Because I started this business in a mad hurry to save my family from financial ruin, I have lots of cost-saving and time-saving tips to start a business. No, you’re not going to see the usual stuff here. I’m not embarrassed to say that I never wrote a business plan or sought a business advisor. Rather, I just sat down in front of my beat up computer in our spare bedroom and just started to find ways to work.
Perhaps, I’ll write that business plan eventually, and I would love to have an advisor, but here are just some of the ways that I grew this business. There will be plenty more ideas in the coming weeks and months. Check back often…
Tips for Freelancers/Entrepreneurs
Find work on Elance if you’re a designer, developer, marketer, writer, administrative-type or salesperson. It’s the fastest way to get work, make money, and meet people. It works!!!
Don’t just focus on local business. If you have a computer, you can work anywhere and have clients anywhere. Sure, local chambers of commerce and networking groups can be helpful. But, it’s a big world out there. Most of my clients are in other states and countries. I’ve worked with some clients for years and have never even met them in person.
Do a great job, and your business will grow through referrals quickly. Producing high quality work at a good price is truly your best strategy for finding success.
Be versatile. Don’t specialize to the point where you limit your ability to find clients. Have a handful of things you can do well, and continue to broaden your skillset.
Tips for Businesses
Using a freelance consultant or team of freelancers for marketing and PR can save you tremendously when you compare it to having to pay for an in-house person requiring a salary, benefits, office space, equipment, and more.
Don’t go with the lowest price provider unless there’s some other compelling reason to choose them. If you want to pay someone $3.00 to write an article for you, you’re paying far less than minimum wage. Who do you think will be writing? Hmmmm! Certainly not me.
Pay on time.
Be clear about what you’re needing and what you’re hoping to achieve.
Be realistic. If you’re Apple, you’ll make it onto the front page of the Wall Street Journal. If you’re Dr. Oz, you can be on Oprah. But, if you’re a local business just starting, don’t expect these things. And certainly, don’t blame your PR person if it doesn’t happen. Start small and build your brand over time. PR isn’t a one-time shot. It’s a process. If you want to be the next hot thing on Oprah or in the WSJ, then build a following and rejoice in any media coverage that you do receive. Yep, it takes time!
Don’t make everything last minute. Every once in a while, we can understand. If it’s every project that you’re working on, you’re not being respectful of our time. …And, we’ll start charging you more for rush fees.