With the end of 2022 rapidly approaching, my mind has already started to think about 2023. What will the year ahead look like for my one-person business? Perhaps most importantly, what actions can I take to make next year my best yet as a solopreneur? Here are a few of the things I have come up with, which I’m sharing in the hopes that they make the upcoming year your best too.
Make Customer Service a Priority
Lately, it seems as if customer service has declined dramatically for a lot of the companies that I regularly do business with. I’ve noticed that it takes quite a bit longer to get the products and services I want. And getting a call back when I leave a message seems nothing short of a miracle.
Given the current worker shortage issues, this comes as no surprise. Employees are constantly being stretched thin, making it harder than ever for businesses to uphold their previous customer service standards. Add this to supply chain issues and, well, here we are.
This presents an opportunity for solopreneurs to really stand out in 2023, simply by giving their customers or clients a high level of service. Make the people you serve feel like a priority and they are more likely to come back with repeat business.
And if supply chain issues are slowing your process, let them know this upfront. Sometimes, explaining what to expect can lower their anxiety, and also reduce the number of
calls they make to you because they want to know what’s going on. It also shows them that you haven’t forgotten about them, even if you’re facing challenges in getting what you need to fulfill their requests.
Review (and Update) Your Pricing
At the end of the year, I review the rates that I charge and decide if it’s time for them to be updated. How often you raise your prices is a personal choice. Some solopreneurs raise their rates annually. A price increase may also be needed if your costs have increased substantially, requiring your rates to go up as well if you want to stay in business.
I prefer to consider an increase after two years. By agreeing to lock in my rates for the next two years, my clients know that I won’t hit them with another increase the following year, which helps put their minds at ease, while enabling me to keep my rates consistent with others in the field, inflation, and other outside factors that influence pricing.
If you are a B2B supplier, keep in mind that many businesses start working on the budget early in the fourth quarter. Therefore, if you’re going to ask for a price increase, it’s better to make this inquiry sooner rather than later. If you ask too late, you may have to wait for the following year before they can budget in your higher rates.
Once I determine that it’s time, I reach out and open the conversation. I ask if there’s any room for negotiation on the rates. Then I give them an idea of the rate changes I want to make. Typically, I receive a favorable response (because I have such great clients). Although, there have been times when clients couldn’t handle an increase, for whatever reason. At this point, you have a choice to make.
If they are a good client, you may agree to table the price increase for a certain amount of time, revisiting it when they are in a better financial position. Otherwise, you might choose to let them go, focusing your efforts on securing more clients—who are willing to pay your higher rates—to make up for the loss.
Remember Your ‘Why’
The closer I get to retirement, the more I find myself dreaming about what it will look like when I use my computer more for fun than for creating content. I envision my husband and me traveling or, at a minimum, maybe even sleeping in past my normal 3 a.m. wake-up time.
While it’s great to have something to look forward to, spending so much time thinking about the future sometimes makes it harder to get through today. If you’re struggling with the same type of issue, I have found that it helps to remember your ‘why’, or the reasons behind becoming a solopreneur in the first place.
For me, being a solopreneur enables me to control all aspects of my business, from the hours I work during the day to how much I charge my clients. I also like that I can work wherever I am. All I need is a computer and internet access and I can supply my clients with content. This makes it possible to meet my deadlines whether I’m at home or traveling.
Speaking of working from home, this provides its own list of benefits, some of which include no commute, being able to create the most productive environment for me to work in, and getting to spend my breaks in the comfort of my own house.
What are the reasons you chose to become a solopreneur? Make a list and review it on days that feel especially tough. Keep pushing forward and decide right now that 2023 will be your best year yet as a solopreneur. You’ve got this. I can feel it.short url: