A new model is emerging on the labor market: high-income individual activity.
It happens in all industrialized countries: there have never been so many self-employed workers as today. But many of them have not yet unlocked their true potential.
If your aspiration is to create a $ 1 million sole proprietorship, there is no reason to improvise. Let the experiences of these entrepreneurs show you the way.
The $ 1 Million Individual Business Revolution
The number of sole proprietorships reaching a million in turnover is growing.
The resources available to entrepreneurs today make it easy to set up businesses, from bureaucratic and legal issues, to more practical aspects, such as distribution and operations.
The turning point, however, lies not only in the tools available, but in a change of mentality.
These lean businesses make use of a network of collaborators to perform many roles traditionally covered by employees.
The entrepreneur sees these people as trusted collaborators, not as an element to be controlled.
The activity is seen as an engine that offers three things that traditional work does not offer us: the control of time, the money to enjoy it, and the independence of living the life we want.
Traditionally, many entrepreneurs follow one of two possible avenues when starting their own businesses: quitting their jobs and opening a small business, such as a shop or restaurant, or enlarging a start-up to the point of selling their shares or finding a buyer.
In this new paradigm, a third approach is making its way, in which the entrepreneur identifies the stratagems to make the most of the time he dedicates to it.
Using strategies such as outsourcing, automation, and mobile technologies to increase productivity, many entrepreneurs manage to create highly profitable, individually managed businesses.
The book illustrates numerous concrete examples of successful entrepreneurs, in whom we can observe common characteristics.
We can identify three phases:
- Identify a high-income business in line with your skills, interests and experience.
- Start the business successfully , regardless of available investment capital.
- Get the business going so you can have time to enjoy life outside.
This type of activity can provide us with economic stability, to address concerns such as buying a house, retirement, debt – but it can also provide freedom, such as being able to travel whenever and however we want.
What makes an individual 1 million business work
There are many stories of online activities that can not exceed $ 5,000 in revenue, or that after an initial growth, have stalled for example at 25,000. Understanding the difference between this type of business and those that exceed one million is essential.
Freedom and independence are usually at the top of the list of reasons why people start out on their own. Those who do it usually succeed because they are attentive to the skills and services that the market demands. Many of them have some aspects in common.
PASSION – No matter how profitable a business is, if you don’t care, you will have a hard time dedicating yourself to it. Equally important is finding a passion shared by other people willing to pay for your product or service.
GIVE UP THE “DO-IT-YOURSELF” – Many individual entrepreneurs try to do everything themselves, and there is nothing wrong, especially if you have passion for your job. But to reach the million, you need to expand beyond the limits of what you can do alone. Without hiring employees, it is necessary to rely on external collaborators, outsource or automate some processes. Often you need a mixture of the three.
SIMPLIFY SALES AND FULFILLMENTS – Most entrepreneurs experiment before finding the most suitable method. Find a showcase that gives you the right visibility, so that you can reach the largest number of customers.
GROW A COMMUNITY – Many companies entrust their customer service to entry-level figures, or to external call centers, with unskilled and selfless staff. The relationship with the customer, and his trust in you, are fundamental elements.
CHANGE WAY TO SEE WORK – The most important aspect is a change of approach. Society and the educational system lead us to prefer the “safe” way: the traditional work model. There are people for whom this is good: it offers security and stability. Then there are entrepreneurs, people willing to explore alternative models, without worrying only about guarantees.
The real advantage of individual activity is that it allows you to choose whether to stay small or grow.
Which individual activity to start
Think big, but not to the point of seeing your idea as unachievable. You don’t have to create the next Facebook or Amazon. Each market has room for multiple players.
How to find your way?
Many entrepreneurs of individual millionaire activities follow a similar path at times.
- Choose a target of the right size.
- Identify the passion and value of users.
- Determine how much you can risk investing.
- You understand what really matters.
- Consider the possibilities.
By following these steps, finding your way becomes easier.
Typically, this type of business falls into one of these 6 categories.
It is the most accessible type of activity, but also the most pursued.
We need to find a product we believe in. Often the idea comes from our interests.
Once a product is identified, it is important to test it on a small user base to understand its potential. Each activity has a learning curve, so finding a product that we already know well can give us a great advantage.
There are also different ways in this case, such as business-to-business selling, or franchising.
Thanks to new technologies, such as 3D printing, it is easier than ever to create products and sell them all over the world. Another approach is to outsource production, especially for large-scale production. There are also packaging, shipping, and other satellite services that can be outsourced. This guarantees flexibility with regard to the downsizing of the business, in which the entrepreneur is free to choose whether and how much to expand his business.
Creation of information content
If you have developed experience and expertise in an industry, it is likely that someone is willing to pay you. Pack your knowledge into a salable product. E-books, audiobooks, video courses, seminars, podcasts – the possibilities are many. Also in this field there are possibilities of outsourcing – from graphic design, to the creation of a site, to customer service. Some entrepreneurs in this sector also use freelance collaborators to create content – they pay for a product which they then resell under their own brand.
Professional and creative services
Increase income by offering professional services is very difficult, and usually occurs in two ways: through the use of automation, outsourcing and external collaborators, or by raising the price for your services.
Creating a collaboration network allows us to offer services in different parts of the world, in different time slots, and therefore to offer more flexible times.
Raising your prices is a delicate step.
- Get an idea of the market . See what your competitors are doing.
- Calculate the profitability that your services have for your customers. If a customer benefits greatly from your services, it will be easier to justify an increase.
- Decide how to raise prices. There are several ways to increase prices, in addition to the nominal one. For example, you can redesign your offer in packages.
- Start with targeted increases before generalizing . For example, you can decide to set new prices for new customers, or try an increase with some trusted customers.
- Make sure you get paid . Invoice and check payments regularly. For large projects, ask for an advance, or payments on time.
When you offer personal services, what you are selling is your time. This does not mean that there is no possibility of growth. You can create a brand that can be adopted by other professionals, and sell it in order to earn on the use of your formula.
Building a brand takes time, money and effort, but it will allow you to attract customers. But the brand goes beyond the image. Customer service must also be taken care of, which is why they decide to stay with you.
An excellent market in which to create high-income businesses is the real estate market. It requires a high investment rate, so often those who try it do it, initially, as a second job, exploiting the income of their main job as a source of investment. Also in this field there are expansion possibilities provided by outsourcing, such as plant maintenance, condominium management, etc.
For this type of investment, having clear goals is essential – such as the number of properties you want to own, the number of hours you can devote to each business, and more.
Equally important is the ability to find the meeting point between market and passions.
Even if you find an activity that you are passionate about and in which you are an expert, this is not enough to guarantee success. There must be a market for what you sell.
Fortunately the internet provides an essential tool for this process: it allows us to know the market, the competition, the tastes of the customers, and therefore allows us to plan a more targeted strategy.
The 4 ways to start a business
For many entrepreneurs who start this type of business there is a transition period from a more “traditional” situation to the new model. For some, the target comes in the first year, for others it takes longer. The common element is constant commitment.
There are 4 possible ways:
- Starting an activity in the time that remains after work . It may seem little, but it can be enough to start the business. It can be spread over a long period, for example an hour a week, or concentrated, like a whole week dedicated only to that.
- Keep work, cut costs and save . This allows you to accumulate the necessary seed capital. It may be the right way in case the transition from the idea to the implementation is expensive. A good accountant can give us the guarantee to take advantage of all the tax deductions to which we are entitled. In a country like the United States, where healthcare is privatized, a good plan for medical bills becomes critical.
- Find investors . In this case, the help of a good lawyer and / or a consultant becomes essential to make sure that the investments are successful, and that there is no risk of selling the shares of one’s business to the point of losing control of it.
- Alternative sources . There are showcases and dedicated spaces, where to find investors willing to finance interesting projects, both locally and online.
Loans are a sensitive topic. Sometimes the best strategy may be slower growth, but financed through cash flow rather than external investment.
One of the reasons why it is useful to have multiple sources of funding is the constant need to experiment and review one’s strategies. Staying in touch with your customers, listening to their requests, their suggestions, and even their complaints, is an activity that requires a lot of resources, but it is essential to be able to keep our business afloat.
We must constantly update the presentation of our product, responding to market trends and the needs of our target.
How to keep improving
Many entrepreneurs use their business as a real laboratory, which they can use to find new growth strategies and new sources of income. It is not enough to make a copy-paste of the strategies adopted by others.
Some strategies adopted by this type of company are:
Focus on the right job. Take advantage of available tools to eliminate unnecessary or non-productive tasks, automate what can be managed automatically, delegate what can be done by others, and postpone what has no immediate expiration.
Find reliable help. No matter how successful your business is, without the right team, you will reach a stalemate. Reading can be an excellent tool to find the right inspiration, and avoid losing contact with what you are doing.
A practical example is the so-called “A / B testing”, in which 2 proposals, for example of website design, are proposed to different groups of customers each, to evaluate their impact and effectiveness. In this case, relying on external services can be a way not only to save time, but to obtain better results.
Realize and reset the vision of the company
In an entrepreneurial activity, the vision of what we want to build cannot be missing. But having an initial vision is not enough, we must regularly check the health of our company, and act where necessary.
The more successful an activity is, the more stressful it becomes. In order not to lose the sense of what we do, vision is essential. It allows us to understand if we can grow, and especially if we want to. Many entrepreneurs decide not to enlarge their business too much, not to fail in their vision.
You have to know how to say “no” at the right time. There is also the opposite situation, where growth stops not because we want it, but because of external factors. Managing finances is essential for dealing with similar situations.
We must consider not only the current state of the accounts, but also have an idea of what the situation will be like in 2, 3, 6, 12 months. The unexpected happens, we must equip ourselves so that they are not too hard a blow for our business.