Transitioning From Freelancer To Business Owner

small business owner

Working for yourself can be done in many ways thanks to the modern flexible work environment. You can start your own business, becoming a freelancer, create your own projects using crowdfunding and you can also become an online media personality. The first and second options are by far the most common. Yet, they’re not as commonly linked as they could be. If you’re working freelance, why not set up your own business? Maybe you’re an artist, freelancing online, taking clients as they come and marketing your skills on various social media and professional websites.

Why don’t you start a business and hire fellow freelancers to work for you on a freelance basis, while you fulfill the wishes of clients’? You might be an accountant, why not start your own accounting business? You would be taking on freelance and full-time accountants and working with small businesses to help them keep check of their finances. This is all easier said than done right? Here’s how to transition.

Define and Refine 

When you have no end goal, you have no coordinates to travel towards. You’re lost in the blizzard of confusion and ambition. The goals you set from the outset, will act like your torchlight. However, defining your goals is one thing but refining them is another. 

Define: 

  1. Are you starting this business because you are driven by passion, or does it just sound like a plausible idea to make money?
  2. Do you want to make this an online or real-world business?
  3. Do you eventually, plan on making your freelance employees full-time?
  4. Would you like to become a medium or large business in the industry or do you want to retain the same business model?

Refine:

  1. How much money do you need coming in order to be sustainable? 
  2. How much will you pay your freelancers and will it be enough for them to work part-time or full-time for you?
  3. If it’s going to be only online, do you have a plan for marketing your business and are you willing to use your face and name for this endeavor?
  4. Does going full-time make sense financially and for you personally? 
  5. Do you really want to dedicate a huge portion of your life to the business or is it merely a flash in the pan?

Before you put pen to paper and start writing your business plan, all of these questions have to be answered. It costs you nothing in the way of actual money, just time and thought. Don’t feel as if you’re being rushed, take your time and make decisions very carefully. Remember, businesses take up a lot of time, money and even impact your mental health. If your heart isn’t in it, then humbly bow out of the idea.

Carve Out a Niche

Why would a client give you their business, when they can just go to a large company that has a trustworthy track record? It’s far better to carve out a niche than to offer broad services to clients. This means you need to think very hard about just what you will be offering that’s different to your rivals? Maybe you’re a risk analyst, working for banks on a freelance basis. You want to set up your own business whereby you offer risk analysis and management to companies. What kind of niche will you choose? Don’t go with a broad and common subject such as credit risk. Go for something like bond risk. It’s a niche but it’s also something that many consumers will want. Government bonds are incredibly popular yet, not many risk management companies will offer you purely a bond-only management service. 

Inevitably, this doesn’t allow them to give their clients a thorough look at the international bond market. Thus they stick to domestic bonds only. With your business of bond risk management, you can carve out a niche for bonds but that includes all bonds from around the world or just the ones of your choosing. This is just an example, but think along these lines and you will have a business that is small but stands out from the crowd purely by the services you provide.

Absorb vital leadership qualities

Have you ever sat back and watched a leader at work? Maybe you watch your boss from another job before you went freelance. Watching leaders in the media be interviewed and give speeches, you tend to think, ‘hey I could do that’. Until that is when you get to a point when you have to become the leader. Running your own business, you’ll be met with challenges you didn’t even know existed. Being a leader is far harder than it seems. That’s why, if you’re serious about your business, you should take a leadership course like those at Norwich University. Their Masters of Science in Leadership, will give you the qualities and skills needed to hire the best people and lead them effectively. You’ll learn the new strategies employed by employers to seek out the best candidates. 

Resumes and cover letters aren’t enough these days. Companies need to explain more about their culture and ethics, to see if the candidates match not only the skills set but the behavioral desires. This leads to employer branding. You’ll learn how to properly assess candidates regarding their suitability for the company’s cohesive working culture around the office. This is vital for businesses because they need professionals that won’t get involved in disputes that disrupt workflow and thus harm profits. You’ll learn the latest techniques for advertising on social media and using various platforms to recruit new employees.

Start to think differently

Once you’re serious about starting your own business, you must rapidly change your whole attitude to life. Many people confess to going through a transition within their professional mindset. When they are suddenly responsible for other people and they own a brand accountable to the wider public, their attitude changes dramatically. 

Working as a freelancer is incredibly eye-opening. However, if you would no longer like to work for others, you should consider setting up a business whereby you employ fellow freelancers.

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