In this day and age, it can seem as though everything is moving so quickly that it’s hard to focus on one specific task. Life demands so much of us – from personal relationships and hobbies to everyday tasks like grocery shopping and doing the dishes. This is especially the case for those who run their own businesses. So how do you find the time to focus on growing your business? Below, we have listed a few simple habits you can adopt that will help you land more projects, improve your income and boost your visibility.
1. Live on less than you earn
This may seem obvious, but at the end of the day, you are responsible for making sure you pay your taxes, cover all business-related expenses, keep an emergency fund and have enough to cover your living/personal expenses. By spending less than you earn, you can make sure that you always stay out of the red. By spending less, you can start saving so that you can invest in your business in the future.
2. Market, market, market
Marketing yourself is essential to maintaining and growing your business. Many people are uncomfortable with marketing themselves, but it’s an essential skill in this day and age (online and offline) – especially for freelancers. Furthermore, marketing yourself helps you avoid the feast vs. famine cycle that many freelancers experience. One of the easiest things you can do is always be sure to have a business card on you. You can easily hand it out at meetings, conferences or during impromptu coffee shop conversations.
3. Be a businessperson first, a freelancer second
As a freelancer, you are effectively your own boss and your own business. While there are many upsides to the freelance lifestyle, you also have to be prepared to deal with the business side. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Do you have a business plan? If so, are you sticking to it?
- Can you do all your own accounting? Or afford to hire an accountant?
- Can you manage multiple projects at the same time?
- Do you have time to market your business?
- Do you need to hire some help?
4. Take some time to reflect
Wait, what? Take time off? Yes, taking some time to reflect on the what you have accomplished and future goals for yourself is a sure-fire way to stay focused on growing a successful business. We recommend a full day, but a half day will likely work too. Think of this as a continuation of your business plan. You are just taking time to make sure your priorities are in order and that you can learn from past mistakes (or achievements!). This is also an opportunity for you to do some planning and assess if what you have done so far is in line with the goals you have already set for yourself.
Hopefully, you already have a few of these habits. If not, there’s no better time to start than now!