In the business world, we talk a lot about growth. Usually we don’t think of it as something that needs to be defined. Growth means getting bigger, and EVERYONE wants their business to get bigger, right? We want more sales, more customers, more page views…more more more of everything!
The problem is that a standard business model often equates “growth” with “hiring employees.”
You see the problem, right? As soon as you hire your first employee—not to mention your second, fifth, tenth, and fiftieth—you are no longer a solo business. Hiring employees changes your work and the way you spend your time. You’re not doing what you love anymore. Instead, you’re managing others.
As a solopreneur, you can grow two ways:
1) Outsource the help you need: One way to grow is by outsourcing work that you do yourself inside the company—social media, web management, finances and bookkeeping, marketing…the list goes on; you can even outsource production without hiring. Click here to learn why this “waterbug model” is such a great option for solos.
2) Collaborate: The second way you can grow is by collaborating with other solos. Find other like minded solopreneurs, and together pursue larger projects and larger jobs. In other words create a virtual company that will take on larger projects. This requires lots of communication, sharing of resources, and some vital project management skills, but it is a way to temporarily scale your company to take advantage of opportunities when they arise instead of committing yourself to long term fixed overhead that will remain in place even when you do not have the volume to support it.
So think about it. Question your preconceived notions. “Growth” is not a one-size-fits-all concept. There are lots of ways to “transform your business from a tiny project to a growing, profitable company,” in the words of the small business super-fans over at Grasshopper. Grasshopper is a great company that is working hard to bring us small business owners the best info for effectively scaling our ventures. On March 24th at 2pm EST they’ll be hosting their next Fireside Chat as a Google+ Hangout. Learn more here! Their panel of CEOs, financial advisors, and small business owners will share their growth strategies, giving advice on how to know when it’s time to grow, how to finance your future, and how to find the most effective marketing channels as you scale. This will be a great resource as you think about scaling your solo business and still staying true to your vision.