Nobody ever said having a freelance business would be easy. Sure, there are perks (we’re thinking, no commute times, emailing in our pajamas, a flexible lifestyle that includes the occasional afternoon happy hour), but there are also difficulties, ones that can cut into our overall happiness. Luckily, though, it’s never too late to give your struggling freelance business a much needed kick into gear. By taking just a few simple steps, you can turn your career into a more secure, productive space to work.
Networking and Effort
Most freelance businesses struggle for one very obvious reason: they don’t have the number of clients they need to have a level of comfort. But if you’re got the skills you need to do your job well – and we’re sure you do – then it’s probably just a matter of finding your new clients, not a case of being doomed to failure.
To do this, you need to step up and find new people to engage with. One of the best ways to do this is by getting your business out there and networking. Whatever industry you’re in, there’s sure to be events and festivals and other networking opportunities that you can get involved in. And when you’re there, you’ll be able to meet like-minded people and talk about new business opportunities that may be available to you. If you’re at a festival, you’ll also be able to talk directly with potential clients and customers. Also, remember that a large percentage of business is acquired via word of mouth, so don’t think your relationship with a client is over as soon as the job is completed – stay in touch; they might just refer you to someone else!
Whatever your business is, there will be technology that you can use as tools to further it along and make you more productive. At the most basic level is the internet, which any company can use to learn about the developments in their industry and to get the word out. Consider starting a blog for your website; they’re a quick and easy way to get people to your site. You should also have the infrastructure in place to make it easy for clients to deal with you – that means having a credit card reader for easy payments, a phone with 24/7 access to the internet (/Skype if it’s appropriate), and any other tools that are specific to your business.
This isn’t often discussed, but one of the best ways to take your business to the next level is to…actually dream of what that might be. You might look at your competitors and be aiming to keep up with them, but there’s no reason why you can’t plan to actually overtake them. If you follow what everyone else is doing, you’ll only end up wherever they are – but if you forge your own path for your company, then you could find yourself going absolutely anywhere. It’ll also help keep your momentum and enthusiasm for your business alive and exciting!