Freelancing is becoming incredibly popular in the business world. People want to take charge of their careers, and this is certainly one of the best routes towards achieving that goal. Of course, self-employed professionals have to be more than experts in their particular professions; they have to become business experts too. After all, you’ll be working for yourself. You’ll essentially be running your own company. Let’s talk about how you can make it as a freelancer in the face of growing competition.
Research more thoroughly than your competitors.
Conducting thorough research is essential if you want to make it as a freelancer in the face of growing competition. To be specific, you have to research more thoroughly than your competitors. After all, every entrepreneur knows that they have to research the market in order to improve their business. But the entrepreneurs who get ahead are the ones who know the market better than their rivals. This all comes down to how well you research your target demographic.
Make sure you talk directly to customers. Run surveys online to get feedback from the marketplace. Invite specific feedback from existing and potential customers too. Even if that feedback comes in the form of a Tweet, the point is that you have to open up a dialogue with consumers. That’s how you’ll get to know them. It’s the best type of research you can conduct. It means you don’t have to play the guessing game. Once you know what people want from a business such as yours, you can deliver solutions that distinguish you from your competitors. You can fill a gap in the market and get ahead.
Outsource aspects of your daily operations.
The hardest part of freelancing is juggling all of your responsibilities. The idea of getting to keep all of your profits is part of what draws people to the self-employed lifestyle, but running your own business comes with plenty of demands that regular employees don’t face. You not only have to complete projects for your clients but also market your services to find new clients. And whilst you might gain sizeable profits from your sales, you also have to learn how to manage your finances responsibly. There are so many things to consider when you’re the boss and the employee.
That’s why outsourcing is a smart option for those who run their own businesses on a solo basis. It means you can focus on the technical aspects of delivering products or services to your customers whilst outsourced professionals help you with the administrative aspects of your daily operations. You might want to seek help from financial professionals if you’re an umbrella contractor so they can take care of your umbrella PAYE requirements. As a self-employed professional, your business clients aren’t going to help you with your PAYE (Pay-As-You-Earn) taxes or any other aspects of your finances. You have to take charge of your own operations. Getting help from outsourced professionals might be the best option available to you.
Keep your lifestyle balanced.
If you want to make it as a freelancer in the face of growing competition then you need to keep your lifestyle balanced. So many self-employed professionals struggle in this regard. When you run your own business, there’s nobody else to pick up the slack. This can make it hard to take a break. And when you answer to yourself, it’s even harder to be disciplined. If you’re working from home then you’ll definitely know this to be true. It’s so easy to get distracted or to simply find yourself working into the early hours of the morning. The goal is to develop the mindset of a boss. You need to be strict with yourself to ensure that you meet deadlines on time, but you also need to go easy on yourself to ensure that you take breaks and safeguard your personal health.
In other words, you need a healthy work-life balance if you want to be a successful freelancer. Your physical and mental wellbeing is important. You might think that you’re going to be more productive if you work excessively, but you’ll actually be slowing yourself down if you don’t value your health. Improve the quality of your work and the quality of your lifestyle by learning to shut down your laptop from time to time and take a break. Spend time with your family or go and see your friends. Even taking a break to run some errands is worthwhile if it gets you out of the house. Take care of your physical and emotional state.
Reinvent your business plan.
If you want to make it as a freelancer in the face of growing competition then you have to understand the advantages of your position. You might be working on a solo basis or working with the help of a limited team, but the point is that your smaller operation has many benefits. One such benefit is that it’s much easier to reinvent your business plan. You don’t have to run every single change past a vast number of directors and senior members of staff. Being a freelancer makes it so easy to be flexible when it comes to planning, and this is a distinct advantage that you have over big corporations (or even small businesses).
Most importantly, reinventing your plan is essential in the world of business. Every company, big and small, has to change their plan on a regular basis. That means you need to really utilise the advantage you have. Take on board the earlier advice of researching regularly and use this information to drive your planning. We talked about this briefly in terms of developing solutions to fill gaps in the market, but that’s only one aspect of planning. You should always be looking for ways to improve the efficiency of your operations, both in terms of time and costs. The point is that planning is easier for a freelancer than a big business. You only have to manage yourself, so utilise the benefit of working solo.