Top 4 Business Goals for Solopreneurs

A person's hands are shown using a calculator while sitting in front of an open laptop.

Happy new year! As we move into 2023 I’ve been thinking about ways to set my business up for success. I started thinking about goals back in the last quarter of 2022. Now, in January, I want to get started! The four goals I’ve identified are not especially sexy. They ARE especially basic. But they’re also necessary to build a solid foundation for my business.

Are you a solopreneur — an entrepreneur running a business with one employee (yourself)? Then these four business goals might also be helpful for getting YOUR 2023 off to a stellar start.

1. Set up an LLC

When I published my novel How to Talk to Rockstars in 2015, I set up a DBA (“Doing Business As”) for selling books, freelance writing, and business expenses that came from being an author and financing a book tour and publicity campaign. By setting up a DBA, I was assigned an Employee Identification Number from the IRS that I could use instead of my Social Security Number, and I was also able to establish a business banking account and line of credit. describes a DBA as “a trade name, assumed name, or fictitious name. You may want to file a DBA name for your new business instead of using your own personal name or your legal business name. Think of a DBA as an alias.”

A DBA is easy and inexpensive to set up. However, a DBA isn’t a business structure or a legal entity. And it doesn’t protect your personal assets, “so in the event of a lawsuit against your business, your personal bank accounts, car, or home could be at risk,” LegalZoom cautions.

An LLC (Limited Liability Company), on the other hand, “a structure that establishes your business as its own legal entity and that carries a lot of credibility. The main advantage of this structure is liability protection. If your company goes bankrupt or someone sues your business, you’re not held financially responsible for your company’s debts or liabilities.”

Setting up an LLC requires a number of steps: Selecting a distinguishable name (can’t be the name of any other business in your state), designating an agent to handle legal documents (probably you), filing Articles of Organization, obtaining an EIN from the IRS, filing annual reports, registering with your state’s Department of Revenue, and obtaining business licenses and permits.

In North Carolina, where I live, the filing fee is $125, but that amount varies by state.

A woman in a blue shirt sits at a desk looking at a notebook.

2. Get bookkeeping help

Since creating and launching my company, AM/FM Broadcast, I’ve been doing my own bookkeeping in a super low-key way. I use Google docs to track income and expense. Income is organized by client name and the services I provide; expenses are organized by categories such as subscriptions, tool, memberships, utilities, education, etc.

It’s worked pretty well. My business model is simple: I am the owner and sole employee. I work with my clients directly. I only occasionally hire a freelancer or contractor for services. I’m paid monthly. My expenses are low, and the majority are monthly service fees such as WIFI, phone, and subscriptions.

But I’m aware that there’s so much I don’t know about accounting and bookkeeping — and even more that I don’t know that I don’t know. Because I’d rather focus on growing my business and providing excellent serve than learning about accounting, I plan to hire someone who DOES know the ins and outs or bookkeeping.

Here’s an important point in favor of outsourcing bookkeeping from “Although you may believe you have a good idea about the state of your startup during the development phase, it helps to have another pair of eyes on this.

“Your bookkeeper can put the financials in order and run reports showing how you are doing each month, where the funds are going and how your efforts are paying off (or might need improving upon). He or she will give you that ‘big picture’ through the numbers being crunched.

For me, another important part of this decision is to insure my tax filings are correct. I’m juggling 1099s for contractor filings as well as estimated tax payments. I’d like to make the most of deductions. And I want to protect my business while maximizing my earnings. For all of these reasons, I’ve decided it’s worth the cost to hire a bookkeeper this year.

3. Price your product or service correctly

I’m borrowing this section from the blogpost Self-care for Creatives, part 2, which I wrote for ArtHero, an excellent company that helps artists and neurodivergent creatives find success in business.

Setting competitive prices can be a major challenge for entrepreneurs who are just starting out (and sometimes for those who’ve been in business for years). And it’s not just because you don’t know what price you should charge — though that can be tricky, too (something Art Hero’s ABC Biz Course addresses). Competitive pricing has to do with your competitors charge, but also what you need to pay your bills and grow your business.

Beyond understanding the direct costs or your product or service as well as the indirect expenses of your business, you also have to understand YOUR OWN WORTH. Setting pricing for products or services is vulnerable. It’s telling potential clients that your time and talent has value, and for some of us that feels incredibly awkward. If you do under value yourself, you will end up working harder for less- which is the OPPOSITE of building a life of freedom and flow.

But knowing what price you need to charge and sticking to it helps to set up clear communication from the start. Some clients may not hire you or buy your products due to your rates, but that’s OK. Those were not the clients for you and weeding them out opens you up to focusing on the clients who are right for you and value your products or services.

And pricing your work competitively sets you up for success in your business. Profit provides ongoing funds for purchasing assets, hiring staff, research, development, and other elements of scaling your company.

3. Build Your Brand

There’s so much to building a brand. It’s about having a clear message to communicate — and how you communicate it. It’s about developing a logo, brand colors, fonts, and imagery to present a consistent overview of who you are in business. It’s about language as well as key topics. Niche. Look. Vibe.

I admit, I changed by brand colors twice last year. Major no-no. (I don’t care. I also accidentally destroyed my website while trying to install a new theme, and then I rebuilt it by myself. It has some glitches. I don’t love my blog layout. There are things.

Even though I’d probably caution a client against taking branding liberties like I have, I also understand how these trials and errors are helping me to hone my brand. My boss likes my enthusiasm and spirit of discovery.

But for a more pointed, less round-about method of building a brand, here are seven actionable steps provided by Shopify:

  1. Research your target audience and your competitors.
  2. Pick your focus and personality.
  3. Choose your business name.
  4. Write your slogan.
  5. Choose the look of your brand (colors and font).
  6. Design your brand logo.
  7. Apply your branding across your business.

Learn more about each step here.

How to Use Color Palette Generators

  1. Canva
  3. Figma

Why use a color palette generator? When branding a business, website, or campaign, it’s important to have a dedicated color palette. Because those colors represent your mission, they should stand out, be immediately recognizable as YOUR COLORS, and also relate to your products, service, or campaign.

There are many places to find color palettes, such as Canva, Pantone, and Pinterest (just search “color palette” — you won’t be disappointed!) You can also learn more about color wheels and color theory at Hubspot’s informative blog on the subject.

But one way to create truly unique color palettes is to create your own from images that inspire you. Here are three color palette generator tools to help you do that.

1. Canva

Instead of using Canva’s Color Combinations Resource, try the Color Palette Generator. Here’s how it works: You upload an image and bam! In less time than it takes to blink the generator has churned out a palette for you.

But, as you can see from my demo below, the generator has a mind of its own. I was expecting pastels and brights and, instead, ended up with something more reminiscent of The Brady Bunch’s living room.

PROS: It’s ridiculously easy to use, and the site also offers demo images to try.
CONS: If you don’t like the colors it pulled from your image, there isn’t a way to select other parts of the image, or add or subtract from the generated palette.

Light bulbs of various sizes, shapes, and colors such as red, pink, lavender, yellow, and blue. Below is a palette created by a color palette generator.
A color palette created in Canva’s Color Palette Generator


The Image Picker at offers lots of options. To use it, browse or drag and drop a photo. The Image Picker will immediately select five colors from the image. BUT — and here’s the cool part — it places markers on the image showing you where each color came from. You can drag each marker to change the color, creating a truly custom palette. There are also layout options for a collage when you export your palette.

The image I used, below, is of purple and gold late-summer flowers. The initial palette suggested by the generator was darker and more subtle. I reselected for brighter yellow and pink shades.

PROS: So many options, and it’s fun to use.
CONS: Some options, such as certain collage layouts, are only available with a pro subscription.

An image of purple and gold late summer flower in a field. Below is a palette created by a color palette generator.
A custom color palette created using the Image Picker at

3. Figma

Collaborative interface design tool Figma offers tools for layout as well as palette generation. For the latter:

  • Install a plugin such as Photo to Palette.
  • Run the plugin and it will automatically generate a color palette based on colors in your image.

Or, for more control:

  • Create and set up a free account on Figma.
  • Create a new project and import and image (or several images!)
  • If you’ve selected a number of images, you might way to organize them on the page.
  • Using the rectangle tool, create a 50px by 50px square to the right of your image(s).
  • Duplicate the square at least three times.
  • For each square, click the fill option on the left-side tool bar.
  • Using the eye-dropper select a color from the image
  • When you’ve filled in each square with color, you’ll have a customized palette.

For my palettes, I selected images of butterflies (below) and vintage hats (top of page). The plugin-generated color palette runs along the bottom of the image and my hand-picked palette is on the right side.

PROS: Lots of control in color selection, and the ability to use and select from multiple images.
CONS: More complicated to use. The automated generator requires a plugin and offers no control of color selection. The manual process has many steps. The Figma platform requires initial set up.

A collage of images of butterflies. Some are photographs and some are illustrations. Below and to the right are palettes created by color palette generators.

There you have it! Three ways to generate your own color palettes for your brand assets, your website, a marketing campaign and more.

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Very Peri & Your Brand Colors

Have you thought about your brand colors? One way to come up with color palettes for your business or brand is to visit the Pantone website. It’s one of my favorite online spaces for inspiration, and a great resource for learning how to put colors together.

Each year since the beginning of this millennium, the company has announced its Pantone color of the year. “Pantone specializes in these color trends, especially in the realm of fashion and goods,” explains the Taylor Hieber website. “Pantone announced its first color of the year [as] Cerulean Blue. A sky blue color that reflects what some called at the time an inner peace and spiritual fulfilment with the coming millennia. Pantone Institute at the time had data to support the color blue was the leading color amongst designers and that it was reducing heart rates and blood pressure. Since the start of this Pantone initiative, many have utilized the color of the year as a way to appear trendy and modern.”

In 2021, Turquoise was the color of the year. In 2012 it was Tangerine Tango. In 2020 it was Classic Blue, “a nice rich blue that mimics what we ended up seeing heavily in design over the course of the year.” And last year (for the first time since 2016) it was two colors: a neutral gray paired with a bright yellow.

The Pantone color of the year for this year is Very Peri, a purple hue with both warm and cool tones. This is the first time that a color of year has been a new color created by Pantone. The company describes Very Peri as a transition color, “trying to represent the [shift] from reality to the metaverse concept in a look toward the future.”

Does Very Peri feel futuristic to you? Pantone went on to create several different palettes incorporating the color. They range from muted to rich and neutral to candy colored. It’s interesting how the peri hue shows up when paired with raspberry and cornsilk versus being paired with sand and taupe.

“While this color does seem to be more of a fad color,” concludes Taylor Hieber, “in specific use cases it can be a great color to represent a brand or to be introduced into a design.”

Explore the palettes here and consider how you might use a little (or a lot) of Very Peri in a design or color scheme for your brand.

Are you new to creating social media design templates — or perhaps in need of new ideas? I’ve created a bundle of nine templates (all using Very Peri, along with a neutral palette and minimalist fonts) that you can access for FREE just by signing up for my email list.

There are 6 Instagram / Facebook posts designs and 3 Pinterest pin designs. Are all completely customizable. You can change the fonts, colors, layouts, etc. Or just add your own photos and text and you’re good to go!