We recently asked members of Cowork Frederick to share their tips for new freelancers and small business owners. Here’s what they said.
- When developing your business plan, get advice from people who are actually making money doing what you want to do.
- When solving problems (because there will be problems to solve), be open to ideas from outside that circle.
- Expect that you’ll make mistakes and be open to learning from them.
- Borrow ideas from your competitors freely!
- Ensure that you have enough funding to get off to a great start and sustain you until you can produce sufficient revenue. That’s usually a year or two, but it may be longer.
- Do ample market research to ensure that your business idea is something that is needed and that people are willing to pay for it.
- Don’t run your business finances out of your pocket. Set aside funds for your business. Keep business and personal funds separate.
- Be sure to have a CPA and attorney. Both are valuable resources for contracts and managing business finances.
- When doing market research don’t rely solely on online research. Be sure to talk with people in your desired industry, preferably people you don’t know.
- Get out there and network. The more you network the more likely you are to learn things that you don’t already know and make important business contacts.
- Attend functions at a local business incubator / accelerator.
- Friends and relatives don’t always make the best business partners or employees. They do often make great cheerleaders.
- Write your goals down and put them on your desk or wall, in your car, on the bathroom mirror – somewhere you’ll see them daily.
- When setting goals, identify the small steps that will lead to where you to be, then focus on those small steps so you don’t get overwhelmed with the big picture.
Stay tuned for a related post, “Common Mistakes New Freelancers Make (and how to avoid them)”.