I read a lot of blogposts on how to go about getting more clients as a freelancer/solopreneur. Though this is a good starting point, I find its misses two key-factors if you want a sustainable business.
When I was a freelancer/solopreneur, I relied on my own efforts to create an income: more hours usually meant more income. Taking time off would usually mean less income, and sometimes having to dip into my savings to compensate. There is also the fact that there is a limit to the amount of hours you can work in a day. Assuming you’d always have enough clients to utilise your daily maximum…
If you analyse this business model, you would have to judge it very risky and having very little control.
- Putting all eggs in one basket: you are the hour-factory.
- Dependency of clients to be able to fully utilise your daily billable hours.
If you found that would were indisposed for long periods of time; or, clients just stopped hiring you (or at a lower rate) you’d be… well, you could find yourself in a good deal of trouble.
Ask yourself these two questions:
- …am I in a risky business by putting my eggs in one basket? Or, do I have several streams of income (aka multiple baskets)?
- …do I have control over my income? (Or… is your faith determined by clients?)
I also want you to consider this: what is your exit strategy as a freelancer/solopreneur?
Why do you need and exit strategy?
Perhaps you’ll stay desirable for clients until you’re well into your 70’s, and you’ll just keep working to earn a living. Perhaps you have another vision for your senior years…
How are you financing those years? What if you live to be well over 100 years old and want to exit at 70…? That would require a fund that can support you comfortably for 30+ years.
How much do you need per month or per year to get by? Multiply this figure by 30 and try not to get discouraged… there are many ways to set up an exit strategy for yourself and your business. It all involves having more control over your income and reducing risk in your business: you the hour-factory. You got to start thinking about expanding your streams of income with a side-business (or two…) that doesn’t involve you getting paid by the hour.
Even if you’re still in a day-job, starting a side-business can create a safety net. Perhaps it can even serve as a foundation for when you want to quit your job and focus on your own business full time. Just don’t rely on that single source of income and especially when that involves your time being traded for money.
What side-business ideas can contribute to your exit strategy?
What can you do? Too many options to mention but, perhaps you can sell (rejected) designs as templates? Or offer your best photo’s as stock-images? Do you have an expertise to offer an online course to help others? Write an amazing book or ebook to sell or maybe you created a journal to help people get stuff out of their heads and gain clarity and focus to get their side-business going…
- A premium online app/service,
- Premium downloads,
- Paid mobile App,
- Design and sell themes, templates, icons or fonts (or other creations),
- Affiliate links: review products and recommend
- Membership website with premium content and/or online course,
- Lead generation website (e.g. comparisonwebsites),
- Go nuts vlogging with a YouTube channel and earn with AdSense,
- Airbnb you spare room, garage or caravan
- Write and publish your own book or ebook,
- Lend out money (with interest)
- Buy in bulk on Alibaba and sell with a nice packaging and margin
You can do this, you are amazing. You know that, right?! Thanks for reading.