Some people use the term ‘freelancer’ and ‘business owner’ interchangeably, and I totally understand why. While one is not better than the other, freelancers tend to be entrepreneurial have freedoms like setting their own rates, choosing clients, and deciding on when to work.
However, freelancers often tend to spend more time working in their business than on it. What does this mean? Well, when you’re always racing against deadlines and looking for new clients, it makes it harder to find the time to focus on your overall vision or even to lift your head up for air.
Business owners, on the other hand, have a busy schedule as well but they also have a team to help with responsibilities and good business owners are constantly scaling. Luckily, if you’re looking to scale from freelancer to business owner this is super common and many people successfully make the switch all the time. Here are some tips to help you get started with this transition.
Hire a Virtual Assistant
The best way to scale up and start doing less work in your business is by hiring help. Consider hiring a virtual assistant or VA to help take a few tasks off your plate. You can start small and just hire someone for a few hours per month to do things like:
- Perform research for you
- Manage your email inbox
- Pitch and follow up with clients
- Send invoices
- Take over a task in your process
Realize that by just taking one or two tasks off your plate, you’re freeing up more time in your business to focus on other things. Most people who are cautious about hiring help tend to worry about how they’re going to afford it, but it’s all about using your freed up time wisely. For example, you can now use your newfound time to strategize how you’ll increase revenue and pursue new projects.
Start Selling a Product or Scalable Service
Another great way to go from freelancer to business owner is to start selling a product or scalable service. With freelancing, you can only work so many hours and do so much. If you monetize your freelance skills by turning what you know into a product, this can be sold again and again without a ton of time and ongoing effort on your part.
Another way to scale your business up is to offer a high-ticket service offering like group coaching or consulting.
Diversify Your Income
Successful businesses don’t just have one source of income. Think about it. Having one source of income is super risky these days. If you endure a few slow months, the market crashes, or trends change, you could be out of business if you put all your eggs into one basket.
If freelancing is a stable point for you, keep doing that but also delegate tasks to others to free up more time to diversify your income.
Creating systems in your business to ensure that everything runs smoothly even when you’re not directly involved. Lay out what needs to be done, how often, and specify who is responsible. Don’t be a control hog either. If you know how to do something very well, teach your team members so they can possibly take over and get the task done if you no longer have the availability.
Focus on automating, training, and educating upfront and you’ll be pleased when you see your systems finally start to work on their own.
Being able to scale from freelancer to business owner can be challenging and take some time. Freelance income is instant, but building a sustainable business that survives long-term takes time. Take it one step at a time and start small by outlining some tasks that a VA can take on.
Then, start diversifying and creating new streams of income that don’t involve your active participation 100% of the time. Learn to create the right systems and effectively manage a team for long-term success.