One thing I often hear from coaching clients is the sheer overwhelm they have regarding business structures. They feel like it’s an uphill battle to learn about sales funnels, CRMs, online marketing, legal matters, accounting, and business management. To make things more interesting, many of them think that because they are “creative” and didn’t get an MBA, that they will never learn this stuff.
I get that feeling of overwhelm. I didn’t go to school for business either. I also identify myself as a creative type. Quite frankly, I was petrified of having to incorporate business structures into my freelance writing. I was crippled by not knowing where to start – but I got over it.
If you find yourself with similar fears, here are some of the ways that you can begin learning about business structures and start incorporating them into your freelance work.
Ask for help.
The key to adding business structures and systems as I build a company has been asking for help. I asked for help from a coach to teach me sales. I hired a virtual assistant whose spend the last two years teaching me about systems. I hired an accountant to help me with finances. I hired an attorney to explain trademarks and register one for me. Most recently, I asked for help in searching for liability insurance.
Most people get hung up about asking for help. They either don’t want to seem weak or they are terrified of spending the money. The reality is this: If you want to build a profitable business you’re going to need to get used to asking for help.
Take it one step at a time.
I once had an attorney tell me that people really jump the gun when they start businesses. For example, they rent an office they don’t need or get a trademark for something they haven’t tested for market viability yet. Six months later they’ve given up on the business and wasted a whole lot of money. Now that I really think about it, I recall my accountant mentioning this as well.
We don’t need to have everything figured out yesterday. Instead, we need to figure stuff out as we go along. For example, I currently have an LLC but may start looking at an S-Corp. This is where I ask my accountant (as I mentioned in the first section) and he tells me the business is not yet ready to do that for x, y and z reason but that it’s something to keep in mind as it grows. Had I gone with an S-Corp of the bat it wouldn’t have made any sense, so I take stock of where I am and make decisions accordingly.
Additionally, we need to be patient with ourselves and actually see whether or not we’re going to follow through with our business. Why get into an office lease if you’re just starting and don’t even know if you’ll still be running a business a year from now?
Continue educating yourself.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I spend a great deal of time at business training events. I’m constantly trying to educate myself on how to better run a business and the training I take has all been extremely helpful in helping me figure out business structures as I go along.
Just note, don’t do a bunch of different training classes all at once. I’ve definitely learned this the hard way. This only leads to burnout and then you don’t implement anything. Instead, take it one step at a time.