Goodbye Grind, Hello Hustle (Guest Post)
With self-employment on the rise, ditch the desk and kick the cubicle to the curb. Today’s technology means you no longer have to punch someone else’s time clock — which is excellent for parents who are striking out on their own! The gig economy is the way of the future.
Easing into the world of self-employment
The first thing you need to know about working for yourself is that you will give up a steady income. Your paychecks are no longer predictable and it’s up to you to establish a clientele that keeps coming back. Instead of diving off the deep end, ease into entrepreneurship by dipping your toes into the kiddie pool. Good Financial Cents lists more than two dozen career paths you can take on a part-time basis until you strengthen your fins enough to stay afloat.
Something to keep in mind as you’re learning the ropes is that self-employment income is taxed differently. However, some of these additional taxes are deductible.
Need some additional business tips? Happy Mommy Tired Mommy has a great collection of blog posts that can help steer you in the right direction!
Growing your Self -Employment business
Growing your self-employment clientele requires lots of work on your part. In the early days, you can gain experience by responding to job postings on freelance platforms, such as Guru and SimplyHired. As you become more proficient and expand your service offerings, you’ll need to start marketing yourself independently. The single most important thing you can do is create a highly visible – and professional – online presence. A mobile-friendly website and active social media pages will allow you to showcase your capabilities.
While responding to job postings can help you generate an income, part of the reason you became an entrepreneur was to take control of your finances. This means you have the freedom to set your own rates as opposed to being forced to agree to work according to someone else’s budget. This is the tricky part. If you undervalue yourself, you’re essentially giving away your expertise. Overprice and your potential clients will look elsewhere. CreativeLive’s easy-to-follow infographic goes into detail on how to set your hourly rate to keep up with your current quality of life.
Do you have what it takes?
If you think you’re ready to leave the 9 to 5 behind, pull back for a moment and consider whether or not it’s feasible and if you’re truly ready for the responsibilities. Freelance writer Julie Sweeney says your biggest task before making the choice to leave your job is to do your homework. Talk to other freelance workers, even if they’re not in your industry. Ask about lifestyle considerations, struggles, and for their best advice on handling common problems.
Another major consideration is whether or not you have or are willing to develop and refine the traits necessary to work for yourself. In order to truly be successful, you’re going to have to take risks and learn how to adapt on demand. Problem-solving skills are also essential. Plexus explains that you must also be capable of handling criticism, both from others and yourself. You must be driven, dedicated, and passionate in your pursuits.
Finally, you’ll need to do the math. While risk-taking is a positive trait in the world of entrepreneurship, you won’t do yourself any favors if you can’t afford an imperfect income. If you have small children, health insurance, and no savings to fall back on, go back and read the first paragraph – you may need to ease into it a little longer and figure out your financial plan before throwing yourself to the sharks.
Ready to ‘go pro’?
Now that you’ve decided to start a business, it’s time to make it bonafide! A legal business entity is registered with the state, and there are a number of business types. For solo entrepreneurs or small groups, an LLC is preferred because it can usually be completed in about five steps. It has the most flexibility, fewer ongoing requirements, and more protection than a traditional corporation. Other entity types are worth researching as well to make an informed decision though and include S-Corps and C-Corps, and LLPs for those who are starting a business with others and would like to form a partnership.
Keep in mind that working for yourself takes lots of work. It’s not as simple as tossing a few ads online and watching the jobs pour in. If you want to make it in an ocean of fierce competition. You have to be the smartest fish in the sea. Strategize, take good care of your customers, and polish those skills that pay the bills.
Bio-Chelsea Lamb is a co-founder and head tech writer at Business Pop. She uses her tech background to provide insight and advice to those tackling the tech side of entrepreneurship.