Working for a company has its perks. But often the time comes when you want more freedom and to really test yourself to see what you’re made of. At that point, the idea of setting up your own personal business enters your mind. After all, you have all this experience: why not just sell it directly to customers and cut out the middleman?
Of course, setting up your own business is never easy. You’ll undoubtedly encounter problems and difficulties along the way.
However, with the right approach, you can overcome these and build a business of your dreams.
So, if you’re considering transitioning your career and working for yourself, here’s what you need to know:
Leverage Your Network
While you’re still small and relatively unknown, you’ll find it hard to reach out to customers via conventional channels. For that reason, you’ll need to leverage your network.
Start laying the groundwork now. Add people on LinkedIn and start talking to people who might want to buy your services in the future. Look for ways to reassure them about your aptitude and ability to fulfill their needs.
When you have a network in place, you have more options for winning clients. Once you go solo, tell everyone what you’re doing and how they can benefit. Over the first few weeks, you should notice a trickle of clients coming in your direction. Eventually, that should turn into a flood as word-of-mouth spreads.
Don’t Try To Market Your Business Yourself
Trying to market your business on your own is fraught with challenges. It’s just incredibly difficult to do. Because it’s so technical and requires a lot of analysis, you need to be an expert.
For this reason, many professionals transitioning to solo careers use marketing managed services. These essentially take over the running of their digital outreach campaigns, allowing them to focus more on the job that they do.
Think about it: if you’re a lawyer, accountant, health coach or other professional, you don’t have time to learn all the ins-and-outs of Google Adwords or social media analysis packages. Your main concern is your clients. Outsourcing it to someone else reduces the amount of time you need to spend thinking about it and frees you up for other things.
Create A Business Website
The good news is that business websites for solo professionals are incredibly easy to set up. Sometimes you can fit everything you need to say, including all your calls-to-action, on a single page. To set up a site like this, you can either do it yourself via a template, or you can pay a professional to do it for you, usually for less than $200.
The tricky part is getting your website noticed. As you might expect, there are millions of professional sites out there, all vying for the audience’s attention.
The trick here is to go hyperlocal. You want your SEO to target only people living in the immediate area who want convenience. If you can target these individuals, you can usually generate enough revenue to expand your business further.
Again, if you’re not comfortable with SEO, it’s much better to go to a professional than try to do it yourself. They can create rapid links for you and optimize your pages for appropriate keywords at speeds that you wouldn’t be able to match if you tried to do it yourself.
Set Up Your Business Bank Account
If you decide to go solo, it’s critical that you set up a business bank account to separate out your finances. You want one account for all your company transactions, and another for personal spending.
If you mix the two, you can quickly get into trouble. It makes accounting difficult, and in the event that your company goes under, creditors might use the fact that you combined personal assets as an excuse to seize them.
Leverage Technology Wherever Possible
Running a one-person business is challenging because you have to do everything yourself. That’s why so many solo careerists automate their tasks. For instance, instead of manually uploading posts to social media accounts, they get software to do it for them. They also outsource critical tasks, such as accounting, finance and strategy. They understand that they don’t have the necessary skills to succeed in these areas, so they don’t try. It’s much easier to pass the burden onto someone else.
Build A Personal Brand
Another factor you’ll need to consider is your personal brand. Solo business people depend heavily on their public perception to gain clients. Those viewed in a positive light often win customers easily, while unknown or distrusted professionals can struggle to get started at all.
When you get your personal brand right, the sky’s the limit. If you can become known as the person to go to when someone needs something, you can expand your business tremendously.
Define Who You Are
When clients find out about you, they will wonder why they should choose you instead of going to a large firm as they usually would.
The trick here is to define who you are. Let them know how you differ from the mainstream alternatives and why they should choose you.
Choose The Best Clients
You’ll also want to be picky when it comes to clients. As a solo businessperson, you can’t afford to waste time on difficult people who are asking the impossible of you, or outright bullying you.
Try to find out what they want in as much detail as possible early on in your relationship. Then make a judgment call about whether they will make a good client or not. Remember, the longer you spend working for a difficult client, the less time you have available to satisfy an easy one.
Nail Your Pitch
Lastly, you’ll want to nail your pitch to clients. You want something repeatable that explains why you’re the person for the job and why they should come to you. The best way to do this is to get your customers to do the selling for you in the form of glowing reviews.
We hope the tips and suggestion above help fine success with your entrepreneurial goals.