Solopreneurs are slightly different than entrepreneurs, though both set up businesses to run independently. Unlike entrepreneurs, solopreneurs usually offer specialized services, do not hire employees, and aren’t trying to scale their operations. Many of these small business owners work out of their home and need just an internet connection to get started.
From your business name to your financials, launching a solo business can be a big step, especially if you aren’t sure where to start. What should you consider to set yourself up for success as a solopreneur? In a world that is growing increasingly reliant on the digital workforce, the most important factor in starting a new small business might just be the technology you choose to invest in. For all small businesses, technology can build the framework that supports your business. Let’s explore the 6 tech tools solopreneurs need to be successful.
In order to function in a digital world, most businesses need high-speed internet. The internet powers many of the tools solopreneurs use, from customer relationship management tools to appointment-booking. It’s also essential for point-of-sale systems, advertising, and ordering supplies.
In order to get the most out of your internet, plan on setting up a dedicated internet connection for your business. Using the same internet connection as other household members (who may be streaming TV or playing video games) can slow down or impact your work.
When you choose a plan for your small business, consider how much speed and bandwidth you will need. For example, if your business requires uploading large files for your clients, like images, videos, or file archives, it will help to have an internet connection with symmetrical upload and download speeds, like fiber internet.
Your small business needs a website. Consumers research online before they purchase goods or services, so it’s important to have a place where they can learn about what you offer. Having a website also makes your business searchable by search engines like Google or Bing, which will make it easier for clients or customers to discover your business. You may also want to have a contact page, so customers can reach out for a quote for your service. You should also plan on getting a professional custom domain for your business website. There are many options for small business website hosting, including Vivial, Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress.
There are two types of email services you will want to consider as a solopreneur: a professional email address associated with your website’s domain and an email marketing service provider.
The first type is a must-have for freelancers and other solopreneurs that offer services. You can easily set up a professional email address that uses your domain and helps keep your professional emails separate from your personal inbox. Plus, using your own domain makes your business look legitimate. Some examples of professional email addresses look like:
For inquiries or contact forms on your website, you might consider using an email address like:
Using a specific email address for inquiries will help funnel all your leads into one inbox, which can help you keep track and stay on top of your business. To create these types of email addresses, first check with your website host to see if they offer custom email addresses for your domain — many of the ones named earlier do offer this service. You can also use Microsoft Office 365 or Gmail.
Secondly, solopreneurs should explore email marketing. This type of marketing may look different for solopreneuers than for larger businesses, but it’s still effective. Building an email list can be one of the best investments you can make in your business, helping to drive purchases, boost customer retention, and provide a great return on investment. Popular email marketing tools for small businesses include MailChimp and Constant Contact.
Social media is key for introducing potential customers or clients to your business. Of many marketing activities, social media is a top-of-the-funnel tactic that is perfect for educating customers about the benefits of your products or services and building a community of fans. There are tools like Hootsuite and Buffer that allow you to share content across multiple social media platforms (like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram) all at once.
When you’re just starting out as a business owner, the financials can feel overwhelming — especially if you’ve never done any bookkeeping before. But a tool that helps you keep track of how much money you have coming in and going out will help you stay organized. Accounting tools can even send invoices to clients and help you predict how much you’ll need to set aside for taxes. Accounting software like QuickBooks or Wave are great options for solopreneurs.
After you’ve done all the work of building your website, your email list, and your social media channels and have gathered customer information, the most important thing to do is protect that information. 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses, so it’s important to take steps to invest in cybersecurity as a solopreneur. Ecommerce sites will have different cybersecurity requirements than other types of business, but it’s also important to keep your client and customer data secure. As a solopreneur, be sure to secure your WiFi connection, set strong passwords, and use antivirus software.
Investing in the technology and tools your business needs is one of the most important things you can do as a solopreneur. By laying the foundation of technology for your business with these six tools, you can set yourself up for success with internet that works, tools for communication and marketing, financial management, and security.
For more articles on running a small business in the digital age, visit the Small Business page of our blog.