually forming the Marriott hotel chain in 1957.
- Sears, Roebuck and Company –One of the largest retailers in the United States was started as a sole proprietorship by Richard Warren Sears as a mail order watch and jewelry sales. Eventually, he hired Alvah Curtis Roebuck to repair watches and they launched a partnership.
- C. Penney –James Cash Penney started his career as an employee in a small retail chain in 1898, and eventually bought out the existing partners. He ran the business as a sole proprietor for a number of years before incorporating in 1913.
Whether or not you plan to go big in the future, a solopreneur business is a great way to begin. In fact, thanks to the Internet, there are many ways to launch a solopreneur business remotely, right from the comfort of your own home. Many of the examples below are Internet-based businesses. Others may require more human interaction.
Affiliate marketing allows you to share links to specific businesses or products and then earn a portion of the sales you direct to those companies.
If you’re looking to build a business around your writing skills, you can start your own blog and manage it on your own, then make money through advertisements or sponsored content.
For another profitable opportunity to work with business clients, you could offer bookkeeping services for businesses looking to outsource that function. Many small businesses need this service but cannot afford to pay larger services for it.
Virtual assistants handle various tasks for businesses like email, payroll, transcriptions, scheduling, and social media management. It’s something you can do on your own from home or another remote location.
Consultants or coaches specialize in a service or career type and then teach others how to succeed in their specific niches. If you have many years of valuable experience, you can pass on that wisdom to others through group or one-on-one coaching.
Social Media Manager
For social media savvy solopreneurs, you can offer your services to other businesses to schedule social media posts and manage their accounts. This can be very lucrative for the knowledgeable solopreneur.
You can also focus on writing more long form content and then self-publish your own eBooks to sell. Many self-published authors are very successful. This business takes time to scale into a full-time income, however.
Offer your writing services to other businesses looking for blog posts, ghostwriting, sales emails, or other types of content. There are many branches, or niches, for freelance writers.
Copywriting is another popular writing business. You can specialize in writing copy for websites, product descriptions, or even advertisements. Copywriting is more about sales and harvesting leads than regular topical writing.
For design savvy solopreneurs, you can start your own graphic design business and work with clients on a one-on-one basis. Many small businesses could benefit from this service, and cannot pay large firms for it.
If you know more than one language, you can start a business as a freelance or contract translator. There are many opportunities for this online.
Podcasting is easier than ever to set up on your own. You can host your podcast, build your website, and make money through advertisements or affiliate sales.
If you enjoy organizing and working with different vendors, you can set up your own business as an event planner. You can even niche into only weddings, corporate events, or other types of events.
Online Course Creator
Another way to share your knowledge with others, you can create your own online courses and then sell them to students so they can work on their own time. This can involve personal calls, video, audio, and print products, or require no personal involvement.
Build up a base of regular clients and specialize in house cleaning services. Complete cleanings for new construction can be a lucrative offer for approaching home builders.
For those who enjoy working outside, you can start your own lawn mowing service where you provide weekly maintenance during the summer. Consider offering fall leaf and winter snow removal, also.
Specialize in setting up or maintaining gardens and more intricate landscaping projects. A variation of this is to raise and sell fresh produce at farmer’s markets in season.
You can use a number of different skills, from music to juggling to face painting, to start a business as an independent party entertainer. Specialize in birthdays, holiday parties, or whatever you like best.
For athletic solopreneurs, you can start your own business as a personal trainer who works with clients one-on-one. Sometimes, local gyms can help you promote this business and even send you clients.
Offer fitness and wellness classes to bigger groups of customers. Yoga and Pilates are popular choices for women.
What about you? What is your best idea for launching a solopreneur business in the new year? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!