Solopreneur Case Studies from
Solo Build It

Solopreneur case studies from Solo Build It, my business building software of choice.

A cross section of successful business ideas over a range of topics.

They make for some honest and interesting reading both below and on the results page...

Solopreneur Success Stories

Understanding Cement

Understanding Cement may not seem like a sexy topic to build a business around but Nick Winter was already a consultant on the topic in the off line world. 

He decided he would go online, to bring the topic to a wider audience and this impacted his working life by bringing in more work and more income when he developed a couple of his own products to sell.

He is building up his business so when he final retires he will have a second income stream coming in, all based around his professional experience.

A great idea if you are a little older and wondering how you might supplement your pension, instead of having to work till you drop.

Find a subject you love and build yourself a solopreneur business around it.

Being Outdoors

Wilderness College is the brain child of Jason Knight and his wife Kerry.  A life long adventurer who wanted to turn his love of the outdoors into a business with and for his family.

You can see Jason in action below at his Outdoor School...

He has created the school around the many things about the outdoors that he loves ad has created classes in:

  • Wild mushrom identification
  • The weekend wilderness school
  • Weekend knife making course
  • Identification of edible/medicinal plants
  • Wildlife tracking apprenticeship
  • Permaculture course

just to name a few...

The aim of their business was to

to inspire and empower people to become lifelong stewards of the natural world

He has grown his business to employ staff and utilise guest teachers and hundreds take their classes and certification programmes each year.

If the outdoor life is for you, Jason & Kerry are very inspiring  as they began as a solopreneur.

Creative & Craft Business Ideas

craft business ideas

Crafting as a Social Enterprise owner Adele, began her online business idea with a simple card making site.

But over the years she has gone away and come back to the business builder platform she is using now and she explains why in her interview.

She also altered the focus of how she wanted to do business and now  she says...

"It is much more satisfying for me now, knowing there’s a “reason” behind everything we do, that it’s not just a business. It’s a business with a social purpose. For me, that’s important"

Are you thinking of some social business ideas?  Perhaps Adele can show you a few pointers.

homemade gifts made easy

Home Made Gifts Made Easy owners Stephanie and Tobias had a very clear reason to each become a solopreneur.

"We’d always wanted to start a web business but never knew how. We just loved the idea of working together and we wanted to make a bit of extra income for travelling and fun, and in the longer term for starting a family and having some flexibility around returning to work..."

And now the have a full time income and the life they want to live, where and how they want to live it with their children.

Life could not be sweeter...

Knitting Business owner Vicki has a difficult story to tell but the outcome is very positive.

Her online business saved her sanity as she explains...

"My computer became my window to the world and to life. I took a huge personal risk by joining SBI! and it changed my life forever"

It is wonderful and inspiring  to read though, how she made her first $100 whilst living in a women's shelter, and now her life is much more calm and serene as she lives by the sea.

An utterly inspiring read for anyone  who is interested in business and how others got to where they are now.

A solopreneur who started in the most of difficult of circumstances but who has triumphed and overcome so many things and didn't give up.

Fashion Business Ideas

Seamstress Online Judith spent her life...

in the apparel industry and the theater, creating anything from retail clothes to sports mascots to opera costumes. She visited apparel factories across the globe to hone her skills.

Now, she uses her experience to help a global audience of home seamstresses perfect their pattern-making skills

and she knows she can generate income to help reach her goal of retiring from  “regular” work next year.

Passion For Fashion was never meant to be a successful website. It was a test bed for SBI Owners daughter Yuki who wanted to improve the SBI Wordpress module user experience. 

She was testing about fashion because that is her degree subject and she wanted to build an honest review proposition.

To express her honesty she explained how she went about things...

"First and foremost, I purchase every item on NewInspired myself. This way it isn’t a paid review and I can be as honest as I like… but it also means that my budget is limited. Which is a plus for my readers, because then I can share how to get a $595 dress for $160. I budget like a madwoman and try to get my pieces for the best price possible.

There are a lot of pains in shopping online, so I cover everything a reader would want to know. Sometimes I get a direct message on Instagram asking for more details. That feedback helps me to go back and make the review even better"

So now she is a proud solopreneur in the fashion business. A great case study if clothes business ideas are your thing.

Food  & Drink Business Ideas

Vegan Coaching & Cooking Classes solopreneur Sassy loves her business online because

"It is one of the highest forms of creativity.  I get an idea, and I can make plans to implement it.  I have complete control over all aspects of my website.  I have never liked working for others because I don’t like to be told what to do, so working for myself is critical to my happiness!"

She also honestly points out that it is incredibly hard work, but because she loves what she does, it is all worth it.

The Coffee Detective website owner Nick Usborne was already an incredibly successful copywriter but decided, after writing for a coffee client to create a website for himself because he had a ton of information available and he loved Coffee to boot.

He explains how he got started

"I’d love to tell you how clever I was in choosing my niche, and how I had figured out there would be great demand for the topic, and amazing revenues to follow.

But it didn’t go like that!

I’d been doing some client work, helping a coffee company launch its first ecommerce website"

So his coffee business idea was born and he became an online solopreneur.

Mind & Body Inspired Business Ideas

Success Coach Mandy Bass was one of the very first life coaches way back in in 1996.

But as time went on, it became more expensive to fill a room and there were a lot more coaches in competition.

So she decided to change course just a little and learned something called the

The Silva Method is an experiential mind-training course that teaches how to quiet your mind and focus your thinking to solve problems and achieve the outcomes you want

This became the focus of a new business and she created her own products and services  to help people with their mind and body issues.

An inspiring story if you want to be a solopreneur in a helping profession.

Dentist Online Dr Richard Mitchell realised

During his many years of dental practice, he came across a lot of myths and bad information about teeth, gums and dental care. How could he help more people than just the patients who came to his practice?

So he went online and his aim was and still is to provide truthful dental information, bust any dental myths, and start to build the site into something that could provide an extra income in later years..

Baby Sleep Advice owner Heidi turn her very practical sleep tips for her children into her solopreneur adventure.

When her children were born, her theoretical interest in sleep took on a very practical meaning. Every new parent realizes how very important this thing called sleep suddenly becomes.

She began taking notes on the techniques that helped her babies sleep soundly. When friends asked her for advice, she turned to her “little box of sleep tips and techniques.”

She realised she could help a lot more people than just her friends and now she is an authority on sleep for babies and helps people all over the world.

Hobby Inspired Business Idea

Comic Book Cash Solopreneur Ashley Cotter-Cairns is one of the most successful case studies I have to share with you and his business is based upon a hobby he had from childhood.

Here he is on video sharing his story

Vinyl Records Business Danny Sandrik, inspired by his wife has this to say,

"Make your passion your profession. Find out what you really want to do, figure out the best way to make that profitable, and devise a plan to put things in motion"

What started as a pure hobby is gradually turning into a real business and if you have a mind to do the same, Danny has some great things to share with you.

Pet Business Ideas

Pet Business Online Solopreneur Richard suffered an incredibly difficult time in his work life...

After 22 years of dedicated service to his employer, Anton Hout was fired. Overnight, he went from earning a good income to nothing. He lost everything, including their family’s home

On top of the financial stress, Anton suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, caused by years of severe bullying at his workplace

It would his love of dogs that saved him and his pet business was born.

Rabbit Breeder Online Karen Patry had a very specific reason for starting her online business...

When Karen realized how much — potentially dangerous — misinformation was being circulated on the web, she set out to create a much more comprehensive and accurate resource center for raising healthy rabbits.

At the same time, this resource would provide her with a significant (mostly passive) income stream to supplement her family’s income and to help fund her retirement

She is now a specialist solopreneur and global authority with her pet business idea

Teaching Ideas

English Grammar Business owner Elizabeth shares her story on video about how she quit teaching and started an online business instead as a solopreneur.

And how now her and her husband can be stay at home parents for their young family.

TEFL Business Solopreneur Catherine taught English as a foreign language for many years to many people but over time the funding dried up and created a problem for her to find work and to add to the pressure she was heading for retirement as well...

Catherine started to look for alternatives. That’s not easy when you live in a small city, are handicapped by rheumatoid arthritis, and compete with lots of much younger teachers

And now she has much more control over her work life and isn't at the mercy of "employers".

This is one of my most favourite case studies because I think a lot of people who don't want to work at a regular job when they retire could start to build up something of their own ahead of retirement.

Leadership Tools solopreneur Richard Gorham thought

Many leadership tools and programs came with a price tag too high for most people. He strongly believed that every person regardless of income level or location should have access to high quality leadership and self improvement resources

So he built a business to address that problem.

If you work in HR or as a consultant Richards case study may be very enlightning for you.

Tourism Business Ideas

This travel business in Rome generates 6 figures a year and mostly from affiliate income (where the owner sells other peoples products, ie tours and tickets for example) and it is all free traffic to their website.

Elyssa Bernard reveals all in this video interview.

Disney Travel Business owner Carl Trent has built a grown up business from his boyhood passion about Walt Disney World

Carl’s “side hustle” had grown into a flourishing business with a team of 50 people.

Most solopreneurs don’t grow their online business that large. They prefer to keep it simple and “fly solo.” And that’s perfectly fine. The beauty of running an online business is that you have that choice — stay small or grow big

An excellent example of having an idea and how it develops over time.

This is the thing with starting a business. You may have an idea of where you think you will go but sometimes you don't always end up there.

Tel Aviv Travel Business solopreneur started her site as a way to work on finding more family time, as she says...

"I was an ambitious hi-tech sales manager for many years. I enjoyed my work, but once I started a family, I found the juggling act between being a good Mom and a successful business executive quite difficult to manage.

At various points in my career, I tried out different solutions to achieve a better work-family balance"

She is now working on several different streams of income.

Florida Backroads Travel was started because of a need to create another income stream passed the age of normal retirement.  As Mike shares his story he said...

"My goal was to earn money to supplement my Social Security. I was 70 years old when the real estate market in Florida collapsed. It really damaged me financially.  There was no market for my real estate, nor for engineers or real estate brokers.  

I had to come up with a way to make some money!

So he became an online solopreneur and the twist in the tale is now actually Mike has 2 successful online businesses to his name.

Jamaica Travel Business owner Wellesley created an online business around his  home island of Jamaica.

Wellesly said the biggest benefit he gets from his business is not money but...

"Family Time. It’s just amazing what kind of freedom the Internet has provided us. I do what I like, from home, right where my family is. By the way, my family is loving it!  Yesterday we took a day trip to Ocho Rios, it was an absolute blast"

He knew he wanted to create some kind of tourism business idea, but he was going to use the affiliate method of doing business.

Where you promote other people's products, so you don't have to create your own.

In the end because he liked the software so much, he decided to build a complete website himself.

And his success has gone from strength to strength as a solopreneur, although the family chip in from time to time.

If you have a travel business idea, this case study is for you

Advice from 37 other solopreneurs who wanted to share their experience of SBI and WHY it is so helpful to them, over and above anything else they have tried when building their business, because

"Building an online business as a solopreneur can indeed be a lonely affair. There’s no team to brainstorm ideas with. No colleagues to bounce ideas off. No coworkers to ask for advice. Not even someone to lend you a friendly ear when you feel overwhelmed.

The solution to this challenge? Find and join a Mastermind group or a community of like-minded solopreneurs.

Solo Build It! (SBI!) prides itself on having one of the friendliest, most helpful communities of solopreneurs on the Web!"

If they are not enough then here are a few more success stories from bloggers who are making money as well.

Some new case studies here too...