The digital world has opened doors to entrepreneurs from all backgrounds. If you’ve got an idea of how you can serve a specific audience, you can build a powerful business in no time.
However, for introverts, it can often feel like the world of business is harder to access.
As a business leader, you’ll need to network with experts, negotiate with clients, and engage your team, all of which can be exhausting if you don’t feel comfortable in large or unfamiliar social settings. The good news is that introverts can thrive and be just as successful in business as extroverts.
Starting a small business as an introvert
In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the ways that you can improve your chances of starting a small successful business as an introvert.
Create a plan
Having a strategy or plan to guide you makes any venture less scary, and starting a business is no different. To make sure your business idea takes off successfully, there are some considerations you might want to take into account:
- What are you selling? Think about what problem it will solve or what need it will feel on the market.
- How will you market it? Once you know your product and your audience, you can promote your business on channels your audience visits the most.
- What’s your niche? Focusing on a smaller group that shares your core values helps you build a more loyal customer base instead of spreading yourself thin and catering to masses that aren’t so passionate about what you have to offer.
- Who is your ideal customer? Try to be as specific as possible about your ideal buyer persona. Understanding their pain points, buying habits, and preferences will make it easier to market and sell your product or service.
- Who are your competitors? Do some research on other similar businesses in your area or niche, what they do and how they do it, how they acquire customers, how much they charge for their service, etc.
- What makes your product or service stand out from the competition? Even if there are other businesses providing the same product as you, you can still set yourself apart. While researching your competition, pay attention to their weaknesses, too. Do they have poor customer service? How can you serve your customers better?
There are many things that you’ll need to prepare beforehand. Don’t forget about researching necessary licenses or tax regulations pertaining to your niche, if there will be special equipment you’ll need to invest into, how much work you’ll be able to deliver with your current capacities, and so on.
Think about choosing a partner (if you need it)
If the concept of networking and dealing with clients seems exhausting to you, then it might be helpful to get some support. You don’t have to launch your business on your own. Instead, you can work with a partner who is a little more extroverted so you can save your energy.
Taking this route means that you can delegate the tasks that you don’t feel comfortable with to your partner, while you focus on the things that you do best. A partner can handle sales, customer service, and events on your behalf.
Taking on a partner doesn’t mean you have to formally surrender half of your business or let them have control over business decisions. A partner can be a friend or family member with some spare time willing to help you with those less pleasant tasks.
Just make sure that the workload feels fair. Otherwise, you could risk sparking some unhappiness and friction—especially if they are not being compensated for their work.
Consider whether you can repay them the favour in some other way if you don’t have the funds to pay them cash.
Don’t lose touch
Additionally, don’t let yourself lose touch with the customer-focused side of your business. You’ll need to understand how people interact with your company, so you don’t push marketing or sales strategies that don’t align with your brand.
You can still maintain great customer relations as an introvert and excel at sales. Just be mindful that putting yourself out there for an extended period of time can result in overstimulation.
You can try and organize your day so that face-to-face interactions and alone time are balanced. If you can’t space out these activities in such a way that feels most comfortable for you, make sure to take sufficient time afterwards to recharge and decompress.
You can also try some stress-management techniques. Each one of us has their own method of dealing with stimulation overload. Knowing your limits and abiding by them will help you maintain a constant high level of customer relationships without burning yourself out in the process.
Look for other sources of help
There are other places you can go for help if you need it. Tons of forums and websites exist that provide support and guidance for introverts that are looking for ways to build their own business online.
If you have a little bit of extra budget to spare, it might be a good idea to outsource some tasks to paid professionals.
You’ll often find that freelancers and contractors are more affordable than in-house employees. Many websites serve as platforms for freelancers with affordable rates for just about any job you can imagine.
Alternatively, if your budget doesn’t permit such expenses, maybe you could offer your skills in exchange for their professional help. Perhaps you could design a website for another business if they help you to get an event set up for your new product launch?
Collaborating with other professionals is also a form of networking that doesn’t require much of your energy since it can be done entirely online. It can also be a great way to showcase your skills to an audience you may not have considered before.
Work online as much as possible
One of the best things about the digital landscape is that it opens the door for introverts who would otherwise feel uncomfortable or stifled working in an office space.
With dozens of online tools for everything from collaboration to business management, you don’t need a bustling office to run a profitable business.
Today’s leaders can easily complete dozens of tasks from the comfort of their own home, without having to step out from behind their computer screen. You can even find people who can work with you remotely too. There are plenty of freelancers and contractors on the web who will happily join your cause without commuting to work every day.
Look at the internet as a source of empowerment for your business. The right solutions or tech tools mean that you can run a thriving business from the place you feel most comfortable.
Not only will it minimize the number of personal interactions, but it will also save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
You can also find a bunch of handy tools on the web that will help with things like automatically sending emails on your behalf, provide answers to commonly asked questions, schedule a consultation or meeting, etc.
Be ready to constantly learn
Finally, it’s important to take on a learning mindset as an introverted business owner. You need to keep your eye on what’s happening in your industry and how you can adapt to suit the needs of customers that you might not interact with very often.
Take the time to learn about your business and clients as often as you can. Building your knowledge will make your business more insightful and relevant. At the same time, you’ll feel more confident with your extra knowledge too.
Unfortunately, no matter how dedicated you are to starting your small business, there will be situations you can’t control. Problems can occur in any business and for various reasons, from losing data, to losing funding. There is no way to be prepared for every worst-case scenario, but you need to ensure that you have a plan for recovery in place.
Always keep an eye on changing trends, dips in sales, rising production costs, and any other sorts of disruptions that could shake up your business. This way, you will always be one step ahead and be in a better position to respond to threats before it’s too late.
Bring your business to life
Starting a small business is a challenging experience for any new entrepreneur.
However, the process can seem particularly complicated if you’re running a company as an introvert. The good news is that the digital world does offer a lot of opportunities for more introverted people.
Whether you’re looking for help with your marketing and customer service strategies, or you just want to make sure that you can make the right impression on partners, the tips above will help.
Just like anything else, starting a small business as an introvert feels a lot easier when you have the right strategy in place. Good luck with your new business!
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