COM0011: Blog Post 4: Sidekicks: Social Media and Part-Time Businesses

In this day and age of economic uncertainty, one thing we are seeing more frequently is the rise of side businesses (often known solopreneurs).

“Soloprenuers” is a mashup for solo and Entrepreneur. BuzzWord defines it as “a business owner who works and runs their business alone.”

Image Credit: Social Media Landscape via Flickr by fredcavazza Some Rights Reserved

Image Credit: Social Media Landscape via Flickr by fredcavazza Some Rights Reserved

Part time business owners/solopreneurs, are like you and me. Many grind out 9 to 5 jobs at the office for which sucks the life out of them, only to work on their passions outside of work. Others, do the same thing during the day, but look towards their part-time enterprise as a way of gaining experience to boost their resume for what they went to school for initially.

Consider, in January, 2015, self-employment lead the way in Canadian job creation, with 41,000 new jobs, according to The Globe and Mail.

Freelancing is becoming the word of the day in the workforce. As full-time steady pay cheques become less frequent, declining technology costs through information technology offers new opportunities for people to wrap up their own brand and skills in a nicely minted small business package on the global stage. As Jeremy Rifkin Says in The Zero Marginal Cost Society the Internet has brought marginal costs of communications to near zero. Rifkin goes further to explain:

“The Internet, however, is a virtual public square here anyone who pays for an Internet connection can gain admission and join the conversation.” (P. 139).

Based on Rifkin’s ideas, social media is not only reducing those marginal costs for advertising for solopreneurs/part-time business owners, but is critical in promoting one’s entrepreneurial activities with minimal cash flow.

Kimberly Palmer, who wrote the 2014 book The Economy of You, the bible for part-time business startups, is a keen advocate of utilizing social media networks in getting the most bang for your marketing dollar. Palmer recommends having a dedicated Facebook page for your business; a Twitter handle for those who are prefer being “tech savy”, and a LinkedIn page for promoting professional services. She also recommends using social media in understanding future customers, and also for those side giggers who are not great schmoozers at networking events.

One participant at a Generation Progress workshop on entrepreneurship in the US last year, suggested having all the money in the world won’t end all concerns as developing solid networks, communities and local supply chains is critical for success.

Building strong networks through social media outlets, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can do this for all aspiring part-time entrepreneurs.

What other advantages do you see with using social media in promoting a part-time business? What challenges do entrepreneurs face when using social media to promote their products and services in a crowded market?

References:

  1. Solopreneur Definition.http://www.macmillandictionary.com/buzzword/entries/solopreneur.html.
  2. Self-employed lead January job growth in Canada. February 6, 2015. Tavia Grant. Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/jobs/jobless-rate-dips-to-66-as-canada-pumps-out-35000-jobs/article22828865/.
  3. What the Rise of The Freelance Economy Really Means for Businesses. July 1, 2014. Jeff Wald. http://www.forbes.com/sites/waldleventhal/2014/07/01/a-modern-human-capital-talent-strategy-using-freelancers/.
  4. The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, The Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism. Jeremy Rifkin. 2014. Palgrave Macmillan. New York, New York.
  1. The Economy of You. Kimberly Palmer. 2014. American Management Association. New York, New York.
  2. Promoting Entrepreneurship Among Millenials. Sarah Ayres Steinberg. November 10, 2014. Center for American Progress. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/report/2014/11/10/100804/promoting-entrepreneurship-among-millennials/