*This is a collaborative post.
The outbreak of coronavirus has seen many of us switch to home working, and for some, it has inspired a decision to leave our 9-5 jobs behind and work for ourselves. Turning your passion into a business from home can be an incredibly exciting and rewarding experience. However, not everybody understands how tricky it can really be. Fortunately, here is a rundown of five things you may not have known about working for yourself. Some of them may even surprise you!
1. You Need Self-Discipline
Crucially, you are going to need every ounce of self-discipline you have. One of the most well-known perks of being self-employed is that you can work whichever hours you wish. However, if you are choosing to lie in every day and start taking things a little too far, then you are never going to get anything done!
It’s important to be strict with yourself and find a routine that works for you. For some, this might mean giving themselves the morning off but working later into the evening. For others, you may prefer an early start in order to give yourself the afternoon off. What is important is that you stick to your schedule, that way you will be your most productive.
2. Understanding How Businesses Work Is Crucial
So many people go freelance without having a working knowledge of how a business functions. It’s vital that you understand the basics as, dauntingly, one in every three start-ups fails in the first three years. There is quite a bit of admin involved in keeping yourself afloat. So make sure you set aside one day a week to look after your book-keeping, taxes, etc. You may be victim to a nasty surprise when your tax bill arrives if you don’t stay on top of this!
3. It’s About Keeping Your Clients Happy
Arguably the most important part of any small business is its customers. Keeping your clients happy is what is going to continue to pay your bills and let you enjoy the finer things in life. So, make a conscious effort to really go above and beyond for everybody you work with in order to forge professional, long-lasting relationships.
The best way to keep a client on your side is to share your successes with them. If a project has gone particularly well, or you have received incredible engagement across a social media campaign, then share those excellent results with your client. Professional presentation templates can make this process super straightforward and give you a slick end result for the ultimate client satisfaction!
4. You’re Going To Be Working Harder, Not Less
That’s right. Sorry but it’s true! Working for yourself means grafting a whole lot harder. However, it tends to come from within much more easily when you are self-employed. When you know your own livelihood is on the line, you are much more likely to put the hours in, as opposed to slaving away for a big corporate firm. Nevertheless, it is important to have an expectation of the amount of work it takes in order to be both successful and profitable while self-employed – it’s certainly not for everyone!
5. Know When To Stop And Take Breaks
This is what people really get wrong! After suddenly realising that you need to work harder than ever to make a living from working for yourself, they then forget to take breaks and let their business consume them. Knowing when to stop is so important, particularly given the work-life balance we all long for. If you stick to a routine, working the hours that suit you, then you will have a much better chance of avoiding burnout and knowing when to stop for the day.
Equally as important is taking regular breaks. Even just getting up for a short walk around the block or to go downstairs and make a coffee can do wonders for your wellbeing. If you work in a creative industry, simple pauses in your day like this can often get your mind whirring and avoid any mental blocks that might be stopping you from getting work done.
In summary, there are several factors to working for yourself that you may not have been aware of but are now. If you think working for yourself is still for you, then go for it! Working for yourself and starting your own business is an incredible way to support your livelihood – and, if you can make a passion into a career, you’ll be laughing!