The year 2020 has been full of challenges. Both the social and the financial worlds witnessed a tough time amidst the COVID crisis. Times have changed, so has the working styles and perception towards work. Earlier, people were more inclined to earn to support themselves and their family, with few exceptions which were ambitious. With the advancement in technology and increase in opportunities, the mindset of people have changed to a significant extent. They have become more ambitious and focused.
People who dream of freedom and flexibility in their work life have an option by understanding how to start a ‘Freelance Business’. In the following article we will explore everything about freelance Business and a step by step guide on how you can start freelancing while keeping your day job.
What is a Freelance Business?
An individual who is running a business for himself, usually by connecting with clients on a contractual basis is a freelancer and the setup is a freelance business. The factors which make a freelance business different from a conventional business are as follows
- Freelancers have the flexibility to choose their working hours.
- Freelancers choose their niche in sync with their passion making work fun rather a burden.
- They themselves set the aspects of their freelance business.
- They set their pricing.
- They usually engage in contract work.
The above mentioned factors might make a freelance business seem easy to pursue, trust me it’s not. It requires a lot of efforts, planning, discipline and short term sacrifices especially if you are keeping your day job. Ups and downs do happen and sometimes things may turn out to demotivate you, but consistent hard work may definitely lead to success.
Why should you Define a Plan and your Goal?
Setting up a freelance business and that too with a full time job needs a thorough analysis. A full proof plan with clearly defined goals is required. You have a job where you are committed to. You cannot disappoint your bosses and at the same time you cannot reflect your office stress on your freelance setup. In order to synchronize your day job and freelance business, you would need a lot of dedication and a whole lot of patience. Let us discuss how you can design an efficient plan.
You need to answer yourself the following questions.
- Are you setting a freelance business for just an extra source of income beside your full time job?
- Do you think of converting the setup into a full time one once it gets established?
- Are you planning to do something very different from your full time job with a completely different goal which is in sync with your passion?
By answering these questions you will be able to understand what you are actually aiming at and it would help you in successfully starting a freelancing business.
The following tips to setting up your dream freelance business will help you devise a realistic plan. After the plan is ready and the goals are identified, all you need is to execute the plan with sheer dedication and discipline.
12 Step by Step process to start a Freelancing Business while working full time in 2020
Understanding what you want out of your Freelance Business
This will require a lot of self analysis, setting of goals and patience. Once you are clear with this step, things will take an executable turn.
Besides setting a clear goal for yourself as mentioned above, you need to ask yourselves many other questions like
Are you sure about your goals?
Will you be able to dedicate time to your endeavor?
Will you be able to manage your freelance business while continuing your day job?
Will you be able to handle the ups and downs which will come across your way while executing your plan?
Do you want to be self dependent in the long run?
These are yet the basic questions and there is actually no end to them. Once you will start this amazing journey of your freelance business you’ll come across queries for which you will have to find a solution, seek proper guidance and stay strong.
Evaluate your Financial Situation
This step is an important one. You are into a day job to pay your bills and rents. You have savings which you would need to invest to start up your freelance business. The idea of leaving your job and working for yourself can seem to be very tempting but you have an unpredictable journey ahead of yourself. To play it safe, you should consider continuing your day job. There might be times when you have a low phase in your journey and your day job becomes a saviour. It is important that you evaluate your financial situation carefully and aware yourselves how it can sustain your freelance business without putting a load on your pocket.
Make sure of your Niche
Although you have decided your niche while setting your goal, you need to keep assuring yourself, of your interest level. You should also keep in mind that upgrading your skills in the selected niche would not only enhance your freelancing skills but would also increase your interest in it.
For instance you are aiming to start up a freelance writing business, you can keep upgrading your vocabulary skills, proofreading and editing skills. You can think of enrolling yourself into short term courses.
Set Short Term Goals
You know your end term goal and you know that you have to reach at that point sooner or later. To keep your business journey lively, and to stay motivated set short term goals. Do not forget to celebrate once you achieve those goals.
One thing which should be kept in mind is that the goals which you set should be realistic and measurable. For example, you are a freelance writer and you have written an article. You can set a goal that you have to make that article creative enough so that it can drive a reader audience of one thousand and then you can keep modifying your goal towards progress.
Update all the legal formalities of your new Venture
Once you are ready to launch your business, you need to think of formalising it. Giving your freelance business exposure, creating an audience, clearing all the legal aspects, understanding your business’s tax exposure, understanding marketing and customer management are some of the concerns which requires proper insight in order to make your business journey successful.
You will also need to understand the accounting part of your freelancing business, your daily profits and savings. You will be required to understand how you would reinvest that money in your business. Keep researching what all is required to start and continue a successful business such that your layout has no loopholes.
Understand your Customer Base
You have selected your niche. You must be knowing your target audience. For the success of your business you must keep updating yourself with changing customer behaviours, patterns and trends.
You will be required to understand the likes and dislikes of your customers, how they like to be contacted and how they appreciate customer service. Whether you are selling products or services customer satisfaction will be the focus of your business to succeed.
Fix your Pricing
You have worked hard to set up your business and now you have planned to monetize your efforts. Realistic pricing would attract clients and you will be able to take your business to the next level. Depending on your business, design what would you charge your clients whether it would be monthly, weekly or daily.
You need to evaluate and assign the true worth to your product and services. Before fixing your price you would require to understand the market and the pricing scheme of your competitors. Extremely high prices would drive your customers away as it is the prime factor which affects sales. Low prices would not let you grow in your business. Take out time to analyse all the factors affecting the price and then fix it.
The Internet is the new market today for all the businesses selling products and services. If you are dreaming to grow your business then you will have to create an online presence. The first step is to create a website for your business.
Having good content and working on website design can help you stand out of the crowd driving in more customers which land on the website for all the information about your product or service.
Today’s era which has innumerable social platforms has given businesses several opportunities. You can reach out your target audience by being active on such handles like facebook and Instagram. Once you have an increased number of followers, your business profile will appear more trustworthy and would attract more customers.
Expand your Business Circle
Building up contacts is one of the most important aspects of a successful business.In a freelance business this task becomes all the more important because you are on your own and you need people who can trust you and at the same time you can trust upon.
You would need to thoroughly analyse about the online and offline of your customers in order to expand your network and that too without breaching anybody’s privacy.
Social media platforms are the best way to expand your network. You would need to develop an art to increase your connections without appearing desperate and clingy. Once you satisfy your connections with your products or services you will be recommended by them to other customers seeking good quality.
So in order to increase your network, apart from being active online and offline you will have to work hard to maintain the quality of the services you offer.
An Effective Marketing Strategy
Developing an effective marketing strategy would affect your reputation in the market and help you stand out from other freelancers. Your online and offline presence would help customers reach you.
You would need to publicize your products and services and that you can do effectively on all the available social media platforms. With effective content which can give a clear insight to your customers you can turn the tables on your side. People today do proper research before investing their hard earned money. They do take time to read product descriptions and customer reviews to buy something. So an effective marketing strategy making the optimum use of your resources is an essential aspect for a successful freelance business.
Seek Career Counselling
Just like our academics require proper guidance and motivation sometimes we need career counselling for the work profession and students . Reaching out to experts when you are starting an endeavour and even when you are midway of your journey counselling is a saviour. There are times when you feel alone and unmotivated. You are confused regarding the choices you have already made or you want to make in future. This is the time when counselling plays its role.
When you are seeking advice from an expert or a counsellor you are trying to learn from his/her experience without experiencing the undesired yourself. This can save you the time you would have lost in the process facing a downfall and recovering from the same. Never feel shy to seek guidance from someone in the related field.
Stay Strong and Motivated
Setting up a new venture completely on your own requires a lot of courage and patience. You will be discouraged a number of times when things won’t turn in your favour but trust me that phase is not an everlasting one. In any circumstances you will be the one who is benefitting because every failure will be a new lesson. The only thing you would need to understand is that you must learn from your mistakes and you don’t have to repeat them. Rest Success is assured.
Every individual has the right to choose his life and live it with an everlasting feeling of excitement. This is only possible when you are following your passion and living your dream. A freelance business and being your own boss will allow you to do that. So start your journey and do not give up until you have reached your goal.