You’ve been freelancing for a while, honing skills and building your client roster. Now, you’re ready to transition into running a full-fledged business. But where do you start? Freelancing and entrepreneurship look very similar on the surface. They both offer the freedom to be your own boss and set your own hours and rates. However, while freelancers trade technical skills for pay on an hourly basis, entrepreneurs build something bigger than themselves. Kamilion Web shares some information that freelancers should keep in mind.
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The difference between freelancers and entrepreneurs
As a freelancer, you spend all of your time working in your business. You’re the star employee, the bookkeeper, the marketer, and the receptionist. As a result, a freelancer’s time is naturally limited by personal capacity. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, work on their business. While a freelancer logs billable hours, an entrepreneur delegates and strategizes to build an entity separate from themselves.
Delegate and automate your way to time freedom
The first step in a freelancer’s transition is freeing up time. By spending less time completing tasks, you have more to spend on strategic planning and becoming a thought leader in your field. There are two major ways entrepreneurs achieve time freedom:
Automation is the cheapest way to add hours to your day. One of the first things entrepreneurs should automate is payroll. By using a payroll service, you can automate your payroll and payroll taxes, offer same-day direct deposit to employees, and generate any necessary reports. Look for software that allows you to do payroll from a smart device; this way, you can handle any problems even when you’re away from your computer.
Payroll is a relatively easy task to automate, but it’s not the only one. From chatbots to automated emails, appointment-setting to social media scheduling, nearly any recurring task can be streamlined using technology.
Some jobs require a human touch. If you hate a task, aren’t good at it, or it simply isn’t the best use of your time, hire someone else like a freelancer to do it. Customer service is one prime example. Answering phone calls and emails doesn’t pay, but your business can’t succeed without good customer service. That’s why an administrative assistant is many budding entrepreneurs’ first hire.
IT support, social media, and email marketing are other tasks to delegate early on. When delegating, decide whether to hire in-house or outsource. Outsourcing is best suited to occasional or one-off projects and tasks like IT that require minimal oversight. If a job is a core part of your business, keep it in-house.
Create cash flow sustainability
Freelancers work on an hourly or per-piece basis. When the contract ends, so does the pay.
Small businesses may also work on a contract basis, but unlike freelancers, entrepreneurs create recurring revenue streams. They may do this by working on retainer, selling monthly packages or subscriptions, or creating a referral program to generate new business. This creates the sustainable cash flow required to hire and scale.
Establish systems and processes
Finally, a business’s success doesn’t hinge on a single person. As a freelancer, you are the business. But as an entrepreneur, you create systems and processes that function with or without you. Standardization makes it possible for entrepreneurs to delegate. It also improves efficiency and ensures a consistent experience for customers.
There are four main areas of business that entrepreneurs should systematize:
- Marketing systems generate the consistent lead pipeline a business needs for cash flow.
- Sales systems nurture leads through the sales funnel to convert leads into paying customers.
- Fulfillment systems lay out exactly what happens between making a sale and delivering to the customer.
- Administrative systems ensure your business’s most important balls don’t get dropped — things like accounts, human resources, and taxes.
Transitioning from freelancer to business owner requires more than hiring an employee or two. If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to shift your mindset. No longer are you just creating a job for yourself. When you start a business, you think beyond your own limits to build something great.
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