Thinking about freelancing full-time or becoming a solopreneur? Success may take talent, guts, and determination, but there are also some other things that are essential when working for yourself. Check out this article to find out what these things are.
When I first started to work for myself, I thought that all I needed to be successful was a ton of hard work and enough motivation to see my dreams come true. Boy, was I wrong! While working hard and being determined are essential, there are plenty of other things you need to truly succeed as a solopreneur. They might seem less important at first sight, but they have the power to make or break your solo business. Here are eight of them.
Without discipline, your entire schedule can quickly become a mess. People who think that working for yourself means sleeping in every day and taking breaks whenever you feel overwhelmed are deeply mistakes. If you want to keep your sanity, you will need to come up with a routine that will allow you to have some kind of personal life as well. Also, you need to be able to keep a clear to-do list and always be on top of your tasks. Missing a deadline often means losing a gig, which translates to losing money. And that’s just bad for business.
2. An Appealing Website
People need to be able to easily find you online. Plus, when they do, they should be impressed with the results. Your website is your virtual business card, so it’s wise to invest a few dollars to make it look appealing. If you don’t have a sizeable budget, enlist the help of a freelance designer. They usually tend to be cheaper (but just as professional) as a company.
3. A Strong Social Media Presence
Social media is the most inexpensive means of advertising yet. Take maximum advantage of it. Be active o Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social networks that are relevant for your business. Build a community and it will be much easier to find new clients and market your skills.
I always advise people who want to work for themselves to set some clear objectives at the beginning of their journey. This will help with your motivation and give you a better idea about what you wish to accomplish in the long run. Ideally, you should take the time to draft a comprehensive business plan that will serve as a roadmap to success.
5. The Right Equipment
Working in an office means having permanent access to equipment, supplies, and an IT department. Solopreneurs have to provide all these things for themselves. Technical issues are the worst, so it’s a wise idea to contract the service of a company that offers remote support. They can use software to connect to your computer and help you deal with glitches. Make sure you choose a reliable support company that uses secure software to connect to your workstation. Proxy Networks has a great white paper about remote access security you should check out to make a more informed decision.
6. A Support System
When you’re a solopreneur, you rely on your loved ones for support. A lot. Motivation is sometimes low, self-doubt can be crippling, things rarely go as planned. You need someone to encourage you when times are particularly tough. Otherwise, you won’t make it.
7. Time Off
When you work for yourself, the line between your professional and personal life gets awfully blurry. Don’t spend all your evenings and weekends in, with your eyes glued to the monitor. Unplug every once in a while to relax and recharge.
8. A Contingency Plan
No one likes to start off thinking about what they would do if their enterprise doesn’t take off. However, businesses fail. It happens more often than you think. It’s smart to have a contingency plan to rely on in case that happens.
While these are all things you need from the very beginning, there are plenty of lessons you will learn as you move forward as well. I had to figure out how to manage my time better, how to negotiate with clients, how to network effectively to score more gigs. However, if you’re truly passionate about what you do, your adventure will truly be worth it.