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How to Make Self-Employment Work for You

Running your own business and working for yourself can be a scary prospect.

Understandably, most people will hesitate to leave the comfort and security of a traditional job and make the leap into self-employment because of the inherent risks in being solely responsible for the enterprise.

That said, the potential rewards are correspondingly greater.

The revenue generated by a successful business can eclipse monthly salaries handily, and there are numerous perks to being your own boss. You get to set your own working hours, have the final say in any decisions, be able to choose your clients and workers, and more.

The key is in equipping yourself to be able to handle the challenges of self-employment. Here’s how:

Set your goals and your roadmap to them.

First and foremost, do you have a business plan? Your answer should be a swift and sure ‘yes’.

Otherwise, you need to make this your priority number one. Take the time to sit down and list your goals and how you’re going to achieve them.

A business plan is crucial to driving your enterprise forward. Without it, you’ll have no guideposts on where your business is going and no markers as to how you’re doing.

How many clients or customers do you hope to have within a given timeframe? How do you intend to market your business and how will you ensure your deliverables are on time? What profit margin do you need to hit to stay in business?

Answering these types of questions is essential in plotting and finding success in your Enterprise Journey.

Build your business network.

Ever hear that saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know”? While it’s of course not applicable to everything, the right connections can make a world of difference to your business.

Your network can open you to opportunities that would otherwise be inaccessible, and positive word-of-mouth is one of the best marketing tools you can have.

Moreover, people in your industry can be invaluable sources of advice, whose experience and wisdom you can certainly benefit from.

Always place importance on networking and making new connections – trade shows, networking events and even simply connecting on LinkedIn can open up doors for you or pave the way for good things.

Get support where you need it.

Working for yourself means you have to take care of all aspects of your business, which includes obligations such as taxes and insurances, which can be daunting when it’s in addition to everything else.

While networking lets you create connections that can ultimately lead to sales and more clients, building a support team allows you to focus on what you do best, and leave the rest to trusted parties.

RELATED: Can We Overcome the Hurdles Stopping the Self-employed Sector from Growing?

For example, hire an accountant if bookkeeping is a burden to you, or get a marketing agency to take care of your website, ads and other related materials professionally. You can even work with a life coach or a business mentor so you can shore up your business management skills.

Stay flexible.

Keep in mind that your business plan is just a roadmap – it’s not set in stone. When your current approach is not delivering the results you expect, you will need to change it up and adapt to unforeseen circumstances.

Whether your enterprise is sluggish at the onset or falters after the initial launch, you have to constantly monitor your performance and adjust as necessary. It’s important that you remain honest with your diagnosis and not simply trust to blind luck that things will turn around of their own accord.

That said, there should be core pillars that you should never compromise on, such as quality of work or product, integrity or private information and compliance with regulations, among others.

Love what you do.

It’s simple but it bears repeating. The most successful enterprises are those born of passion and hardwork, and when running a business doesn’t feel like work at all, you should be on the right track.

Motivation in particular is a key area to address, since without someone looking over your shoulder, it’s easy to slack off and lose focus. Yes, being your own boss has its drawbacks!

However, when working on your business fills you with a sense of fulfillment and purpose, you’ll find yourself eager to get out of bed in the morning and get right into taking on the day’s workload.

Now, time to take care of business.

For those still contemplating going the self-employed route, don’t make fear of failure the reason for your hesitation. With a solid plan that leaves room for adjustments, you can find numerous ways to succeed as an independent contractor, a freelancer or a small business owner.

If you would like assistance in managing your compliance and other statutory obligations as a self-employed individual, please feel free to contact us to learn how Certica can help in your Enterprise Journey.

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5 responses to “How to Make Self-Employment Work for You”

  1. Shell says:

    There was so much in this blog I could relate to being self employed myself.

  2. Beck says:

    Thanks, really useful tips. I think the networking aspect is really important often it’s being in the right place at the right time. Beck

  3. David says:

    Great thoughts

  4. Linda Reed-Enever says:

    Some awesome tips for those in the business of being self employed thanks for sharing with our Business Business Business members

  5. Kathie Thomas says:

    Great post and great reminders. I’m almost 24 years into my business and still enjoy being in it every day. But it’s always good to be reminded to go back to basics and keep at them.

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