Have you have been building your sideline hustle for a while now and think it’s time to fully commit? Are you wanting to shift from a freelancer to a business owner? Do you want to step away from your 9 – 5 to pursue your passion?
Making the transition from a freelancer to an entrepreneur might not be as simple as you think. There are some important factors to evaluate before you make the leap.
Is this for You?
This is the most important part of the entire process. You need to figure out whether you want to go through the hard yards of being a business owner or do you actually just want more job freedom.
Being a business owner is not for everyone. Are you wanting the responsibility of creating a brand that has multiple clients with multiple jobs all running at the same time? Do you want to be in charge of multiple employees all relying on you for their income? These are some of the difficult questions you need to answer before you start making any decisions. You need to know if it is just the idea of having your own business that you want, or do you actually want the challenge of creating a start-up.
Assess your Finances
Have you been working for a steady pay check, then giving up your day job will understandably impact your finances. Remember it might take a while before you have enough work to equal your full-time pay check. It is important to ensure you either have the savings available to take this knock or you need to be willing to make a short-term lifestyle change.
No matter which you choose you need to plan how you will be handling the upcoming months so that you stay afloat. You don’t want to give up on your dream before you had a chance to achieve it. So? Plan, plan, plan.
Here is what you need to include in the planning. How much money are you currently earning? How much business is currently coming through your doors? How much additional business could you guarantee tomorrow if you had the time to take it on?
Ideally, we suggest that you have at least six months worth of expenses covered in your savings. You will also need at least a few big projects lined up to take on once you leave your job. However, never rely on potential client work, scopes change, budgets shrink and plans fail.
Always remember that you are never guaranteed money as an entrepreneur.
Up your Marketing
Until you have set clients and retainers on your books your work will likely be sporadic, especially when you are getting started. Regular promotion will be crucial to the growth of your business.
You should setup a marketing calendar and checklist to ensure the daily tasks don’t push marketing to the back on the queue. We know that when you have a page full of to-do’s for customers, the last thing on the list is marketing your own brand, but this needs to change. You need to make marketing a priority as much as your clients. Remember as soon as you have completed the current client job you want the next big thing lined up.
Paid marketing is something you will need to factor into your planning. If you really are wanting to take the plunge, you need to have the financial backing to advertise to your potential clients.
The platforms on which you should market you business include; Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, BizCommiunity and Google AdWords.
Long hours are something you need to endure to ensure your business takes off. Every minute you aren’t working on your brand there is someone out there working their butt off to build theirs. You need to put in more time, especially in the beginning, to give your brand the best chance of success.
If you want a successful business you may need to give up your weekends, holidays and sleep to work on your craft. When you work for yourself you realise the value of your time and how you spend it, if you aren’t working you aren’t making money.
Focus on your Clients
Your clients are one of your biggest assets when it comes to marketing. Make sure that you under-promise and over-deliver. You want the value of your service to far surpass the cost, and through this you will see your clients share their stories, bringing in your future customers without any additional advertising required.
Are you ready to be Jack?
Do you think you can be a jack-of-all-trades? This is something most new business owners underestimate. When you take the leap and start up your business full time, it is likely going to be just you to begin with. You are going to need to be the designer, the marketer, the accountant, the public relations officer, the social media manager, the researcher, the tea lady, and the list will go on. It is important to be prepared to take on all this work load and still client face after an all-nighter.
This is not going to be easy. You are going to be jumping into the deep end without any life jacket. However, if you plan your finances, your time, your marketing and your clients in advance and find a solution that works for you, then JUMP! It is going to be a wild ride full of blood, sweat and tears, but it will also be incredibly rewarding. You will open doors you didn’t think were previously possible, learn new skills and find a deeper appreciation for all entrepreneurs and the dedication it takes to build a brand.
We want all of you to make the shift if it is the right option for you. However, for some, a steady income that is assured, working for someone with set medical, pension and holidays is actually the better option. You need to understand what you want in life, and then go for it!