There’s a new type of business I’m seeing more and more of: Super successful one-person companies.
In this post, we look at 3 case study examples:
- A babysitting company
- A health and fitness ebook publisher
- And a beat-maker
All 3 of these one-person companies are million-dollar businesses, and they just hire freelancers to operate.
Let’s dive into how they do it.
Super Successful One-Person Companies
One-Person Company #1: The Babysitting Company
Rachel Charlupski is making $417,000 a month running a premium babysitting service for hotels, sports teams, and families on vacation.
I love this.
Rachel started The Babysitting Company because she was babysitting in high school, and she really enjoyed it. When she went to college in Arizona, all her friends worked standard jobs—serving at restaurants, bartending at nightclubs, etc.—but Rachel knew that wasn’t for her.
Instead, she went to local hotels and offered her babysitting services to families that were vacationing there.
What’s interesting about it was her pitch. Check this out…
Hey, if anyone needs a babysitter call me. Here’s my license, my photo, and some information about me.
Sounds potentially sketchy, right?
But no one else was doing this in Arizona! And she was able to get a lot of clients that way.
It became a simple but very profitable side hustle for her—but how did she go from just babysitting locally in Arizona to making it a million-dollar nationwide company?
She noticed an opportunity when one of her clients went to LA.
The client asked her if she knew of any babysitters in Los Angeles… And she didn’t. But she figured if this family needs a babysitter on their vacation, there’s probably other people that need babysitting during their vacations, too.
So Rachel flew to Los Angeles to babysit for that family and when she was there, she recruited a small network of babysitters by using social media and reaching out to her network.
How simple is that!
Now The Babysitting Company is a multi-million dollar business.
My key takeaways from The Babysitting Company:
- You can start super successful businesses in unsexy ways. They might not be the kind of companies everyone else is trying to build, but honestly, they can be more lucrative and more fun. I’m talking about lawn care, babysitting, cleaning, cooking, etc. Use the internet to scale and leverage your business, but don’t get obsessed with just making tech products or new innovative things no one has ever heard of.
- You don’t have to get married right away, you can date first. I’m talking about freelancers here. You don’t have to commit to hiring people right away, you can test out the waters first with freelancers. I think it’s amazing that as Rachel scaled her business, she kept everyone as freelancers, and then when it made sense to have really committed people, she transitioned them into full-time employees.
- I love the simplicity of this business idea. Rachel didn’t try to reinvent the wheel. She took a business that everyone already knows about and did it well. There’s money in these simple things.
- Work backward from customer demand. I’ve talked about the customer-first approach SO many times and I love that she reached out to hotels and people going on vacation and asked to take care of their babysitting needs. Then when she had demand, she went and did the service—not the other way around. Find the customer first, then offer the service.
One-Person Company #2: Examine.com
Sol Orwell makes $265,000 a month selling ebooks on nutrition and supplements.
Don’t worry, it’s not one of those multi-level marketing scams—it actually helps people with their health and fitness.
The idea for Examine came when Sol was trying to lose weight.
(Hopefully you’re noticing a pattern here of starting businesses that solve their own problems.)
He was spending a lot of time in fitness subreddits and he noticed a lot of the new members were asking the same question over and over, but it was hard for them to find trusted information about nutrition supplements.
So he decided to start a business to solve this problem.
How did he actually get started and make so much money?
He wasn’t an expert in nutrition or supplements, so the first freelancer he hired was Curtis, a moderator on a fitness subreddit. Sol recruited Curtis because he was studying nutrition and spending hours digging through scientific papers for fun.
In the beginning, Examine didn’t actually sell anything. They focused on building trust because there are a ton of scammy fitness and nutrition websites out there. The two of them drove traffic to the website by hanging out in fitness subreddits and being as helpful as possible to the people asking questions there.
To figure out which products to start selling to make real money, Sol sent out a survey asking people about what problems they had. Then he hired more freelancers and consultants to write articles and books that he could sell to the audience they built up.
I call this the amazon approach.
Once you start making a profit, reinvest it back into your business. A lot of people get short-sighted. They try to take out as much as possible to pay themselves, but it will actually earn you more in the long run if you keep putting it back into your business. So I love that he kept reinvesting into Examine.
My key takeaway from Examine:
- The customer-first approach. Just like Rachel, Sol solved his own problems first and then turned it into a business. He was on subreddits looking for better information and other people were too, so he made it easier to find that information.
One-Person Company #3: Modern Producers
Adrian Wood is making over $120,000 a month in revenue selling high-quality beats and sounds to music producers.
Adrian was already a successful music producer and worked in the industry for over a decade producing music for 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, and companies like Coca-Cola, Ford, Nike, etc.
Just some small names you may not have heard of, right?
One thing a lot of people don’t know about the music industry is that a lot of popular songs are produced by a small handful of high-quality pre-made sounds. Being in the industry, Adrian had an advantage. He noticed there was a lack of these musical beats that were affordable and high-quality.
This inspired him to start Modern Producers, an ecommerce marketplace that helps other music producers like him get started with their careers.
To get started, Adrian spent a week setting up a Shopify store. Then he reached out to his network and found people to supply him with quality beats and sounds. To get customers, he did a lot of 1-to-1 marketing using social media to get new music producers to buy products on his website.
Slowly, he built a community.
I hope you’re noticing a pattern in these businesses. Instead of buying a bunch of ads or doing spammy stuff, they built up a community of customers one by one and took the time to understand what their network wanted.
My key takeaway from Modern Producers:
- What is the dial to grow your business? What can you control in your business to grow it? Is it the marketing? Is it sales? Is it customer service? And think about how you or a freelancer you hire can keep those systems running as consistently as possible so it’s always growing your business.