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Business Strategy for Solopreneurs



WARNING!

The contents of this article are detailed, authentic and have the power to exponentially take your business to the next level, when applied correctly.

Proceed with caution.


Dear Solopreneur,


I understand the dilemma you are in, I do. You currently have a dream, a vision, a persistent passion that does not give you the peace of mind to settle into a life of comfort and mediocrity.


But there is also LIFE happening in real time: bills to be paid, family obligations, career demands, economic pressure, mental health - the whole kit and caboodle. Yes, LIFE is the biggest obstacle between doing what you must (working at a job you hate, hanging out with people you do not need in your life, eating meals you would rather not etc.) and what you desire ( to be financially free and independent and leave a lasting positive impact on society).


On one hand you want to step out and FULLY embrace your entrepreneurial passion and on the other hand your persistent neophobia keeps you too scared from stepping out of your comfort zone, from burning the boats and taking the island. You don't want to take the risk on your business idea.


- What if you fail?

- Where will you get the money?

- Do you have the right qualifications?

- What if your family end up on the street?

- Will you have to compromise your ethical beliefs?

- What if you get into an inescapable mountain of debt?


You have subconsciously built a wall of excuses, disguised as reasons - as to why today is not the best day to start your business or rather, take it to the next level.


And so, you flood your mind with educational content - books, articles, reels, documentaries and movies of famous, wealthy and influential people in the desperate hope that by miraculous osmosis their success will contagiously manifest in your life.


We both know how this story ends, right? The way it ended last year and the year before and the year before that: no progress, no movement, no growth.


That said, we cannot let stagnation has become your brand so chin up: there is a SOLUTION.


A BUSINESS STRATEGY is the solution.

That's it.

That's what you lack, or that's what you are not doing well enough.

That's why your business idea isn't taking off.


And so in this article I will give you the entire nuts-and-bolts of a business strategy for solopreneurs. Here we go:


As a solopreneur your initial focus is to ensure you have 3 things:

  1. More revenue: good cashflow, more margins, more sales.

  2. Less expenses: less costs, less wastage, less debt and bills

  3. More customers: consistent pipeline, followers and subscribers that earn you cash

To be honest, I don't care how fancy your website looks, if you were the top student with your PhD, where you live and the car you drive - if you do not have those 3 focus areas I have numbered above for your business, you will definitely struggle to run a successful business.


We now know the WHAT for solopreneurship: more revenue, less expenses and more customers.


What about the HOW?

There are the 3 operational focus areas any solopreneur should have a business strategy on:

  • CONTENT

  • CUSTOMERS

  • CASH-FLOW

We will set out to discuss and understand each of these elements in this article.


Here is a quick health-check on if your current strategy is not up to scratch: if any of the words in the below diagram are alien to you or you are not currently applying them to your business, we may have a strategy problem.


The diagram below is the strategy framework I developed for my business training sessions with solopreneurs, and has been refined over the last 10 years.


It illustrates in summary how CONTENT, CUSTOMERS and CASH-FLOW interact to create a solopreneur brand that perpetually supports a consistent and growing customer pipeline.

The BGS Business Strategy framework for Solopreneurs

At the top of the diagram we have our 3 friends Content, Customers and Cash-flow intersecting at a mid-point called the marketing-mix.


A marketing mix is simply the 7 areas ( some call them the 7Ps) your business must have in order to effectively advertise your product or services as a solopreneur.


These are:

- pricing

- product or service

- promotion or marketing and sales channels

- people or your internal and external customers

- place or where you can be found - online or offline

- physical evidence which can also be your digital assets

- processes and the systems and structures your business uses to run


Your solopreneur strategy should focus on:


Increasing cash, reducing expenses and increasing the number of customers by consistently supporting activities around customers, content and cashflow while growing your personal and business brand into a distinct presence in the market place.


Here is an overview of each of those 3 areas, Customers, Content and Cashflow:


1. CUSTOMERS:

Without customers, you have no business. Customers are the ones who pay you.


Many people think customers are subscribers, followers and social media friends but the reality is if you do not have a strategy that converts these associations into buying customers, you are just wasting your time as far as business growth is concerned.


Here are some things that a customer acquisition strategy should consider:

  • Community - do not just let them buy once, collect them for life

  • Freemiums - find ways of giving value to customers daily e.g. this article

  • Lead Magnets - use marketing tools to guide your clients to buy products

  • Segmentation - have a deep understanding of who your ideal customers are

  • Micro-niching - do not be too lazy to go extra specific on your segmentation

  • Marketing funnels - have a clear business strategy that considers digital marketing

Here are some additional links with details with more insights:


2. CONTENT:

It fascinates me how in this time and age, so very few solopreneurs are taking advantage of the latent benefits of digital marketing. A big number of them use social media for selfies, silly Tik-Tok dances and even sillier pictures of their meals or dogs.


Come on now, people! If you want this solopreneurship hustle to work, you have to realise your social media platforms are your brand image and how serious the market takes you is largely dependent on how serious you take yourself.


Stop being a clown on social media unless you are selling tickets to the circus.


A few things that a content strategy should consider:

  • Courage - stop the excuses, start posting

  • Creativity - put out content that speaks to your clients

  • Consistency - post content daily, thrice a day, across 4 platforms minimum

  • Content variation - have content that is unpredictable across different media

  • Collaboration (A.I.) - save on costs and churn out better content using technology

  • Calendar of content - strategically post based on time of day, day and target niche

Here are some additional links with details with more insights:


3. CASHFLOW:

Very few solopreneurs focus on cashflow. They would rather focus on a million dollars profit, and yet would be struggling to make a one dollar sale.


A large number of solopreneurs may not even focus on money at all but would rather focus on lofty ideals like passion, purpose, impact and other fuzzy words. That's until the debt collectors come calling.


Be real and build.


Solopreneurship needs cash. YOU need cash.


Have a system that gives you assured cash on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and then think of the million dollars.


Here are some things that I cover with my mentees around a business cashflow strategy:

  • Pricing - of your services or products

  • Budgeting - of your monthly expenditure

  • Targets - itemised profit and loss account plan for the year

  • Sales strategy - ensuring that your sales are aligned to your financial targets

  • Customer pipeline - have a database of all your customers - potential and active

  • Product variations - have iterations of your services and products for more cashflow


And that's the nuts-and-bolts of a business strategy for a solopreneur.


If you read through this entire article and took down important points for application, you're among the 92% of successful people who rely on mentorship to get to the next level. Success first starts in the mind, before it gets to the bank account.


If you need further support in developing a comprehensive, practical and powerful business strategy for your business , get in touch with me via DM through any of my social media handles or direct email and together let us take your business from ideation to profitability.


Despite the challenges and frustrations any new business may come with, there is also the prospect of numerous opportunities in this jungle of solopreneurship.


PS- For the blown up version of the info graph, feel free to DM me and I will send you a copy via email.


About the Writer

Jan Okonji is an entrepreneur, speaker, coach, and Founder of the Pan-African accelerator BGS – Business Growth Solutions.


He is passionate about helping employees transition safely into entrepreneurship whilst turning their great ideas into profitable businesses and has helped entrepreneurs collectively grow their revenue to over $ 10 Million in the course of running BGS.






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