There are 53 million Americans freelancing today, and collectively they are earning $715 billion a year. * While these numbers may look impressive, they actually indicate that a given freelancer is only bringing in $13,490.56 a year. Not surprisingly, some individuals are wondering if they should make the move from part-time freelancing to full-time entrepreneur.
Making this move can be a scary step, but its potential to bring you many rewards can be quite appealing! It allows you to work for yourself, on the projects you love, and it has the potential to make the income you need.
Before taking the plunge, however, you need to do some research, analysis, and preparation. Consider the following steps to help you to begin:
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- Develop a vision
The biggest enemy can be you! If there’s a small voice inside of your head saying “you can’t do this,” then your first step is to turn off that voice and develop a realistic vision.
Show yourself that freelancing can be your reality. Your idea isn’t a whim – it’s a business plan. Begin envisioning by creating a business name and a vision for your company. This will help you develop a mental picture of your business and to give yourself a clear path to follow.
- Believe in yourself
Everyone has to take a leap of faith sometimes and it’s okay to have – and to acknowledge – your doubts. You do also need to be prepared to overcome them, however. It takes practice to overcome doubts, but it’s an important practice. Be sure that you’re mentally invested in your business before you quit your day job. If you doubt your own ability to find success, you won’t find it. Believe in yourself!
- Decide on a form of businessYou can decide to change the form of your business down the line, but it’s good to have an original plan so you can properly arrange the financial aspects of your business. You can set up a legal entity for your business (such as a limited liability company) or you can operate your business as a sole proprietorship. The choice is yours, but do the research first. Ask yourself: What are my business goals? What are the benefits that would come with each model?
- Set up the financial processesYou can’t begin to bring in work if you’re not fully prepared for it. Develop your prices and invoice templates. Create an accounting plan and figure out how much you need to set aside for taxes.
- Work on your portfolioYou shouldn’t launch a business before you have experienced with the work and can demonstrate those experiences to others. If necessary, delay the launch of your business until you have quality samples of the work you will sell. If you find you can’t create a solid portfolio of samples that accurately represent your work, then it may not be the right time for you to develop your own business.
- Create marketing materials and advertise your business.You need to have at least some initial marketing goals as you launch your business. Develop and launch a website and social media profiles. Reach out through your business and personal networks and let everyone know that you’ve started a new venture. Have business cards and/or literature to hand out to them.
The bottom line is that, with proper planning, research, and hard work, you can make a go at creating a business that you are really passionate about. Be brave and take the leap when you’re ready!