Starting up as a sole-trader can sometimes feel lonely. You may have been employed with colleagues around you providing a natural support network. You may have had the comfort and counsel of this network, where you could pick up the phone or send an email at any time to get answers to questions. However, as a sole trader you may be working from home struggling to reach out to the right people who could assist you to develop your business. Trying hard to think who would be willing to answer a simple question without sending you an invoice for their time. You may we wondering how to find out where to gain up to date information. When faced with all these issues partnering with the right people is essential.

Running a business should not be a lonely journey. It should be one of the most exciting experiences that you should be encountering simply because you have the opportunity to build something from a simple idea to wherever you want it to go.

Whilst running the business, external entities have an impact on how you run your operation on a day-to-day basis. Consider thinking outside the box, try and create opportunities to work in collaboration with others but do so within your resourceful capabilities. 

Additional business partners - consider setting up a separate a legal entity to develop a different offering with someone else. A partnership or a liability limited partnership might be the answer if you are considering expanding your business.

New business initiatives – even though you have started as a sole trader you could consider reaching out to business owners from a completely different sector to develop joint initiatives. This could be the ideal way to enhance both businesses.

Having a business adviser - mentor or coach - for your business would be a very wise investment. You will have someone who you can confide in, seek guidance and support at crucial times of your business development.

Networking - is a positive move for any business person. Trying to develop a business solely by yourself is impossible, so try to improve your current network and attend meaningful events where you can meet like-minded business owners. This is essential to your business growth.

Suppliers - are necessary to the day-to-day running of your business, especially if you sell products. Why not develop the relationship as part of your essential inner network, simply because no business is an island.

Other points for consideration:

Have you considered moving to business premises? Hot desking is also an option. Try not to isolate yourself from fellow business owners. Try to find an affordable option, as there are plenty to choose from.

Reaching out for additional funding would assist with natural growth initiatives for the business. You might want to consider a loan, investors or a business angel. Take the time to consider these options seriously, as they could have a major impact on how you do business moving forward. Being in business is also about joining up with other business owners to share information, network for ideas or to support each other. Being lonely in business is definitely out of the question.

At Markel Law we regularly comment on SME related matters.

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