a tale of two companies
Being a solopreneur is not just about what you know but also how you think.
This blog is essentially for travel. Yet the response to the first solopreneur post was amazing. So, to meet the demand without diluting the focus of Solo Traveler, the plan is to publish one solopreneur post every other Saturday and deliver another in the weeks in between via newsletter.
Next week via newsletter: Business Models Everywhere: plenty to make you think.
SOLOPRENEUR: a tale of two companies.
Is there any single right business for you to start? I don’t think so. But there are many wrong ones.
Just because you have a good business idea doesn’t mean that you should pursue it. Your business idea also has to suit you. As long as it does, as long as it feeds you in enough ways, you will feed it with all the energy, creativity and sweat you have to offer.
Here’s a quick analysis of two companies I’ve had. The first, MW Productions, was started in late 1988 by my husband and me. We sold the majority of it in 1998 and gave the balance to employees in 2000. The second, Solo Traveler, is my current business. The results are not yet in on that one but I’m thoroughly enjoying the ride which is an excellent sign.
There are many reasons I undertook this exercise.
- 1. To demonstrate that there is more than one right company for you.
2. To point out that the majority of these questions need a positive answer – not the same answer, just a positive one.
3. To give you a number of questions you might want to ask yourself before starting any new venture.
These questions are not for determining whether you have the makings of a solopreneur. They are to help those who do decide on the business that is right for them.
Trade Show and Conference Co.
|Is this business about my passion?||No. This company focused on the call center industry in the early 90s. Not a subject that gets me really charged.||>>> Yes. Yes. Yes.|
|Does this business suit my work style?||>>> Yes. I like projects. I like to finish things. Every year we finished 3 or 4 events and then did them again to improve on them.||Kind of. I can do process, never ending work as well but it doesn’t have the same kick for me.|
|Does this business use my skills well?||>>> Yes. I was fortunate. Essentially, my previous employer paid me to develop skills that I could turn into a business.||>>> Yes, It integrates my writing and research skills with my business experience.|
|How big is the learning curve?||>>> Short. Both my partner and I had worked for a similar company in a different industry so we understood the business well.||Huge. Social media was completely new to me. I had experience with SEO for websites but blogs, Twitter, Facebook, aggregators… all new.|
|Is the cost of entry an issue?||It was a big issue. There were many expenses. We lost $70,000 in the first year.||>>> No. The only real cost is my time and hosting fee for my site. Everything else is optional.|
|How satisfying is the business.||>>> We were very close to our customers and received lots of direct positive feedback. It was hugely satisfying to do a good job for them.||>>> I know very few of the readers of Solo Traveler personally yet it’s a very satisfying business. Because of the nature of the Internet, I can develop the blog to suit my interests and enjoy social networking with people with similar interests|
|Does this business suit my lifestyle?||>>> Yes. We were able to run it very cost-effectively from our renovated garage while raising our children.||>>> Yes. I like the anywhere / anytime aspect of this business.|