Author Topic: How to go from freelancer to business owner  (Read 1454 times)

TheGadfly

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How to go from freelancer to business owner
« on: April 23, 2019, 09:43:19 AM »
Hi Folks,

If this has already been covered, kindly point me to that conversation:

I want to know how I can transform my freelance writing side hustle into an actual business. I'm making decent money as it is but it's a lot of ongoing work...

For the last 1.5 years I've been doing some freelance writing, mostly writing business plans, marketing strategies, proposals, etc. In the early stages, a lot of my work was through UpWork, which takes a whopping 10-20% of my earnings. Luckily, after the first year, I was able to persuade 2 clients to go "off-platform" and sign a contract with me directly. Now I'm earning between $500 and $1000 per month with some ongoing business writing work and keeping 97% of my earnings (-3% for PayPal fees).

In general, I make between $25-40 per hour depending on the project, which is fine but I know I could be earning much more. I thought about drafting business plan templates across multiple industries and selling them to entrepreneurs and start-ups online but this has been done. I'm not sure I can compete with other players in this market (there are many).

Does anybody else do this work? If so, have you been able to transition your skills into products you can sell online?

12321

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Re: How to go from freelancer to business owner
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2019, 01:19:00 PM »
In another thread (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/entrepreneurship/remote-workers-digital-nomads!-how-do-you-tell-employers-you're-remote-only) someone is asking similar questions about finding remote work online. It sounds like you're trying to sell templates, which may be difficult as everyone thinks they are unique.

Have you thought about just building your own landing pages with good SEO? Some competitive keyword research could help you find existing niches that could be profitable. Best of luck to ya!

Smokystache

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Re: How to go from freelancer to business owner
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2019, 08:18:21 PM »
You may already know his work, but I'm reading Company of One by Paul Jarvis and believe it would be very relevant in your situation. Wish I read it 5 years ago.

MaaS

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Re: How to go from freelancer to business owner
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2019, 11:15:06 AM »
At 25-40 per hour there isn't really margin for employees or sub-contractors. I wouldn't recommend that model for writing work anyways.

On drafting business plan templates:

Don't be intimidated by bigger competition. But... there are some businesses that lend themselves well to bigger organizations due to increased efficiencies. These are typically product-based (some exceptions with intellectual property type "products"). There are others (typically service-based) where size is a disadvantage. The more customized the service, the bigger the disadvantage.

To get specific with that: A consultant or small agency has very little overhead. No HR. No finance. Often no facilities. Additionally, larger companies end up requiring layers of management, much of which is unproductive overhead. Communication/project planning gets more difficult and further kills productivity. Larger companies actually get less cost-efficient in some industries.

The secret is finding a niche where your expertise is an advantage and can increase your production efficiency, but the end work is still custom to the customer.

Getting tangible with this: Consider figuring out a niche where you can be an expert content provider. Like blogging for dentists or something.

I hope that helps.

dreaktor

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Re: How to go from freelancer to business owner
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2019, 12:37:40 PM »
Speaking of ďfreelance -> businessĒ, Iíve made such transition in January. I was working on upwork/freelancer, and half of my clients were willing to hire me directly as a contractor. And at this point my earnings went up to ~250k, and itís definitely a business scale now, at least for my location. What I want to share with you, is that itís possible for sure. However, my occupation is different, and I have put a huge effort (3 years, 60 hour work week) to earn brilliant reputation among software companies which I am providing services for. I am a strong believer in the more you deliver, the more you get. So to start a business, you should deliver more work hours, higher reliability, etc. And donít be afraid of competition.