The year 2013 was a good one for solopreneurs and they have very high expectations for 2014. But to meet their expectations, solopreneurs must overcome challenges with cash flow, time management, and sales and marketing.
Those are among the key findings in The Solopreneur Life 2013 End-of-Year Survey.
This is the third year for the solopreneur survey, which was conducted during the first three weeks of December. The survey attracted 204 responses.
Here are the major takeaways.
• 35 percent of solopreneurs said their quality of life improved in 2013, 49 percent said it stayed the same; 16 percent said it got worse.
• 18 percent of survey respondents said their revenue increased by 20 percent or more in 2013; 15 percent reported revenue increases of 10 to 19 percent.
• 69 percent of those surveyed said they expect a revenue increase of 20 percent or more in 2014. Solopreneurs are notoriously optimistic, but this surpasses the optimism expressed in prior surveys, when approximately 55 percent expected 20-percent increases.
• 16 percent of solopreneurs lost money in 2013; 36 percent took home between $0 and $20,000; 14 percent took home between $20,001 and $40,000; 10 percent took home between $40,001 and $60,000; 12 percent took home more than $100,000.
• Solopreneurs are living on the edge — 57 percent said they have cash reserves of 1 month or less.
• Respondents said three perennial challenges — cash flow, time management, and sales and marketing — continue to cause the most pain.
• 20 percent have no health insurance.
• 45 percent of solopreneurs surveyed took 15 days or more of vacation.
• Solopreneurs are well-educated; 74 percent of respondents have at least a bachelor’s degree; 39 percent hold masters degrees; 6 percent are PhDs.
• 90 percent work in home offices.
Media, bloggers, podcasters: to set up an interview or guest appearance with The Solopreneur Life publisher Larry Keltto regarding the survey results, please contact him via e-mail.
• Regarding social media, 56 percent said they get the highest return on investment from Facebook; 31 percent get their highest ROI from Linked In; 17 percent said Twitter had the best ROI for them.
• 56 percent said they plan to use YouTube more in 2014; 22 percent said they’ll use Instagram more; only 2 percent said they’ll be using Vine more often.
• 64 percent plan to use Facebook more; 62 percent plan to use blogging more; 56 plan to use e-newsletters more.
• For offline marketing, 71 percent said they plan to make more use of speaking as a marketing tool.
• The most frequently used outside vendors in 2013 were website designers (46 percent) and accountants (44 percent).
• Solopreneurs in 2014 plan to use more outside help for marketing and sales: 23 percent hired outside vendors for marketing and sales and 32 percent plan to do so in 2014.
• More solopreneurs plan to seek coaching in 2014: 31 percent hired coaches in 2013, and 36 percent plan to do so in 2014.