Solo Founder Playbook

From ‘Who is a solo founder’ to What are the challenges of being a solo founder to each and every detail about being one. Here, in this article, we’d present to you a whole solo founder playbook.

In this ever-expanding world today, where every type of business exists and is bound to grow, there is one category of businessmen that has come to light recently and has made its standing to the top.

Partnerships and companies were here for so long, but solo foundership was hidden, although it was present in society for a long ago. During the time of ancient civilizations, most people were farmers but there was one category of people that engaged in doing business. There were family businesses too but that also emerged from a single person doing business. Many of the people had their own work and worked for the society.

In the modern sense, its definition has been overturned. And what's its definition, we’d describe further.

Who is a solo founder?

A solo founder is the single owner of a business. Not just the owner but the manager, the salesperson, the developer and the product-maker, he/she is his/her own business. 

A solo founder creates their own business. From developing the product to marketing to selling, they do all of the work themselves. A solo founder is the sole decision maker as they are the only ones in their business. They are not bound to listen to any other person. They work at their ease.

Challenges of Being a solo founder

Single person

One of the most interesting but tough things about being a solo founder is that they are a single person in their business. They have to manage their whole business by themselves only. Every now and how and detail has to be focused on keenly. 

Solo foundership is not everyone’s game. Only people who are highly committed and dedicated can survive in the long run in solo foundership.

Sole decision-maker

A solo founder is the sole decision-maker in the business. He is not bound to follow anyone. But, this can go negative sometimes. Solo founders are themself humans and their thinking and decisions are not always perfect. They may be wrong at places or their planning and strategy may go wrong or may not always yield desired results. 

At these places, solo foundership lacks its way. One can always look for guidance and mentorship but still has to do everything on their own.

Capital funding

This is also a challenge for a solo founder, from where to get funds? There are two ways to raise funds: either own capital or investor’s funds. Both ways are useful and easily can be used to analyze the merits and demerits of either way.

Limited point of view (more bias)

It is in this sense that a solo founder has a limited perspective of things. He/she would be a single person and looking beyond his/her perspective is going to be tough for him/her. One can only take guidance and mentorship but has to do everything on their own.


Solo foundership can go a bit lonely sometimes. You are the only one and sometimes you may get fed up with everything. Of course, you will have your team and employees but they do not carry as much authority and load of work as you do. You may feel like you want someone to be just as you, in the same position and whom you can trust.


Solo foundership can go a bit tiresome sometimes. There is a lot to do and you are alone to do it. You would have to put in most of your time without much time for breaks. You need to learn how to manage time and also make time out for yourself.

Purpose of a guide/mentor

A guide/mentor can help understand what all it needs to be a solo founder, the steps and key things you need to focus on. Your sole helper would be you, but this mentor can really guide you to be a successful solo founder.


Developing a positive mindset

A Positive mindset is everywhere necessary. Be it any work until and unless you have a Positive Outlook towards it, it won't go well. 

Being Positive gives the light of hope and enthusiasm. It makes you strong to face any adverse situation. 

To be a solo founder being Positive is the most important part of the journey. If you are not optimistic about yourself only, you would not be able to take even a single step right. 

Dealing with self-doubt and imposter syndrome

This thing is part of every process. Be it any exam preparation to even building a startup. Self-doubt is not wrong. It means you are willing to put your best foot forward only if you're a bit scared. But, as we say, it is normal and okay to feel that. Don't curse yourself for feeling like that. But the only thing is don't step back. Do not quit. Whenever you feel like you doubt yourself, just ask yourself why you started, and what your goal is, try to be strong, be positive and go on.

The importance of perseverance and resilience

Perseverance in simple terms means patience. Not just a solo founder, but a simple human needs to have patience too. Patience is a weapon. In the Warland, it is your defence and it is your attack. 

As a solo founder and as a normal human too, you'd encounter many moments where you'd feel like giving up, where you'd feel like even after giving your everything you aren't getting anything back, then at that time you'd require patience.

You would need to tell yourself to wait. Just wait for the right time. You are your everything as a solo founder, if you go wrong, your whole business will go wrong.

Planning and Strategy

Creating a business plan

In every type of business, it is important to have a vision. Having a vision will open ways for you in many different ways. When you have a vision you know your rights and wrongs. You can easily form a business plan. 

A business plan is a form of plan that points down your business values and ways and steps that you’d take to set up and run your business in the long run. Planning is the underdog step. It is one of the most important steps in the process of managing and also running the business. 

Planning involves a series of steps that you’d take in future to keep your business sound. Planning is always done for the future. Also, it is important to keep in mind that your plan won’t always go right, but you’d still need to plan most accurately.

Defining Goals and Objectives

After you have developed a business plan for your business plan for you, that is how you’d set up your business, and define our goals and objectives for your business. It may seem like a very silly step but it is not. It is really important to have your goals and objectives set. 

These are the ones that would help you adopt the right business practices and always stay committed to why you started your business.  

Developing a product roadmap

After all the above steps, i.e., when you have a business plan and goals and objectives, you must now work on your product. Your product may be anything, from a newly developed technology by you or you yourself can be your product. It is your product only that would provide revenue to your business. 

Developing a product roadmap will help you identify steps that are needed to be taken to build and launch the product.

Building your team

The benefits of building a team

Building a team is necessary and helpful too. You cannot just do every work on your own. There need to be departments if your business is scaled or just different teams with whom you can work on various things. For example, a sales team, a finance team, a marketing team, etc.

Outsourcing and freelancing

Outsourcing is the process of getting your work done through others and the same is freelancing. 

You can outsource your work that is not of your niche to freelancers. There are several freelancers waiting for you to give them work. It would result in efficiency and also save you time and money. You can focus on your key product while outsourcing other things, like, legal work, accounting, etc.

Marketing and Sales

Defining your target audience

It is a crucial step in running your business. You must identify your target audience, i.e., who you are making your products for. Your target audience is who you are making your products for. 

To make it easy, you can divide the complete population into various groups based on various factors, such as age group, profession type, needs, etc. Defining a target audience is an important step as it would make marketing and sales functions easy and more efficient for you. 

Developing a marketing strategy

Marketing is the only thing in the whole business cycle that generates revenue. Marketing would help you reach out to more and more customers. It would create an audience base for your product.

Marketing is the most important part of the whole business cycle marketing is the only thing that generates revenue in the business. Every other thing only creates expense. Marketing help will help you reach your target audience and grow your audience base into a larger number marketing can make your business and your product either successful or go down. You are required to adopt the right marketing practices and choose the right marketing technique to market your product. There are several ways through which you can market either you can go digitally you can use traditional means of marketing or any other means that you feel is perfect for your product and your business.

Sales Techniques for solo founders

Solo founders should not be very particular about choosing sales techniques at the beginning. They must be open to every way that generates the right revenue for the business. It is always preferred to list out ways and stick to them.

Financial Management 

Bootstrapping vs Funding

Bootstrapping is the process when a founder uses his/her own money to start the business and then relies on the same money out of profits for future operations. Bootstrapping is preferred by entrepreneurs who do not want to get obliged by outside money. 

Seeking funds means raising money from VCs and investors. There has been a tremendous increase in the number of opportunities of raising funds for the startups and it is definitely not tough. You have to just be smart and stand by your commitments.  

Managing cash flow

As an entrepreneur, it is very important that you keep a check on your finances. Cash flow includes the inflow and outflow of cash in the business. A good business person should always know how to manage their cash flow. It indirectly means managing sales and purchases of a business. 

To generate revenue, sales should be more than the purchases of a business. Although there are many other things to it, just follow some basic rules and get started. 

Bookkeeping and accounting

It is an important part. Bookkeeping means recording all your transactions in one place. Usually, you won't find people doing this, but it is of great help.

It is really a good practice to record everything first-hand. Whether your purchases or sales recording everything can help you from future contingencies.

Product development

Developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Minimum Viable Product means the basic version of your product. It could just be an outline with some functionalities. MVP serves as the foundation for upgrades and to update your product further.  Developing an MVP will give you a starting point to begin and end your product development stage.

It would also give you confidence in your product and your business. MVP will help you know your product from the base and give you options to modify it.

Gathering feedback and iterating

At any point in business, whether it's related to a product or any idea or strategy or anything, it is important to take feedback from people. Feedback will help you know your flaws and let you work on them. 

It is important to share your product with a limited number of people first. This denotes your testing phase. Here it is important to look for and implement feedback given by the people. Even at a later stage, taking feedback and working accordingly is preferred. After all, your audience is the one who’d be using your products and you would only succeed when your product completely fits them and their needs.

Managing product development with limited resources

This is a challenge for you - managing product development with limited resources. As a solo founder, you won't have many resources on your hand, Whether it's time as a resource or money, all will be limited. You have to make yourself ready to face these restrictions and work under them. You have to learn how to manage limited resources and produce the most out of them.

Legal and Regulatory compliance

Understanding legal and regulatory requirements

It is really important when you set up your business to not violate the legal framework of the country. You have to be under regulatory requirements and work accordingly. 

It cannot be emphasized more to always abide by the national laws in the domestic market and international laws in the international market.

Protecting your intellectual property (IP)

In these times when nothing is important, it is very important to keep your assets safe and secure.

If you have any intellectual property, get them licensed, patent them, and register them by your name. It would be very easy for fraudsters to steal them otherwise. Always be on the safer side and never go for any mischievous thing digitally or in reality.

Complying with tax and business laws

Complying with tax and business laws is the most important part of setting up of the business. You must be aware of all the laws and legal requirements of the country. You must never go beyond any law and always abide by them. 

Tax and business laws are the most stringent laws of any country. One mistake could lead you to greater trouble. Again, you can always reach up to a legal expert and consult him accordingly. 

Self-Care and Work-Life Balance

Balancing work and personal life is one thing that people ignore the most, but is of utmost importance. People are not able to draw a line between their work and personal life and this is where they miss the key thing. Your personal life is as important and necessary as your business is. 

You must learn how to manage both of these or else you’d sooner or later get burnt out. You can listen to great people and follow their ideals or you can make your own time and schedule your day like that, a day where you work and rest and is a productive day.

How can Founders’ Book help?

📚 Digital Content Library: A knowledge base with tools, resources, guides, and hacks to ideate, plan, build and scale your startup.

🚀 Startup OS: Eliminate 10+ productivity apps and build your startup with Notion. Save time and money.

💸 Startup Credits: Save up to $500K in your SaaS spending by accessing credits and deals from 220+ SaaS providers.