Building a freelance business isn’t just about just getting clients, doing the work, and looking for more clients. We often counsel our users at Moonlighting that there are always ways to improve your business so you don’t earn low income forever.
I asked some business leaders what business mistakes they see freelancers and independent workers make often. Here are 8 of the best answers. Solve these 8 problems and you’ll work for higher rates, helping you work less hours to achieve your goals.
1. You think of freelancing as a hobby
“Freelancing is a business. It is not something you do at home when you are free. You don’t stay up till midnight on a hobby, or wake up early to get more done. Stop treating freelancing as a hobby. This is a business. Start acting like you have a company and are doing things differently.” – Alberto Riehl, CEO of DreamSource Consulting.
2. You don’t invest in your business
“Many people think that you should start thinking about investing in your business only when your business is hugely successful, but the opposite is true. If you don’t invest in your business, you won’t have a business in a couple of years. Invest some of the money you earn into training yourself to gain new skills and get better at what you do.” – Ethan Parsa, CEO of BlackNote.
3. Not caring about working terms and conditions
“Just as your client has terms and conditions, you should as well. It could be as simple as when you will accept payments, how you will accept them, or that you don’t accept last-hour requests. If you don’t state things clearly, you’ll face a lot of problems and you may be forced to work more hours to do something.” – David Michigan, Fitness and Life Coach.
4. You ignore the business side of freelancing
“Marketing to get new clients, invoicing, screening clients, and accounting are important parts of your business. Don’t ignore these elements; instead, start thinking of freelancing as a business, because it is. That means having well-laid out contractual terms for collaboration with your clients and partners, taking care of tax, insurance, accounting, etc.” – Stephen Babcock, Partner at Stephen Babcock.
5. You spend everything you earn
“This is the reason why most people in the middle class aren’t able to take things to the next level. When they start earning a good income, they look for ways to spend the money, like spending more on houses and cars and so on. Not having any savings is a big problem. There will always be a day where things go wrong, work slows down, and there isn’t a lot of money coming in. Start saving more money and raise your prices to have more money to save.” – Ash Shetty, Vice President at Omega Industries.
6. You don’t show your client the value of your work
Don’t assume the client has a perfect understanding of the value of our work. Yet when you tell them the rate for a project, many times, you’ll get a message saying, ‘That’s a lot of money for a small job like this.’ There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make a high-quality project. You need to demonstrate the value of your work and articulate it clearly for them.” – Sean Go, Co-Founder at GoFurther Careers.
7. You don’t have big plans for your business
“You need to think long-term about your business. Where do you want your business to be 6 months from now? In a year? In a few years? Start thinking ahead of time and write down the actions that should be taking to move from your current situation and achieve your goals.” – Steven Gao, CEO of Soufeel.
8. You don’t learn from your mistakes
“It’s a serious business mistake if you don’t learn from your mistakes. Businesspeople make a lot of mistakes, especially in the first few months when they’re just figuring things out. Note down these mistakes and have a clear set of actions in place to prevent them from happening again.” – Izhok Chernyak, CEO of Best Advisor.
Avoid thee 8 common business mistakes freelancers make and you can grow your business fast. Because you are selling your services, you will need a plan to make sure your name and company get in front of the people who may need your service. Moonlighting is the perfect platform to build your mobile and online presence, promoting your services to people and providing an array of tools to help you avoid these common mistakes. Sign up today!
This article was originally featured in the USA Today.