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Council Post: Three Lessons Learned On Building A Successful One-Employee Company

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Council Post: Three Lessons Learned On Building A Successful One-Employee Company

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By Philip Smith, CEO of PJP Marketing. Serial entrepreneur and expert in digital marketing and e-learning.

Having your company’s success and growth recognized with a prestigious award or ranking is a major achievement for any company. It is a testament to the entire team’s hard work and dedication. This is something I’ve accomplished as a one-employee company, so the journey to success was even more challenging. As the founder and sole employee of my company, I learned many valuable lessons about building a successful one-employee business.

Focus on your core competency.

As a one-employee company, it is crucial to focus on your core competency. Identify what you do best, and concentrate on that. For my company, that meant focusing on providing high-quality leads for my clients, which required creating strong marketing campaigns. By homing in on my core competency, I was able to deliver exceptional results consistently.

From my perspective, if you enjoy and/or are good at a certain task, you will likely always get it done. Conversely, if you hate it, you will likely procrastinate, and it might never get done. For example, I used to hate bookkeeping, especially reconciling at the end of each month. It was always something I fell behind on because I didn’t enjoy it and wasn’t good at it. Once I hired a bookkeeper, I didn’t stress over that task, and it was always done correctly and on time.

Build a strong network.

Networking is crucial for any business, but if you’re operating a one-employee company, it is even more critical. Building a strong network of mentors, partners and clients helped me grow my business. I attended and invested money into all industry events, masterminds, tradeshows and networking events. These connections provided opportunities for collaboration, advice and referrals. By nurturing these relationships, I was able to gain valuable insights, avoid costly mistakes and accelerate my growth. It is amazing how one good connection can change your business dramatically.

For example, I saved hundreds of thousands of dollars when I was entering into a new business agreement licensing deal because a business associate who was an attorney, whom I met at an industry mastermind event, offered to look over my agreement. He didn’t even charge me to review it, but his advice literally saved me hundreds of thousands of dollars.

One of the best ways that I find to network for solopreneurs is to invest in masterminds. There are mastermind groups hosted by trusted and respected entrepreneurs within all industries. In these groups, you can meet like-minded professionals and connect with services that might be helpful to use in your business. For instance, I found my videographer at one of the masterminds I attended.

Embrace automation.

Time is anybody’s most valuable resource. It is especially important to understand this if you run a one-employee company. Automating tasks and leveraging technology can help you scale your business and focus on what matters most. I learned the value of embracing automation early in my journey, and it made a significant impact on my productivity and growth. By automating tasks such as invoicing, scheduling and social media posting, I was able to focus on delivering exceptional service to my clients and concentrate on my core competency.

As a one-employee company, you should take inventory of tasks that occupy your time and note whether they are income-generating activities. Since you have limited resources, you must invest your time toward income-generating activities. You can consider automating or outsourcing the remaining tasks. For example, instead of writing out a complete email to individual customers and clients for routine operational business, you could draft a segmented, automated email sequence to optimize your time. If you must customize anything written, you could consider working with an AI generator or outsourcing the activity to a trusted resource or online service.

Building a successful one-employee company is a challenging but rewarding journey. It requires focus, networking and embracing technology. By homing in on your core competency, building a strong network and leveraging automation, you can achieve success and grow your business.

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