Decision making · Solo founders

What are the downsides of being a solo founder?

Bhavna Pruthi Software Developer at Chetu India Pvt ltd

October 19th, 2016

Having only yourself to rely on can be so stressful sometimes, a lot of the time.. I know there are many challenges ahead. Are any of you solo founders? If so, what are the cons that you had to deal with, and how did you overcome them. However, there are some upsides to being a solo founder as well. I am a solo founder myself and would like to hear back from people who have been in my shoes before. Making decisions about everything to come your way isn’t always the easiest thing to do by yourself.

Jim Newcomer 4ma - Support for startups and business growth

January 30th, 2017

The great small business advisor Ernesto Sirolli always said that every small business has 3 aspects, the Product/Service, the Marketing/Sales, and the Administration/Bookkeeping. In 30 years he has met thousands who are good at one of the three; he has met a very few who are good at two. He has never met anyone who is good at all three. So when he asks a new entrepreneur which one he/she is good at, and s/he answers all three, he dismissed her/him. No one is, he says, and he can't deal with an ego that big. This may or may not apply to your situation, but it is a good rule of thumb for all of us in startupland.

David Pariseau

February 3rd, 2017

Doing it all alone is a daunting task. Having one or more like-minded people with complimentary skills really eases the load and makes it more of a business than a hobby. It can also get you out of bed and over-the-hump when facing tough issues or problems. The key is finding the right people (obvious, but crucial).

John Hall

October 27th, 2016

Hi Bhavna,
I'm currently a solo founder.  Beyond the normal challenges, three areas have really hurt me.  First, without the perspective of a co-founder, I haven't noticed several issues that really should have been obvious much sooner.  Second, without the accountability of a co-founder, it's been hard to devote as much time and energy to the important tasks that I'm not good at as to the tasks I am.  Finally, without the support of a co-founder, it's hard to find the time to get ahead of problems and out of firefighting mode.

The most valuable thing I've done to combat these is to find good advisers, meet with them regularly, and really dig into their advice.  However, these things have been difficult to overcome by myself, and I'm currently looking for a co-founder.

Ricky Singh, MBA Growth Hacking Expert

January 29th, 2017

The downside of being a solo founder (speaking from experience) is that you have handle function of your business that you may have no experience in running. This is why having co-founders are people you trust in places to handle your weaknesses in managing an organization. It is always better to focus on your strengths.

Jim Murray Communication Strategist. Writer. Blogger. beBee Brand Ambassador

January 31st, 2017

Jim Newcomer's response was great. Mainly because it forces you to think about your business in an organized way. My opinion is that the only services you could be outsourcing are marketing and maybe some administration. Product is your baby. Sales is how you get to know your market. And service is how you take care of your customers. All of that is very personal in the early stages until systems and trusted people are in place. Outsourcing marketing and communications will give you the added outside perspective of someone who looks at your product or service, not just based on what it will do, but how people will or should perceive it. In my experience that's been a hard thing for entrepreneurs to get their heads around.

Wally Barr Business Owner at Undrnu Management

February 5th, 2017

I would join that group.

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

October 19th, 2016

Just because you are a solo founder does not mean you have no sounding boards. Pick your team wisely and have a clear vision, mission, and ambition. Dane Madsen Dane@DaneMadsen.com 206.900.5852 Mobile Sent from my mobile device. Forgive typographical and grammatical errors.

Andrey Stegno Founder at Flyber

October 19th, 2016

I am solo founder and try to find a partner because now I understand how difficult to grow alone 

Andrey Stegno Founder at Flyber

October 20th, 2016

"how will you ever convince" - easy, just publish in blogs and read comments. There is another problem with co-founder that he can give up but wait for your success 

Jen Fuerte Founder at TeachrTec

October 27th, 2016

Hi Bhavna - a quick note, in addition to good advisors to help with the decision making, find good people to come on board to work with you, under you. This way you should have them do the tasks that are not your strong point.