It is the dream of many professionals to ditch the 9-5 day job and work as freelancers under their own terms. Some have realized this dream and succeeded beyond their expectations while others have tried and failed. There is another group that operates a freelance business as a side hustle with no intention of leaving their day job. Whatever type of aspiring freelancer you are, the following tips can help you establish a successful enterprise.
- Have a Plan
This is a business like any other and a plan is the starting point to your success. Your business plan should help you answer the following question among many others:
- What is the core area of your freelance business? What is your niche?
- What is your unique selling proposition?
- Who is your target client?
- How big is your market?
- What are the prospects for expansion? Is it a local outfit or is there potential of reaching a global audience?
- Who are your competitors and what are their strengths and weaknesses and how are you going to stand-out?
- Will you operate as a solopreneur or will you involve other people and what will be their role in the business?
In addition to these, having a vision and a mission for your business will help you stay focused.
- Plan Your Time
Although you are now a boss of your own, the truth is that you must use your time wisely. Overdoing things will land you in burnout while underperforming will mean less income. Plan your day and include rest time to regain energy that will keep going. A balanced work and play culture will see your business grow.
- Have The Right Attitude
Generally speaking, operating a freelance business can be lonely. This is especially true if you are operating from your home where you may have to spend many hours in your home office.
- Harness Technology
Depending on your niche, use technology to your advantage. The internet is possibly the best technology you can use. If there is any software that can make your work easier, use them
- Should You Quit Your Current Job?
It is tempting to do so but hold on. A freelance business is unpredictable – at least at the outset. You need a transition period where your current job will continue help you to meet your budgetary needs as your freelancing takes roots. Meanwhile, as the business grows, save as much as possible so that your lifestyle doesn’t drastically change for the worse after making the switch. This will also help you during periods of freelance jobs scarcity.
Opening a separate bank account for your freelance business is advisable. This will help you to separate your personal daily expenses from those of the business.
- Take Care of Legal Issues
Learn, understand and heed what your state or country expects from you as a business person. Do you need to register your business? Are there licenses you need to pay for? What about tax responsibilities? You need to streamline these to avoid future issues with the authorities.
If your freelance business involves physical and expensive equipment, insure them against theft, accidental damage or other likely risks relevant to your chosen job.
Specific freelance businesses have their unique startup needs but the above apply regardless of your chosen freelancing niche. The success of your freelancing business depends on doing great work for your clients.