Building a Freelance Business
If I don’t try, then I can’t fail. Anyone of my grand ideas could be the one, unless of course, I try them and they aren’t.
Besides, I can always be successful tomorrow. Just like I can always eat healthy tomorrow, it won’t hurt if I just do what I want one more day. Except, I’ve been saying this (about building a business and eating healthy) day-by-day for years.
The only difference between Robert Kiyosaki and me is, he spent his time building a business and I’ve spent my time just doing work.
First I need to decide that I’m going to build a business, not stay a freelancer. Then once I’ve started, the most important
goal mandate is to just take next steps- no matter where I am in the process.
Starting out, you’ll be doing it all. You’ll feel like the most important piece is delivering the best results possible. And that means, doing it yourself. But in order to transition from technician to entrepreneur, you’ll have to start accepting 80% quality as good enough.
Your job will be to hire the right person and train them with the right manual. Just like you feel the inner urge to do everything perfect, you’ll be looking for staff that feel the same way so you can let them obsess in place of you doing it. This will be your first test, the hardest but the most fruitful step. If… you can accomplish it.
- Assistant – You’ll need to hire a low level virtual assistant to help you get comfortable assigning tasks to others. This person will not only help you with random data entry tasks, but will also help you begin to document all the necessary processes that go on in your company.
- Technician – This is you. This is the person who executes the work. As you document manuals, you’ll need to begin outsourcing some of the work. Gradually, you’ll build a team. Of course, you’ll need to be doing marketing and sales all the while to sustain the new expenses. As you do this, your primary job will switch from mostly technician to solely project manager. You’ll begin creating manuals for when and how to hire, fire, train and manage new staff.
- Project Manager – Next you’ll need a project manager to execute the management guides you created. This person will need to be able to communicate fluently with clients (consider offering email support only if you’re hiring someone over seas). As they take over this job, you’ll transition to focusing more on marketing and sales.
- Marketing Guru – At first, try everything. Forums, classifieds, magazine ads, news papers, AdWords, Facebook Ads, easy keyword rankings, cold calls, etc. Research what works for others in the industry, and try to duplicate. Document your process of trying various methods, and create specific how to manuals once you have one working. Continue doing this until you have several sources sending you profitable leads. Once accomplished, replace yourself.
- Sales Rock Star – Create documentation for how to handle your leads. Preferably, online forms with options for each of your services and questionnaires for new clients. Then, go shopping. Haggle, negotiate, and be sold. Once you find someone who does well, hire them on commission (even if part time). Train them on the processes of how you deal with leads, route all phone calls to them and be sure they keep sales documentation up to date.
- Bookkeeper – Hire someone with experience or learn accounting and document the steps for everything needed, especially budgeting. Give them access to all other team members and put them in charge of making sure profitable cash flow continues uninterrupted.
- CEO – The job of your CEO (yes that means you before you actually hire one), is to keep all the manuals updated, all the staff happy and productive, and innovate new manuals or processes as needed.
- Owner – By now, you should be able to see what else needs to be done and already be working on it. If you can manage it, your goal is automate everything to the point of not needing you for anything.
Throughout the entire process of you moving from one step to another, you’ll be executing, creating guides, hiring someone to replace you and and training them with your written/ video guides.
You’ll have tons of questions from each member for a while, so to prevent having to do it all again- be sure to require an FAQ section for each guide and require them to record questions/ answers.
Go one step further and require that any question asked, also be submitted with a possible solution (their best guess).