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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What is better for solopreneurs? A product-business or service-business?


"If you are true to your authentic self, there is no competition."  -- Shayna Rattler, owner of Success Unlimited, LLC

My entrepreneurial goal is to create a business that allows me to be hands-off.  I want to work on the business, not in the business. To elaborate, when I owned and operated Wilson’s Chem-Dry of Bartlett, a carpet-cleaning franchise, I was working in a business.  I bought myself a full-time job disguised as a business opportunity.  Without any employees to delegate tasks to, I was responsible for marketing, accounting, customer service, carpet cleaning, equipment maintenance, etc.  I loved the autonomy; however, I quickly grew mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted.  That exhaustion led to a decrease in motivation, lack of business growth, and feelings of burnout.  Several months later, I was tossing business brochures in the trash.  So as I increase my focus on building my business acumen through graduate studies, business books, podcasts, and workshops, I am currently overwhelmed with several business ideas that focus on products, services, and mixtures of both.  

As a fan of business innovators Chris Guillebeau, Dan Miller, and Tim Ferris and their respective published works, I am leaning towards a product-business.  So, what does a product-business mean?  A product-business produces a tangible good like a cell phone, a laptop or a coffee maker.  When running a product-business, your business has minimal contact with clients.  Because you produce tangible goods, the quality of your business is easy to measure.  Additionally, a product-business relies on equipment-intense production.  

What specifically appeals to me about a product-business that you should consider in your own business pursuits?  As previously stated, I do not want to create a business that requires me to do all the work.  That is too draining for me at the age of 28.  Ideally, I could hire employees, but that requires me to manage those employees, train those employees, and pay those employees.  That is too much of a headache.  I desire a business that generates revenue without the need for employees.  A product-business is not labor intensive and does not require extensive contact with clients.  Perfect.  A business that is automated, runs smoothly, and systems-dependent not owner-dependent is a strategic business built for long-term success.  A strategic business must be properly designed to be able to function without an owner.

Thus, the ultimate business goal for any entrepreneur, specifically a solopreneur, is to design a highly profitable business that runs automatically while you manage it and worth a fortune when you sell it.  A service-based business that depends on you will not be worth much without you.  The probability that anyone would want to buy a service-based business dependent on ownership will not bring you wealth.  

A great example of a produce-business or product-based business is Dan Miller’s 48 Days website.  On this website, Dan has a valuable online store front that features books, compact discs, DVDs, personality profiles, workshops, and more for sale.  Thus, Dan earns profits while he sleeps, blogs, writes books, records his podcast, interacts with clients, etc.  That is a systems-based business that requires very little of the owner.  He has a system in place to sustain his business and to grow it.  Additionally, he has an affiliate program (that I am a part of) that brings in more traffic to his website and products.  


Subsequently, I have decided to create my own 48 Days website based around my writing ability and yearning to help others find work they love.  By becoming an expert in careers and entrepreneurship, I can focus on those two areas in creating e-books, traditional print books, newsletters, audio books, podcasts, radio shows, webinars, online courses, affiliate programs, smartphone apps, and more.  Consider areas that interest you.  Use your God-given talents to create a strategic business as a solopreneur and work diligently on your business by adding value to your clients’ lives.  


*If you are confused with what you want to do in your life or simply looking for a better life and job, my e-book My Flexibility Manifesto:  Following your passion 2 success will provide you clear solutions to reach holistic success and happiness.  Follow me on Twitter @blackscholaronl.  Thank you for reading.  And please let me know how I can help you in your goals.

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