Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
The self-employed life is fantastic for a wide array of reasons, ranging from working on projects you love to the timetable flexibility that often accompanies entrepreneurial ventures.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s all fun and games. Working for yourself means that you’re entirely responsible for your own financial security and well being, whether you run a writing, financial, hospitality, or garbage companies. Don’t expect anyone to offer you medical cover and a pension plan.
Here’s a look at some of the top mistakes that the newly self-employed tend to make, and which you should be careful to avoid.
Spreading yourself too thin
When we’re in charge of our own businesses, it can seem that we need to do fulfill every role that a full corporate team would, individually. On top of that, there’s a limitless number of resources on the web, and books in print, that will tell us about the vital importance of some or other particular business strategy.
The problem is that no matter who we are, we only have so many hours in a day, and so much mental energy to spend on a given project.
By trying to do too many things at once, you’ll not only stress yourself beyond all control, but you’ll likely find that you end up not doing any of them as well as they deserve.
Instead of trying to apply every business strategy you can find, focus on a couple of core elements to optimise. Once you’ve got those relatively under control, consider adding new strategies to the mix.
The point to remember, though, is to focus your energy — not scatter it.
It’s a simple fact of the times we live in that every business needs a web presence, no matter how humble, and no matter how disconnected from the internet it might be in general.
One of the most vital things for you, as a self-employed professional, to do, is to familiarize yourself with the basics of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and content creation for the web. It’s so important that it would be well worth your while investing in a short course to learn the fundamentals.
Your business will revolve around the internet to a large degree, for promotion and advertising, for contacting prospects, and more.
Not keeping to regular working hours
The business world, by and large, works on a set schedule from roughly 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Self-employed people, unlike most workers, often have the ability to keep wildly unconventional and irregular business hours from day to day.
If you want to have the best shot at succeeding in your field, however, you’ll want to be awake and be working at the same sorts of times that your would-be clients and the other members of your industry are.
Sticking to a regular working routine has an additional benefit, as well — it makes it easier for you to maintain structure and keep up a healthy work-life balance, with time to socialize with friends and catch up with your significant other.