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How to run your business as a self-employed person

Being self-employed doesn’t mean being the king of your time and schedules. Lots of discipline is required and unless you have a strictly monitored routine, things can go haywire. For instance, the author of this Forbes article did whatever it takes to maintain a disciplined lifestyle in order to produce work that could fetch her and her husband good money.

Running a business as a self-employed person is not for the fainthearted, no matter what romantic notions people may try to sell you. When you have a regular 9-to-5 job you are just responsible for the work that has been assigned to you. You are not bothered with maintaining the infrastructure and ensuring the inflow of the work (unless you have been specifically hired for that).

As a self employed business owner on the other hand, you are responsible for everything. Nobody is going to rush to you to help you with a dysfunctional computer. Nobody is going to give you the work on a platter. For every aspect of your work you have to struggle continuously unless you have created some, the so-called “automated” business that people continuously harp about on various online marketing websites (actually that is an urban legend).

There are some good points listed in the above-mentioned article and I’m going to summarise them below. You can visit the original article for a detailed explanation.

  • Have a financial safety net: You don’t start making money as soon as you start your own business. It’s not just about work. Even you are not used to this new lifestyle. Nobody is breathing down your neck to keep you working so very soon you will lose track of your time as well as your performance. This will certainly affect your money earning abilities. So it is better to keep a financial safety net before you start and test the waters.
  • Do business in what you know: A lot is at stake when you leave your regular job and start your own business. So invest your efforts on something you’re totally comfortable with and have got some expertise in. This can be your passion, your skills, your knowledge or your experience. Avoid taking the plunge into a totally alien realm.
  • Create a comfortable workspace at home: Choose a place that is comfortable and pleasant and is away from distractions. When you work from home, and when you have a family distraction can be a major problem. You will need to maintain a sense of professionalism at your workspace. If you have an office in the living area, you can perhaps create a partition to segregate it from the main activities.
  • Spend money carefully: Since it is going to be some time before your business makes money, you will have to depend on the money that you have. And whenever you spend, you are losing that money. So invest and spend judicially. There are many technologies on the Internet that can be availed either free of cost or at a very low cost. Do proper research before spending money on services and products.
  • Create a solid online presence: People constantly log onto the Internet in order to find suitable businesses. So have a website and put all the necessary information there. Make sure that your business is easily findable on Google. Create some presence on social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter, and especially LinkedIn if you’re selling your services as a professional.
  • Charge a competitive rate in the beginning: You might not get paid the way you were earning in your previous job and you may have to make some sacrifices. Be prepared for that. Unless you have made a name for yourself it will be difficult to charge what you really deserve.
  • Focus on your core strengths and outsource the rest: This seems like spending money, but if you are spending most of your time on non-essential tasks, they will begin to impact your business negatively. For instance, if you are a business consultant it doesn’t make sense to spend time on building your website. Hire a web designer so that you can concentrate on building your core business.

These are some useful tips that you can use to run your business as a self-employed persons. Remember that every new venture takes preparation and preparedness. Another thing to remember is no serious business is easy business. You will have to work hard, and especially when you’re self-employed, you may have to work extra hard. Of course you will also have joy of owning your own business, making your own independent decisions and creating building blocks for a bigger dream.