Isn’t it wonderful to be a freelancer – using the skills and talents you have to help others, working by your own schedule, and setting your own rates? It doesn’t matter whether you are full-time or picking up a few gigs on the side, being a freelancer or a moonlighter is all about independence and not having to succumb to a boss’ whims. But is that all there is to it? Do you ever think about developing your passion into something bigger, like owning your own business or being an entrepreneur?
Wait a minute! As a freelancer, you already own your own business and feel like you’re an entrepreneur. There’s no difference between the two, right?
Freelancing vs. Entrepreneur: What’s the Difference?
Actually, there is a big difference. As a freelancer, you market yourself and your skills. It’s hard work. You put in many hours building your brand and marketing yourself. You post your service on Moonlighting and social media sites. You do a job and get paid for it. The problem is you only get paid when you have a gig. There is no residual income.
To become a business owner or entrepreneur, you have to change your mindset. You want to build on what you’re already doing as a freelancer to make your business earn money on a regular basis. Well, that’s the principle of the thing; sometimes the actual flow of money is not always regular, but that is the ultimate goal.
It’s not something that happens overnight. Take Kenny Faison for example. He started out mowing lawns as a side job nine years ago. Three years later, he was able to start Metro Lawn Care Service in Columbia, SC. His ultimate goal is to have a ready-made business to pass on to his son with steady income (regular customers), a good reputation, and word of mouth advertising to bring in new customers so the business will prosper indefinitely.
It’s that simple!
Well, maybe not simple, but it is doable; and the benefits of advancing from freelancing to owning your own business is worth the time and effort you put into it.
Taking the Big Step
You are now inspired to take your passion to the next level. What do you need to consider as you transition from freelancer to entrepreneur? Kenny Faison took a slow approach, letting his lawn maintenance business build up over a period of time. The truly enthusiastic may want to jump in and take the plunge immediately, while others are somewhere in between. However you choose to go about it, here are a few things to think about:
- Have a clear idea for your business – what services do you want to provide, is there a need, who and where are your markets, DO THE RESEARCH
- Create a solid marketing plan – advertising, social media, do you need a website or app, have everything ready before your launch date
- Be ready for new challenges and responsibilities as a business owner – important decisions, dealing with employees, accounting, more customers, inventory, etc.
- Get your finances in order – have you got the funds to cover the overhead expenses and survive the initial lean times, do you need a loan, can you raise money with crowdsourcing (using contributions from internet users to obtain needed services or ideas)
- Be sure you are truly ready – does your family understand you will be devoting most of your time to the business, make sure there are no distractions
You’re Not Alone
This is a big step and may seem a little intimidating, but remember you are not alone! Moonlighting’s mission is to help people get ahead and turn their passions into a career they can be proud of. Kenny discovered there are more responsibilities associated with being an entrepreneur than he realized. With the additional customers came more bookkeeping – invoicing, not knowing if his customers received the invoices, and keeping track of payments. Moonlighting’s invoicing system solved that problem.
If you need help with accounting, social media, building a website or app, marketing, etc., put together a go-to team using freelancers through Moonlighting. If you have a limited marketing budget, Boost is an economical way to advertise. Moonlighting is more than just a platform to post and look for jobs; it is here to make the most of your business.
There’s no reason to hold back. If you are passionate about something that could be turned into a business, check out the market and honestly evaluate your dedication to working towards a goal. If there is a need for your service, and you have the determination to see it through, then go for it. Who knows, you may become the next Bill Gates!