Careers: Had a Career Setback? Consider Becoming an Entrepreneur
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How to Make the Leap from Freelancer to Small Business Owner
The best freelancer treats their career as if it were a business. Adopting that business focus helps you keep your clients satisfied and ensures you dedicate time to planning for the growth of your freelancing project. But what if you want to take the plunge and transform your humble gig into a full-fledged business? With the skills you developed as a freelancer, running a business should be no problem! The Network Professional Association shares a few things to keep in mind as you venture further down the path toward entrepreneurship.
Keep Your Costs Under Control
It can be tempting to put a lot of money into your new business, but try not to get carried away. Launching a small business doesn’t have to drain your savings. If you’ve been freelancing from home all this time, consider running your new business from home, as well. You can always rent an office space or meeting room if you need more space for your business activities.
Generally, it’s always better to rent an office than to buy one. This is because you never know what could happen with the future of your business, and it’s good to have the flexibility that a rented space affords.
Make Use of Time-Saving Tools
As you start taking on more clients and hiring freelancers of your own, you will need to find ways to manage the growing demand on your time. Fortunately, there is no shortage of automation tools at your disposal. As one example, an online invoice generator can help you regulate your cash flow by ensuring that you get paid the right amount on time. When using an invoice generator, fill out all the invoice details with your business information including company name and contact information (e.g., email, phone number, and address), then preview it to make sure everything is correct. Make sure you don’t leave out any important particulars like your billing terms and any sales tax or shipping costs.
As you onboard any team members, look into other time-saving tools like collaboration apps (e.g. Trello, Monday.com, Asana, and Slack) to help you manage projects and keep everyone on the same page.
Prioritize Content Marketing
Whether you’re trying to keep your marketing costs under budget or you want to position yourself as an expert in your niche, content marketing is your answer. It’s cheap, effective, and popular among consumers. Content marketing will allow you to deliver specific messages to different client demographics and truly personalize your marketing approach. This is a great way to expand your client reach and land bigger projects for your growing business.
Not sure how to get started? Host a podcast, start a blog, create informative YouTube videos, or launch an Instagram page to showcase your work.
Don’t Neglect Your Existing Clients
As your business grows, it’s important to look to the future. Just don’t forget about your current clients! Throughout your freelancing career, you’ve developed some great professional relationships. Reach out to your clients, let them know that you’re launching a business, and ask if they would refer you to others who would benefit from your services. These referrals might just be your biggest source of qualified leads as you get off the ground.
Many small business owners try to hide the fact that they’re operating as a one-person show. But masquerading as a much larger business could actually hurt your brand. In reality, itty-bitty businesses like yours are in a great position to connect with clients on a deeper level. Today, big businesses are constantly rebranding to appear smaller, more approachable, and more friendly to the everyday consumer.
Be honest and confident about your small size, put your face on your brand, and let your personality shine through in your communications. Your clients will appreciate it more than you may think.
If you feel like your freelancing career has reached a plateau, launching a business could be a great next step. Making the leap from freelancer to business owner is a lot easier than starting a business with zero entrepreneurial experience. With the skills you picked up through freelancing, you should be well-prepared to run a business of your own.
The NPA gives IT professionals the opportunity to improve their skills and network with skilled IT professionals across the globe. Join us today!
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