You’ve made the decision to take the leap and go freelance or start your own one-person business and you’re buzzing - good stuff, but where do you start? There are many routes you could take, but before you get carried away with a brand new website and start shouting “I’m in business” from the rooftops there are a few simple steps you can take to give you the best footing.
We’ve made it our mission at Xolo to support freelancers with everything they need to create a successful business in the UK and beyond. That’s why we’ve compiled a few handy hints to help you navigate the world of a freelance newbie. So, you can avoid some of those typical fail moments and leap straight into building a successful business as a solopreneur and hitting a home run.
1. Write down your goals
“If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up someplace else.” -Yogi Berra
The first step to starting your freelance business is writing down your goals. In the throes of your excitement at making the decision to go it alone, it’s very likely you already have a good idea of the kind of business you want to create, but have you thought much beyond those early days?
It’s good to set your sights high and dare to dream about where your business could go, but you also need to set short-term goals that enable you to give yourself a pat on the back along the way. These could include:
- Establishing your business niche
- Deciding on your ideal audience
- Coming up with a name
- Creating a simple branded website
- Creating social channels
When it comes to setting those goals for the important first year of your business, remember that they don’t have to be purely financial. While they will be a part of the goal, you also need to include strategic goals that relate to the overall running of your business and make sure they align with your personal goals. Where do you want to be both professionally and personally in the next year? Do you want to free up some time so that you can spend more time with the family and go travelling? If so, what do you need to do to make that happen? Sometimes wellbeing and health can be the biggest benefit of going freelance or becoming a solopreneur, so it’s important to celebrate those wins by setting goals in those areas too.
It may help to split your goals into three main areas:
These will be what you hope to achieve in terms of how much you earn and how the business grows over time. Good news first: chances are, as a freelancer or solopreneur, you’re probably going to earn more than you did before. However, try not to overdo your financial goals as the early stages of your business can be unpredictable.
These are sometimes likely to be linked to your financial goals, however, try to separate them as much as possible. Business goals should be based on the kinds of things you hope to achieve as a business, whether that’s working with cool brands, travelling with your job or putting on events that help you connect with other amazing freelancers.
These will probably stand out as the most important and life-changing part of your freelance journey, as for the first time in a while (probably!) you’re going to have some freedom. This is your opportunity to write down the ways in which you want to look after yourself and ensure that you’re healthy and happy as you grow your new business.
2. Find a mentor
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” - Oprah Winfrey
While going it alone is an exciting prospect, we all need a helping hand. Mentors are an amazing addition to your network and will be able to point you in the right direction and boost your results. The right mentor is someone who can lead you by experience, so try to find someone you look up to or aspire to be like. If you have a specific business niche or innovative outlook, find a mentor that will get it. If you make room in your schedule for attending industry events you will likely find one along the way, alternatively you could try a website like mentorme. You may also want to have a look on LinkedIn and send a message to people you admire and would like to invite to be your mentor. Go on, be brave!
3. Use a platform to help you set up
“The best investment is in the tools of one's own trade.” - Benjamin Franklin
Setting up a freelance business for the first time is a bit like bracing yourself for a mountain climb. It’s exciting, but you know it’s going to take a lot of work to get to the top. Much like a hiker or climber who recruits the right guide to take them up that mountain, as a solopreneur you will massively benefit from using a platform like Xolo. It’s your bank account, your accountant, your company and your best friend in business right from the off.
Removing all of that admin overwhelm will do you wonders in the early stages, because you will be able to focus on your customers and doing a good job. Better still, we can help you expand your business across the globe with our digital nomad community support.
Ready To Get Your Freelance Business Started?
If you’re thinking about going freelance, but want a helping hand to guide you, then Xolo is the perfect platform for you. With two different products, you’ll be able to pick the one to suit your needs. Ready to get stuck in?
When you start your freelance business, everything will be brand new to you. Still not sure you can go it alone? We’re here to guide you through every step of the process right from the start. From the initial sign-up and onboarding process to choosing a banking option that works for you, Xolo has got your back. Sign up for free to really get to grips with the platform and discover how it could help you get your freelance business started.
Freelance Company setup