So you want to start a business but don’t know where to start.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs are faced with the same dilemma.
Answer: start freelancing.
The word “freelancing” may seem intimidating, but the concept is quite simple.
All you have to do is find the skills you already have and then find people who will pay you for those skills. Before you know it, you are in business.
Here’s how it works.
Step #1: Take an Inventory of Your Skills
What are you doing now that you are already getting paid for?
Can the same service that you provide to a large company be offered to individual clients?
The reality is that if you currently have (or have Ever was) a job, you have already proven that you can provide a service that people will pay money for.
- If you are an administrative assistant, there is a good chance that your organizational skills will be useful to clients.
- If you are a web developer, you can definitely help people create projects on the side.
- If you are an accountant, you can help clients with their taxes or small businesses with their bills.
These are just a few ideas to help your brain work.
If you’re still having trouble coming up with ideas, I’m hosting a free class next week to help.
Step #2: Determine how much people are paying for the services you provide.
It’s easy to get confused by the price. In the beginning no one knows what they have to charge!
Remember: the true value of your services not how much the company pays you directly (your salary/hourly rate) is how much they charge other people for providing these services.
The cost to the end user is yours true price.
Consider this scenario:
You are a paralegal who is paid $30 an hour for pre-trial and settlement work.
How much do you think clients pay the firm for your work?
I’m assuming the firm is probably billing customers at least $150 an hour to do this work on their behalf.
So now you know your time is worth at least $150 an hour.
This means the firm is charging you $120 as a “search fee”!
Hmm… seems pretty cool, doesn’t it?
Couldn’t you use those same skills and make money on your own?
One way that comes to mind is divorce.
Divorce is expensive (it can cost hundreds or even thousands) but most paralegals actually know how to do the job.
Maybe you could open an “express business” to offer this very specific service at a better price.
There is clearly an endless market for him!!
(And God, are people willing to pay!)
Step #3: Find Clients (Hint: They’re Everywhere)
When you are just starting out, two of the easiest ways to find clients are through partnerships and freelance job boards.
How to find partners
Forging partnerships with people who need your services and are already working with your ideal client is literally the fastest way to get an instant flow of clients.
The point is to offer other businesses tremendous value in exchange for their partnership.
Provide a service that will really make another business look great to their customers and they will reward you with a mountain of referrals.
It’s all about win-win.
- If you are a personal trainer, you can partner with local apartment buildings that have gyms to run classes for residents.
- If you are a web developer, you can partner with graphic designers to help their clients create websites.
- If you are an algebra tutor, you can partner with local schools and after-school programs to help your students.
The possibilities are endless, but you have to be willing to think outside the box to see how some of these connections work.
How to use freelance job boards
There are dozens of websites specifically designed to help freelancers find work and get paid.
The most popular are Elance and oDesk.
These sites are a great starting point. You shouldn’t think of them as “permanent” solutions for finding clients and growing your business, but they offer some powerful benefits for the aspiring freelancer:
- They will help you get comfortable with the idea of selling your services, customize your offer, and understand what customers are looking for.
- They will help you refine your submission.
- They build trust by helping you overcome the fear of rejection and the first feeling of success, even if you only order a few small orders.
Come out and get started!
These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to starting a freelance business!
Anyone can do it. What is holding you back?
Related Post: Best Ways to Make Money as a Professional Freelance Entrepreneur