This is “Featured Soloist,” a feature that is published on Tuesdays at The Solopreneur Life.
The purpose of “Featured Soloist” is to give all of us a glimpse at how other solopreneurs operate their small businesses. This week we meet Matt Mansfield. If you would like to be the “Featured Soloist,” please send me an e-mail, Larry@TheSolopreneurLife.com.
Name of solopreneur:
Name of business and city:
Matt About Business, LLC; Deerfield, IL
Type of business:
Matt About Business is focused on helping small businesses choose, and learn to use, the best online solutions. From accounting to project management, e-mail marketing to websites (and of course, social media), I help members of my Matt About Solutions site match technology to business needs so they can focus more customers and delighting the ones they have.
When did you officially go into business?
I have started and been part of many businesses since 2000. Matt About Business started was founded in 2010.
Why did you start your own business?
I kept having the same conversations over and over with small-business owners. They needed to get things done, run and market their businesses in new ways, but choosing, and learning to use, the technology to do so was overwhelming them. I was able to help many find, and learn to use, affordable and easy-to-use solutions and I really liked the satisfaction of getting them back on track. I realized that I was filling a need that was not being met and I created Matt About Solutions so I could reach, and help, a wider group of small business owners.
What was the best thing you did when you were starting up your business?
I hired a marketing/product-development person to help (thanks Laura!). Not only is she a great sounding board, idea generator and advisor, but she also acts as a coach, assuring I stay on track and put dates next to each to-do.
What is a mistake that you made that you have learned from?
Nothing huge yet, lol. I’ll let you know in a few months. 🙂
What is your biggest current challenge in the business and what are doing to try to solve it?
I believe my biggest challenge, and one likely faced by all solopreneurs, is the fact that I have to do it all. I built and manage the Web site. I write content and I handle all the back-office details (the books, legal, etc.). I am working to put both people and systems in place, not employees but other business folks who can share the burden for a fee. Of course, I need to earn before that happens.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Grow baby, grow! I want the Matt About Solutions community to add members and become a lively spot for learning and discovery.
Where do you want to be with the business in five years?
I want to continue growing the site offerings and sense of community. There’s an opportunity to create a great spot online here, one where folks share and learn best practices in a low-key, non-intimidating way and I’m going to work hard to make that a reality. I’d like to expand my role beyond the site as well through both speaking and writing.
What are your main software programs?
I run the site on WordPress (I use a myriad of plugins as well) with Digital Access Pass handling the membership setup. I use Photoshop and Illustrator for graphic design and OpenOffice for documents, spreadsheets and presentations. The webinars are run on GoToWebinar and Camtasia for screencast videos.
What’s your advice for aspiring solopreneurs?
Just do it! You can always learn and prepare more, but really, those can become stalling tactics. Get off your butt and go! You’ll never look back.
Are you glad you became a solopreneur? Why or why not?
Yes! I love focusing on my passion day-after-day. I can’t wait to get to my desk in the morning to help folks—it’s very fulfilling!