Are you fed up in your job or want a more exciting career? Working for yourself could be the answer. More and more people are setting out to work for themselves to help them build their dream career. Want to enjoy a better work/life balance and be your own boss? Take a look at the following to help you take the plunge and work for yourself.
Think about what you want to do:
There are several routes you can go down to become your own boss and work for yourself. You could go freelance using your existing skills and focus on clients and projects that you care about, you could set up your own business or you could start something new entirely.
To succeed on your own, you’re going to need to be passionate about what you do to help you make it through those darker days. Explore how to figure out the best work at home idea for you and start getting excited about your future career.
Weigh up all the pros and cons
Working for yourself comes with many positives, but there are also some negatives factors to consider too.
If you feel that there are clear signs that you should work for yourself, then start going through the pros and cons to see if you can make it work. Having a full-time job provides you with the security of a regular paycheck, as well as benefits, which is something that can be difficult to leave behind.
Speak to other people about their experiences of becoming self-employed to help you make the best decision for you.
Test it out
You don’t have to give up your day job straight away to get a feel of the self-employed life. In fact, many people’s home businesses start off as a side hustle first.
Use your evenings and weekends to build up the foundations of your business and to get some clients – you might even find that having that additional income satisfies you enough to keep working along with working for yourself.
Taking some time, straddling both options can help you take things slowly, developing a long term plan and minimize the risk of starting your own venture.
Get your finances in a good place
Working for yourself is going to involve getting a good handle on your finances. You’ll need to think about having a lot of savings behind you, including any other capital you need to start up your business.
Put a savings plan in place to help ensure you’ve got enough money to tide you over during those initial months to help you go into your new venture with confidence.
Running your own business
Take charge of your finances
Many people find it difficult to keep their finances separate when running their own business. Get yours in good shape from the outset by setting up different accounts, budgets and so on.
You’ll need to remember to set aside money for taxes, as well as cover all of your business expenses. Online accounting software is one of the easiest ways to manage your business’ finances and help you stay on top of things.
Working for yourself means you take on a lot of responsibility, which can soon lead to stress. It’s important that you don’t get too caught up in things so that you can retain the work/life balance you signed up for in the first place.
Set working hours, and managing your time effectively can help you keep things under control. And never forget, your planner (whatever form that comes in) is your best friend!
Remember to take a break now and then too, a DIY spa day now and then or a trip away can help you regain your focus ready for your next challenge.
Working for yourself can mean that you spend a lot of time alone. When possible, arrange to meet clients somewhere like a cafe or a bar to help give you a change of scenery and end your cabin fever.
Co-working spaces are also great for feeling connected to other people, while you’ll find many freelancers sat working away at your local coffee shop. Try to use the phone and conduct face to face meetings to help you keep that all-important social interaction.
Finding clients and promoting your business
Create a stand-out website
If you’re going to start promoting your business, you’re going to need an excellent website to help you. The right website creates a fantastic first impression, and will be the first place clients will look to find out more about you.
The good news is that you don’t have to hire a swanky web designer to help you. There are great tools for building your own professional-looking website that are easy to use and could help you get up and running in minutes!
Use job portals
Sourcing clients can be one of the most difficult elements of working for yourself, particularly if you’re facing a lull or a dry spell. Putting your details on different jobs portals such as People Per Hour, eLance and Guru are great places to start.
Bookmark all of the best places to find freelance jobs to help you build up your client list and start finding regular work.
Attend networking events
Network events offer other ways for you to meet clients, giving you the chance to share your business card and offer some insight into what you have to offer.
Networking events can be daunting to go to on your own, so you could take a friend with you for moral support. These events can also be a great place for you to meet other freelancers and business owners to help you grow your support network.
Promote your services
A good marketing strategy is essential for promoting your home business. By using social media and other forms of online advertising, you can enjoy cost-effective ways of generating interest in your business. Some simple things you can do to promote your own business include:
- Blog about it. Blogging helps you engage better with people online and can provide you with plenty of content to promote your business.
- Create a weekly social media schedule to promote your services. You can use targeted adverts to help you reach more localized clients as well.
- Sponsor local events
- Host giveaways to encourage newsletter signups to help you push your products
- Focus on making your website SEO-friendly to help boost your search engine rankings so that people can find your business easier online.
When you first set up your business, it’s likely that your marketing budget will be low to non-existent. As you start expanding your business, you can put more money into finding new clients using paid-for social media as well as other forms of online advertising like Google and YouTube ads.
Growing your business
Reinvest your profits
Making profit from your business is an exciting time, but you need to think carefully about what you do with your profits. Some of the things you can do with your profits include investing in your professional development, buying new equipment and even making financial investments designed to boost your finances and help you build a secure future for your retirement. If you’re unsure of the best path for you, consider speaking to a financial adviser for help.
Take on additional employees
When you first start running your own business, it’s likely that you’ve taken on the role of owner, manager, finance director, marketing exec and more to keep your business afloat.
Now that you’ve got some money coming in, consider taking on additional employees or hiring other freelancers to help you manage your accounts, marketing, graphic design, customer service and more. You don’t have to employ people full-time to ease the burden – Virtual Assistants (thats me!) remote workers and part-time employees can add value to your business without you having to take on permanent full-time staff.
Learn more about running a business
When you build a business up yourself, a lot of what you know comes from your own experiences that you pick up along the way. However, as you look to expand your business – it helps to take on some additional training and education.
An Msc Operations Management degree could help you learn more about running a larger business, and the flexibility of online learning will allow you to fit in study around work. Look for training and education opportunities that will help you develop your skills as a business owner that will benefit your company as it grows.
Move into your own office
Sometimes your home business can outgrow your home, which means moving your business to a real office that will allow you to expand, bring in more employees and feel more professional too. Of course, if you’re happy in your home office, that’s fine too, but once you start taking on additional employees, you might want to consider relocating. Moving to an office building comes with a new set of challenges and costs, so it’s something you’ll want to think about carefully before you proceed.
Choosing to work for yourself is a big decision, but is one that can be extremely rewarding if you decide to take the plunge. Do your research and make sure you’re 100% confident before you proceed.
But just imagine with me… by this time next year – how could your life be different if you were working for yourself?