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10 Ways Freelancers Successfully Launch Their Start-ups

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In this technology-driven world that is powered with high speed Internet, email, online video and audio conferencing, and cloud-based services, more jobs are moving from the commercial office to the home office, and more people than ever are choosing to work for themselves, right from the comfort of their own homes.

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As more companies turn to remote workers, the number of freelancers has risen, with writers creating stellar copy from a home computer to website designers working from home and collaborating with clients through online conferencing and email, freelancing has become a popular career choice for men and women of all ages. Those who have dipped their toes in the freelancing pool may have the desire to run their own business and be their own boss.

With patience, perseverance, hard work, and a few helpful tips, launching a successful startup is possible for any budding entrepreneur. To get started, take note of these ten tips used by successful freelancers.

1. Decide what you want to do

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Before you start your remote business, you have to know what you’re going to offer to your customers. Do you have experience in coding? Have you went to school for art, design, and animation and it’s your career goal to get into one of these fields? Perhaps you’re a writer who loves to write books, blogs, press releases, and articles. Once you’ve found your niche, you’re on the road to your successful start-up.

2. Know your business
One of the most important steps to successfully launching a start-up is to not just know your job but to excel at it. After all, you want to impress clients with your skills, potentially leading to referrals and additional clients. This doesn’t mean that you have to go into debt obtaining a higher education. It simply means that you should do your research, practice your craft, and work hard to become an expert in your field. You want to be able to provide your clients with excellent service, quality workmanship, and the knowledge that only an expert can bring to the table.

3. Research competitors
As a start-up, you have to know about your competitors, particularly those that are already well-established. This means researching various prices and rates provided for similar services to what you will offer your clients. While you may believe that your work is of better quality, well-established companies have the advantages of existing clientele and an established reputation. You’ll want to keep your prices very competitive without selling yourself short. You may also want to offer additional services not offered by the majority of your competitors.

4. Build your reputation
If no one knows about your company or services, how will you ever build up your clientele? In order to spread the word about your new business, you have to establish a reputation. One of the best ways to establish a good reputation is through word of mouth. If your past or current clients are happy with your services, spreading the word is a great way to bring more business your way. Request testimonials or reviews that you can place on your website or display on your freelancing profile on sites like Upwork to show potential customers that you’re the right person for their job.

5. Build a strong online presence

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The internet is not just a place where you can find work and perform jobs for your clients. It’s also a great marketing tool for your new business. In order to drum up more business for your start-up, you need to have a website. While your website doesn’t have to be overly complicated or flashy, you should make sure that it is SEO-rich to rank higher on Google and other search engines. You also need to ensure that it is easy to read and clearly outlines your services, rates, and contact information without being too wordy or complicated. Avoid flashing text, bright colors that are harsh on a computer screen, and lengthy templates that require lots of scrolling. Since more people are using tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices, creating a site that is mobile-friendly is also a must for reaching your online audience.

6. Become a reputable business that always keeps its promises
Promising super-fast delivery to your clients is one way to get new customers. However, if you can’t deliver as promise, you risk receiving negative reviews that could potentially harm your business. As mentioned earlier, knowing your skill inside and out is extremely important, and one aspect that you should know is how long it takes to complete a task. Use a time range for general tasks (such as 3 to 5 days for delivery of a paid blog post), or you can simply consult with each client on a case-by-case basis. Know your job, understand the timing, and always deliver as promised to your clients to build a successful online business.

7. Assemble your team

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Many freelancers choose to work by themselves. While this means that they keep all of the earnings without having to pay others, this also limits the amount of work that can be taken. If your startup is successful, you may have to bring additional freelancers on board to help you keep up with the heavier workloads. If you have a large client base before creating your start-up, consider keeping a few team members on hand once your business is up and running. If you’re growing at a smaller pace, you may want to consider keeping an eye out for potential prospects and creating a plan for expansion.

8. Explore your marketing options
Having a website and referrals are both very important, but these aren’t the only way that you can market your business. Consider posting a blog with more information about your company, your services, as well as helpful hints and tips related to what your business offers. Email campaigns and social media accounts are also effective marketing tools, as well as old standbys like taking out an ad in your local newspaper. Offering packages and specials is also a great way to grow your business. It may take some experimentation, but taking the time to market your business is crucial for your success.

9. Keep accurate records for yourself and your clients
Since money is involved in your business, you want to make sure that you keep accurate records. One of the most important parts of your business is keeping track of money that is owed to you through client invoices. Invoices outline the services performed and the amount owed by your client, making it less of a hassle to get paid. This helps you and your clients keep track of the transactions that have occurred. Invoicing clients doesn’t require an expensive accountant. Instead, you can easily create your own invoices and track your payments with a service like Shopify, which offers online invoicing and payment systems. Additional software or programs for bookkeeping and tax records ensure that at tax time, you’ll have everything in order.

10. Put in the hard work and reap the benefits
Freelancing isn’t just sitting around in your pajamas all day, making loads of cash by not doing anything. In fact, freelancing takes a lot of hard work, and if you want your start-up to be successful, you have to be willing to put in the work. It’s important to remember that sometimes you have to use trial and error to get things just right, and you have to be flexible in case your business plan changes. By knowing your job, doing it well, and being persistent with marketing and gathering new leads, you’ll find that a successful business will soon become your reality.

While you shouldn’t expect to become a millionaire overnight with your start-up, it is possible to make a living wage right from the comfort of your home with your own remote business. By setting realistic expectations, creating a business plan, and following through with your plan, your start-up can soon become the successful business you’ve always wanted.

Guest Author: Ricky Law

Ricky Law is a professional writer for Upwork.com.

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