Recognizing Self-Employed Opportunities
Mike Rowe once made a video about some of the most successful self-employed people he knew. He asked them how their business came to be and was quite surprised at the answer. Rather than chase their “passion,” most of the people he discussed looked for opportunities. They THEN turned that opportunity into their passion.
It sounds backwards, but it works. Let me use myself as an example.
Writing was more or less a hobby of mine, but food and wine were my passions. I chased that dream for many years in my professional career to the point I almost hated it. While I loved the art of making food and intricacies of wine, I despised the politics in the corporate world. After literally dedicating my entire adult life to the industry, I suddenly found myself out of a job during the 2008 economic crunch… and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I started freelancing as a writer to compensate for what unemployment was not covering. In a very short period of time, I noticed my inbox was full of requests for writing gigs. Since Food & Beverage Director positions were drying up, I took advantage of the need for quality writing and launched my own business.
Food and wine are still a passion, but now, so is writing. I became passionate about writing because it provided me with an opportunity to pay my bills. As my business evolved, I became passionate about social media and photography because these were skills I needed to evolve my business.
Of course, you still must somewhat like the opportunity you pursue, but it does not necessarily have to be your passion. Simply put, you are limiting yourself severely by chasing your passion. But finding opportunities that address needs… you just may find you are passionate about things you never even considered.
Getting Started in a Self-Employed Business
Once you have identified a self-employed opportunity, there are a few significant steps to take to ensure your success over the long term. There are no short cuts when you run your own business, so follow this guideline and you will be far ahead of those looking for a fast buck in any industry.
Identify the Client – when starting out, you can’t think broad. You need to think specifically about the market to which you are going to advertise and recruit. Some people will tell you that you are limiting your potential customer base, but I could not disagree more. By researching a very specific type of client, you can focus on the “ideal” business partner. That may change as your business grows but starting out, you want to have a specific client base and be the best option to meet their needs.
Community First – internet business is great, but a lot of business owners still like that face-to-face relationship. In addition, by recognizing opportunities within your existing community, you are more than likely somewhat familiar with the business owner and his or her business clients. Nailing down one or two local clients is a wonderful way to get the business rolling while you develop your online presence.
Subscription Business – I know for me, this is the key to my business staying in the black. One of the very first things I worked into my business model was developing subscription-based services that would generate income every month. Rather than constantly having to drum up new business, you are growing off your base. If you deliver the services on time and to the customer’s satisfaction, you will have a steady income every month. In addition, you will have a focused audience whenever you start to add more services or products to the menu.
Solve a Problem – as I touched on above, you must sell something people need. In my case, I started out as a small business blogger. Google ranking was just becoming “a thing,” but most small business owners did not have the time or desire to blog to help with their Google ranking. Article marketing was another service I offered, as it fell in line with blogging and was just as important at the time for rankings. When I approached customers, I presented them with a problem they didn’t even realize they had… then I offered them a solution for it.
Paying Customers – this may sound obvious, but try to land customers that can pay their bills without difficulty. The last thing you need when you are growing your business is a client constantly worrying about paying his or her bills. If you are the client’s last hope, chances are that person will not be a client very long. Besides, it is awful hard to lock someone into a long-term contract with a subscription service if they don’t know if they can pay their electric bill next month.
Scale Ready – once you see your business growing, it is time to think about scaling up the operation. If you wait until the last minute to make the move, you might very well miss out on even more opportunities. In my case, I started to add writers months before I needed them. While I made a little less money, I was able to train them properly, then give them additional work as my customer base grew. Treat it like you are investing in your future, not cutting down your existing paycheck.
Adapt – the business world has a funny way of throwing twists at you that were never even considered when you started your business. Again, using myself as an example, STBW started out primarily as a blog and article writing company. Today, we still do blogging, but we also do social media, videos, brand marketing, and ecommerce. As the years passed, I identified more opportunities within my niche and branched out.
Find Those That Can – as a small business owner, you are going to wear a lot of hats. However, taking on jobs where you have little to no expertise is a recipe for disaster. Let me use my business as an example again. I am not an ad expert, but I found someone that was and use him to create our Facebook ad campaigns. That allows me to focus on what I do best and not waste time testing ads. It also gives my clients the best possible bang for their buck when they spend ad money with us.
And here comes the pitch…
Unless you are launching a social media company, it is unlikely you have the expertise or time to devote to developing an online presence. To our last point, and since it is so vital to have an online presence today, you need to find someone or some company that can take care of that for you. Which, of course, is where Simply the Best Writing comes in.
Creating and developing an online presence for small business owners and self-employed entrepreneurs is our passion. So, let us do what we do best, and you concentrate on creating a successful and growing business.
To contact Simply the Best Writing, give us a call at 877-345-STBW or click here to go to our contact form.
Copyright: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo