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Solo entrepreneur helps others strike out on their own

kelly-on-phone (2).jpgMany of Skype’s business users are sole proprietors, so I was particularly excited to find Kelly McCausey’s listing in our Skype in the workspace community.

Not only is Kelly a proud “solo-preneur” herself, but she’s built a business guiding other entrepreneurs in creating their own one-person pursuits.

“I’m an online business coach,” explains Kelly. “Essentially, I help independent business operators achieve their online business goals.”

Kelly’s business, Solo Smarts, provides individual coaching and information products that teach Web-based skills like podcasting and blogging. Her clients are people looking to launch businesses that operate only online, like blogs, as well as those running offline businesses that need help marketing themselves on the Internet.

Kelly credits much of her business’ success to Skype. She’s integrated it into her core operations, and it’s her primary communication channel for nearly all her work activity.

“All my one-on-one coaching calls use Skype. My out-of-country calls with clients are always Skype-to-Skype,” says Kelly. “Not all my U.S. clients have Skype, so I use my Skype account to talk to them on regular phones.”

Kelly has a Skype Number that clients use to call her from landlines and mobiles, and she has an Unlimited North America Subscription so she can make inexpensive outbound calls as well.

“My voicemail collects calls that I miss, and I use my iPhone Skype app if I’m traveling. I never need to share my cell number because I use my Skype Number for everything for my business.”

Skype IM and screen share figure into her work too.

“Sometimes I need to show a client a Web site, if that person is working on an online marketing project for example. Screen sharing is useful for that. And I’m on Skype all day, so clients know they can IM me anytime.

“One of my clients was having a hard time staying focused, so I told her to IM me every time she started and finished a work task,” Kelly says. “She said it felt like I was sitting in the corner with her. It made her accountable.”

Kelly’s Skype usage extends into the other areas of her business. She blogs and podcasts avidly on topics relevant to one-person businesses.

“In my podcast, I interview other solo-preneurs,” says Kelly. “Before I knew you could record calls on Skype, I did those calls on a regular phone. It was a headache, not to mention expensive. Now I record everything on Skype using Pamela. I even record my coaching sessions so clients can refer back to them.”

Kelly credits Skype with making her business cost-effective.

“I started Solo Smarts in 2002 as a way to supplement my full-time job and help get me out of debt. Four years later, I realized I could turn it into my full-time living. I’d be spending a lot more money to run this business if I didn’t have Skype.”

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