Having your own online business, being able to work from home and being your own boss is a dream that many people hold – but it’s not all sunshine and smiles, it’s hard work in ways that you might never have imagined. But there are a few things in particular that would be entrepreneurs make, see if you can avoid them:
Not Working When You’re Working
When you are a freelancer your time is money – if you don’t work you don’t earn, simple as that. So what you are ‘working’ make sure you are actually working, not watching something on TV or reading your favourite blogs.
There are always going to be slightly less exciting aspects of your job, but you have to be very careful to make sure that you actually get on and do it, with no distractions.
Work On Your Business
It is easy to get a couple of clients and think that is enough to start your freelance business, but whilst you are working hard on getting your work done, so that you can actually make money, you also need to set aside time in your schedule to grow your business and find new clients.
This is something that is far too common amongst freelancers. When you start out it probably makes sense to discount your services, but as you grow your reputation and develop your business it is important that you charge a fair rate for what you do. If you continue to undercharge you will end up overworked and the quality of your service will slip, which isn’t a good way to continue to make money.
Working For Free
Kind of connected to the point above and again all too common is the mistake of not charging for work you are doing. Some clients are more work than others and it is important to realise when you are doing too much for demanding clients.
Again, at first you have to take every client you can get, but as your business becomes more established you should start to think carefully about which clients are taking up the most time and ensure that they are billed a fair amount for the work you are doing – whether that be in phone calls, emails or meetings.
Not Keeping Proper Accounts
Most people who start small businesses are not accountants, and let’s face it most people don’t find the finances all that exciting – other than getting paid of course. But not keeping a careful track of your finances is a dangerous game. You should try to keep your business separate so that you can see where the money is coming in, track your costs and see what profit you are actually making.
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