The explosion of the gig economy makes it easier for people to become small business owners. Armed with a website and a few of the right business tools, nearly everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the freedom of working for yourself. Our tips will help you get started in the gig economy in a more manageable way.
- Become an Independent Contractor
Not all gig workers give people rides or deliver groceries. In fact, a recent report found that “knowledge-intensive industries and creative occupations are the largest and fastest-growing segments of the freelance economy.” Thus, consultants, freelance writers, web developers, website designers, and marketers are in high demand in today’s gig economy.
But, joining the gig economy is not without its hardships. Harvard Business Review recently conducted an in-depth study of 65 gig workers and found that becoming an independent contractor brings about personal, social, and economic anxieties because people don’t have the safety net of traditional employment. Yet, these same independent contractors cherish their independence and don’t want to sacrifice the benefits of the gig economy.
Indeed, the benefits of becoming an independent contractor are exactly what make it so appealing. To manage the unglamorous aspects of freelance work, accept assignments and projects that showcase your talents and reflect your interests. You will take pride in your work and be yourself when you become an independent contractor.
- Be as Productive as Possible
All people working in the gig economy need to master productivity. Indeed, independent contractors have to handle their workloads to ease some of the anxiety about having enough work completed to earn enough money each month. Staying on track is key, and using productivity apps is the way to do it. Flywheel recommends productivity apps such as Asana and Basecamp to manage your projects and workflow. You also can manage your time more effectively with apps like Toggl to track your hours and set an hourly rate and RescueTime to track the amount of time spent on each task.
- Set Up a Home Office
Make sure your workspace is conducive to a productive work environment. The ability to work from home and set your own hours is a huge perk, but having a separate area for work will help you stay organized and achieve work-life balance, all while minimizing distractions. You can easily create your own home office, or you can hire help if you’re looking for custom features, such as a desk, shelves, a cord organizer, and extra cabinets. If you hire a handyman in Huntersville, it’ll likely cost anywhere from $193 to $652, depending on the job’s size.
- Manage Your Finances Wisely
The majority of freelancers walk away from well-paying jobs and easily managed finances. That’s why it is essential for you to manage your finances wisely from the moment you become an independent contractor. Your payments will fluctuate, you will need to save money to cover your self-employment taxes and quarterly tax estimates, and you will need to make a financial plan to feel more secure.
You should begin by setting up a business account to collect payments from each of your clients. Of course, you will need to ensure that your clients pay you on time and in full. That’s where having an invoicing tool comes in. Fortunately, there are free invoice apps available for freelancers to stay organized, save time and ensure you receive payment. If you pay for this service, you could spend anywhere from $7 to $40 a month.
Then, pay into your personal account from your business account and make sure that you withhold taxes from yourself in the business account. You also need to have a savings account to serve as your safety net. Work to keep four to six months’ earnings in this account that you can draw from during slow periods.
- Market Yourself
The best way to get started in the gig economy is to properly market yourself. When you first delve into freelancing, reach out to your professional network and market yourself in person. Also, set up business profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your new position in the gig economy, and to create a LinkedIn page for your new business.
You also should start a website and blog to help potential clients find you. Include your portfolio, contact information, and client reviews so you can establish yourself as an authority in your niche. You may consider hiring a marketing firm as soon as possible to avoid using your valuable time to market yourself.
Getting started in the gig economy is not as easy as it may seem. With some dedication and a plan, you can become an independent contractor who loves what you do and would not trade the freedom of freelancing for consistent pay. Use tools and apps to remain productive, manage your finances, and complete invoices. Then, market yourself to grow your business.