How to Become Self-Employed and Be Successful

To be self-employed, you must start your own business or become a freelancer.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Have a quick question? I answered nearly 1500 FAQs.

Making the Decision to Become Self-Employed

It is common for an entrepreneur to be excited to start a new business and be self-employed but not know where to begin.

The first step to starting one’s own business is, ironically, to decide to become self-employed. While it may seem obvious, this is one of the first decisions an individual will make on their own, especially if they have previously taken instruction from supervisors and managers. Now, all of a sudden, he or she has ultimate authority. Before you decide to become self employed, save money so that you can comfortably go through the transition of being employed to self employed. Then, learn how to start a business.  When you’re ready to be self employed, please contact our small business attorney for a free consultation.

Choose a Niche and Narrow It Down

When starting a new business, it is important to identify a niche in which one will specialize. An entrepreneur should consider the following questions to determine what their niche will be:

  • What will the area of focus be?
  • What problem will the product or service solve?
  • What knowledge and experience can contribute to the business?

After an entrepreneur comes up with answers to these questions, he or she should narrow down the idea even more. While it may seem that this process limits options, it actually allows an entrepreneur to focus on addressing a particular part of the market very well rather than spreading oneself too thin. The more specific a niche, the better off a business owner will be. It will be easier to identify a target market and do marketing. Our business attorney provide a list of business you can start with $1000.

Identify a Specific Target Market

An entrepreneur who wants to be self employed by starting a new business must think about the people he or she is serving with their product or service. This is a problem for many new business owners, who think that their product or service will suit anyone and everyone.

To be successfully self-employed, an entrepreneur must do more than simply see who walks by their storefront, so to speak. The point of a company is to offer a specific solution for a certain set of customers.

Just throwing out a demographic like “women between 25-35” is far too broad. An entrepreneur must think about what his or her customers care about, who they are, what they do with their time, where they work, etc. The more specific one can get, the better.

Setting Goals to Create a Plan for Success

An entrepreneur is about to put a lot of effort into being self-employed. Therefore, he or she should have some way to measure whether the effort is paying off. The entrepreneur must know whether it is worthwhile to continue the business, or whether he or she needs to find a new direction or bow out. Develop a business plan outlining goals and strategies to become self-employed.

A self-employed individual must not only offer a marketable service or product, but they must first attract those customers. They may do so by explaining in a logical, interesting way why the customer needs the product or service. Simply “seeing how it goes” does not cut it as an entrepreneur.

Rather, an entrepreneur should create specific goals for themselves and stick to them. They should consider the following questions:

  • How many items/services will they sell in the first year?
  • How will he or she generate these sales?
  • What marketing strategies will they use?
  • How will he or she position the product?
  • What will he or she do if the product/service doesn’t sell?

You must have a business plan to successfully become self employed.

Investing in Systems

A self employed person must think about how he or she will stay on top of all the little details that come with running one’s own business. This includes pricing one’s products and services, billing clients and customers, keeping track of profits and loses, and knowing in general the health of the company.

Perhaps one will decide to use a CRM system to keep track of customers, an email service to produce email marketing campaigns, and an online payment system to manage customer payments and billing.

Figure Out How, When, and Where to Work

One of the greatest advantages of being self-employed is having the ability to decide how, when, and where one will work. If a business does not need a physical location, then there is a lot of freedom available to a business owner. He or she can choose to work from home or at a local café, or perhaps choose to rent space at a co-working facility.

An entrepreneur should consider where they work best and begin from there. For instance, while working from home seems ideal, it is easy for life to get in the way: laundry, dishes, grocery shopping. These tasks can interfere with one’s work life. It may therefore be helpful to identify a third space, neither personal nor work, that is a better fit.

Networking and Building Brand Visibility

Every successful self employed entrepreneurs are founded on connections. A business needs customers, which means people in the community and wider world who are happy to support the company and help it grow. Therefore, to become self employed, you must network with other people in the niche you want to create a business.

It is wise to make as many connections as possible with potential customers, other entrepreneurs, and the community at large. If a business owner makes him or herself visible, then it will be easier to draw people to the business.

Marketing the Business

Marketing a business is all about spreading the word to customers both near and far, in order to have a constant source of new clients. Thus, marketing is an ongoing process, and there are many ways to go about it, including social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, event marketing, direct mail, and more.

Be Smart About Using Time

Every self-employed individual will find themselves very busy. This is because beginning one’s own business takes a lot of time and effort. Therefore, an entrepreneur needs to be skilled at managing their time.

A good way of managing time involves automating as much of the business process as possible, in order to reduce busy work and repetitive tasks. One must also learn to use available time wisely, whether that means not multitasking or choosing the most important tasks to complete instead of rushing through all of them.

Have a quick question? We answered nearly 2000 FAQs.

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