If you have been freelancing for any length of time, you already know the benefit of working for yourself. If you have yet to consider expanding your business, there has never been a better time to do so. But, before you move ahead, there are a few steps you can take to further perpetuate your success.
Difference Between Freelancers and Small Business
As a freelancer, you’re technically in business for yourself. The primary difference between feeling like a freelancer and feeling like an entrepreneur is that, as a “business owner” you will likely hire other people, incorporate as a legal business structure, and handle paying yourself differently.
Tools to Build a Successful Small Business
Before you move any further, it pays to review a few of the most important tools that you have at your disposal. These include:
- Online marketing. Online marketing covers a broad scope of digital tools that help you promote your business on the web. Netvolution.com offers a full suite of services, including social media marketing, web design, and e-commerce.
- Faster internet. As you move out of the freelance arena and into small business ownership, you may have to hire other people to handle some duties. As you do this, especially if you plan for them to work from your home, you may need a faster internet connection. Ideally, your download speed will average 10 Mbps per person.
- Other freelancers. Even if you take on full-time employees, you can still benefit from freelance accountants, virtual assistants, and others. According to Benchmark One, there are many sites across the web where you can find specialized talent to suit your needs.
- Business formation services. If you need to file an LLC in California, you will first have to research local regulations and then file a certificate of formation. When legal matters are not your forte, use a formation service. This will not only save you money, but ensure that you are compliant throughout the process so that you can enjoy tax advantages and management flexibility without interruption.
Aside from hiring other people and handling marketing, there are other nuances associated with becoming a small business owner. These include:
- Additional overhead. Before you set out as an SMB, make sure you can handle the additional overhead expenses. This includes not only your employees but also their benefits and any materials or technology you need to complete each job.
- Time to manage a team. Do you have time to train, lead, and manage one or more employees? Or, are you willing to let go of enough tasks to ensure that you can function as a leader?
- Ability to grow and scale. Business coach Tony Robbins explains that scaling your business includes knowing your purpose, perfecting your product or service, and building your brand. If you are not yet prepared to do these things, you must work on this area before you try to expand.
- Less flexibility. There are many reasons that people choose to become freelancers. Primary to these: flexibility. As a freelancer, you can come and go as you please and only take on the projects you choose. When you’re a small business owner, you must be present for your staff and a wider breadth of customers more often. This can cut into your family time and affect work/life balance.
Ultimately, transitioning from freelancer to business owner is a smart move that can help you take control of your finances. Further, it gives you an opportunity to build a business that can support you into retirement and beyond. You also have the option to leave your company as a legacy for your loved ones. However, it’s not without its caveats, such as the above considerations.
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Author: Lance Cody-Valdez