The challenges faced by businesses going from solopreneur to a team

If you have run your business by yourself for a time, you’re used to things running in a particular way. You’re also used to the simplicity of only needing to comply with the basic regulations around taxes and business operations.

When you step out of the solopreneur role, you hand over some of the work in the business to start working on the business – managing your teams and your workflows as a leader.

The biggest challenges to look out for when employing a team for the first time include,

Personal time management

You are now responsible for keeping other people on track in your business. They will require your time and input to get their job done, even if they work relatively autonomously.

Create documented job descriptions so it is clear what each employee is expected to do.

Also, keep a clearly communicated record of each process or procedure that each team member is responsible for completing.

This ensures that your expectations are understood and each person is accountable for the completion of the essential jobs that generate revenue or support this process in some way.

Compliance with employee entitlements and obligations

As the business world has become more complex there is alot of paperwork that needs to be completed in order for a business to comply with the regulations relevant in that industry.

Firstly, ensure that you abide by the necessary wage and employee entitlements as communicated on the Fair Work website.

Employers need to familiarise themselves with employee rights, entitlements, awards, and ethical work policies. It’s not enough to simply have contracts of employment and job descriptions for team members.

You need to document your workplace policies too, giving thought to the following:

  • The company’s code of conduct
  • Internet, social media and email policy
  • Mobile phone policy
  • Work health and safety policy
  • Anti-discrimination and harassment policy
  • Grievance handling policy
  • Discipline and termination policy

Managing payroll

As a business owner, you will have to start managing a payroll system.

You may be familiar with your obligations if you have been paying yourself from a company, but if not, you need to understand the different types of tax requirements and how to know which ones apply to your business

PAYG Withholding

Each employee needs to complete a TFN declaration. This provides you with everything you need to know to withhold the correct amount of tax. You will need to register for PAYG withholding with the ATO.


Each employee will need to complete a Super Choice form containing details of where they would like their super paid.

Single Touch Payroll (STP)

You will need accounting software like Xero to correctly complete STP reporting.

The Australian Taxation Office now requires the reporting of director’s fees (or wages), salaries, PAYG and superannuation each time a pay run is completed.

Workers’ compensation insurance

Once you have employees, including shareholders, or directors who work in the business you need to have workers’ compensation insurance, this is not optional but required. Each state and territory has their own sole insurance provider.

Keeping your team engaged

An engaged team is a happy and productive team. You can’t simply set up a business and expect that your team members will thrive.

An engaged team starts with a clearly defined company culture and a well-communicated document with workplace policies.

If you want a high functioning team that drives your business forward almost autonomously, you need to find ways of keeping the energy in the office high.

Forget a quiet office with people gazing at their computers, it is the offices with high energy, lots of non-work chatter, and big celebrations of successes that have high functioning teams.

Finding a work/life balance when you become a boss

It can be challenging to find the perfect balance. In the early days, you need to put in the extra hours to get the business off the ground.

As you see your work coming to fruition, it is tempting to invest more time and energy into the business because success can become quite addicting.

Remember that rest is a very important aspect of productivity, the two go hand in hand. Rest means enjoying time without client communications, emails, planning, or problem-solving.

It means leaving your work, at work. Even if it’s only for short periods of time according to the time budget you can afford.

Sonia Gibson is the Founder & Director of Accounting Heart, a Chartered Accountant, 2020 Winner Women Finance Accountant of the Year, Business Advisor & Strategist, and an Author.