Pros and Cons of Being A Sole Founder

Over the past few weeks, we have met twenty female entrepreneurs at three events. While learning about each individual journey we discovered that eighteen of the twenty entrepreneurs were sole founders, two had silent partners, and one of the 18 became a sole founder after buying out her partner.

Why is that? And, what impact does this have on their business?   

Difficulties of being a sole founder,

  • Everything sits on your shoulders so you need to get a team in place as soon as possible whether that’s through full time support or contractors using tools such as Upwork to help lighten the load and work “on” the business, not “in” the business
  • It can be difficult to get out of ‘your own head’ so definitely consider getting an advisor, business coach or mentor as a sounding board
  • Investors typically prefer to invest in co-founders, simply because if a sole founder gets sick, hurt, or unmotivated then the whole business can fail quickly.  So, if you will be looking for investment, take this into consideration far in advance and if you don’t want to have a co-founder make sure you build a strong team around you before meeting with investors
  • Revenue targets and cash flow management is all of your responsibility

On the flip side, there are plenty of positive aspects of going it alone,

  • You are in control, both in terms of business decisions, and personal decisions that may be impacted by the business. This freedom allows you to pivot and drive the business according to your own vision and ideals. We often hear stories of co-founders closing businesses or buying each other out as people were not clear on roles and responsibilities including expectations of work input.  This is a key issue why some businesses fail.
  • You have full flexibility over your schedule which is one of the key reasons many women start businesses. However, it is always important to be structured with your time in terms of directing your focus to either your business or personal life and keeping it separate.  This balance can be hard to get right at the beginning of a business.
  • Obviously, a great aspect is that all of the profits are solely yours and can be reinvested into the business or used as you see appropriate.  
  • A sense of satisfaction in terms of growing the business and seeing it thrive.

There will always be pros and cons when starting your business, whether you start alone or with a partner. If you are just starting out and are a sole founder, don’t worry. You can go it alone, but making sure you have a great team in place will be an essential part of building a growth oriented business.

As a sole founder, your time will be incredibly precious and you’ll need to learn a lot, quickly. Having the business fundamentals in place to start your journey will set you up with the greatest chance of success.  To do that, our new First Time Founders Course covers what you need to get it right, the first time.  Interested in learning more? Just get in touch.