For those starting a small business, the decision is normally whether it should be a partnership or if they should go it alone as a solo entrepreneur. There are many benefits with both types of business entities. The pros and cons are well balanced.
In my previous two posts, Do This Before Starting a Business Partnership and Pros and Cons of a Business Partnership, I covered many of the issues to consider when choosing to have a business partner. Whether that partner is a friend, relative, or spouse, the questions and decisions are the same, and extremely important to be addressed prior to choosing who that partner will be.
Choosing whether to have a business partner or not is often dependent on what type of person you are, and how well you – in the well-know phrase – can “work with others.”
So, what are the pros and cons of being a solo entrepreneur?
The benefits of being a solo entrepreneur
Ahhhhh …. freedom! That’s the first and most often touted benefit of entrepreneurship. But there are many other reasons one chooses to be a solo entrepreneur when starting a business. Some are:
- You are following your passion, living the dream!
- It’s all about you. If you like total control, this is probably for you. You make the decisions, you live by them, and take the hit when it’s the wrong decision. But for many, the key here is it was yours to make, and yours alone. There is often a rush that comes with that.
- No one to answer to but yourself (that “freedom factor”). If you want to take a few hours off – or the entire day – you can do so. If you want to work weird hours, they are yours to choose.
- You have full control over the financials. You invested, and you reap the financial rewards.
- You and you alone achieved the success directly from the efforts you put into the business.
The issues a solo entrepreneur might face
Pros and cons for business ownership are often the same thing, but with different results. These are the issues you are likely to face when choosing to own a business as a solo entrepreneur:
- Being “the one” is not always a good thing, as it can sometimes be quite frightening and lonely.
- When you have to make a decision, you have only your own experience and knowledge to guide you. You don’t have a partner to share the burden of a wrong or poor decision.
- There is no one to “high-five” or share the excitement with when achieving a major success.
- Creativity is often limited when you have just your own input into marketing, financing, and sales.
- Your weaknesses will be magnified when you are totally responsible for all facets of the company.
Know what type of person you are. Do you prefer to work alone? Are you one who likes complete control? If so, solo entrepreneurship is probably a good decision. If this is your choice, I recommend that you join a mastermind group or hire a business coach. Having other entrepreneurs or a coach to kick ideas around will be extremely important to soften the cons of being alone. You’ll still have total control, but you will benefit from others’ input who are experienced business professionals.