What is a requirement for freelancers
Freelancer Checklist: The 10 Founder's Commandments
Don't let personality and entrepreneur tests unsettle you: There is no such thing as THE founder. Every person is unique (sometimes also unique 🙂). And every business venture is something very special.
But above all: It makes a huge difference whether you work as a creative freelancer on your own or plan to set up a medium-sized company. Before you deal with business models, business, financing, profit, sales and marketing plans, it is best to first clarify the essentials:
1. You should know your main motive!
There are many reasons to start your own business:
- I want to finally realize my own ideas without bosses and colleagues talking to me all the time.
- I am looking for a self-determined, meaningful and useful occupation as possible.
- I want to realize a promising business idea (new service, new product, new sales channels ...).
- I have to make money somehow and I have no other choice.
- I want to get rich as easily and quickly as possible.
- I have the “vision” of a thriving, growing company.
And so on. No matter how different the motives may be, each taken in isolation is perfectly legitimate and honorable. But you have to be clear about your main motive. Otherwise, inevitable conflicting goals will mean that sooner or later you will be dissatisfied or even fail.
2. You should know your strengths!
Make it clear to yourself what you are best at and what you would most like to do in the long run during your professional and business life. It's completely different whether you focus on ...
- Pulling orders to shore,
- plan creative campaigns,
- implements existing design ideas,
- find and train the right employees or
- trade in cool products.
Invest your time, strength and energy in what you are really good at and what gives you the most pleasure: Then you will also be successful!
3. You should know your offer and your target group!
For department stores and online retailers, the designation “full-range supplier” may be desirable and an award. If you want to compete with Amazon: go ahead! But not as a freelancer: Avoid the service tray like the devil the holy water. Focus - depending on your main motivation - on interesting, lucrative, challenging, meaningful niches. Use the scalpel to hunt down the right target group - not the shotgun!
4. You should decide and finally get into the pots!
It is important to think carefully. Planning and concepts are wonderful tools. The mental anticipation of business opportunities and risks is almost indispensable for industrial companies, and it certainly makes sense for freelancers. But “what matters is on the pitch”. Always.
Therefore: out on the market! Talk to prospects and customers! Gain experience. Nobody is forcing you to put your last penny into questionable mega-investments. Give yourself a jolt, start small - but finally get started!
5. You should concentrate on your core business!
The self-employed are constantly responsible for all sorts of things: It's not enough to just do a good job. You have to maintain contacts, advertise, get orders, write offers and invoices, buy office supplies, draw up contracts, keep books, make tax returns, maintain technology, clean the office, workshop and shop and and and and!
You need to, do you need to? No you don't have to! You just have to be good at your core business. Hopefully you will have clarified which exactly that is before you get started. And if you are good at your business, you can (yes you have to!) Afford to let assistants and specialists in in all other areas. This is especially true for experts such as tax consultants and, if necessary, lawyers: "Young people research" is a nice school competition - but not a promising business model!
6. You should ask, don't bluff!
“Business bluff” is human - but dangerous: Are you a professional in your job, but new to the freelance business? Do you feel pretty insecure and need a lot of clarification? Doesn't matter, that's completely normal. You don't necessarily have to tell everyone about that.
But be careful not to keep your questions to yourself and to act with perspective. That goes wrong. Contact colleagues who are friends, talk to old hands, ask trustworthy business partners. Or take some money in hand and find a good start-up or business consultant. But don't bury your head in the sand. Insecurity, gaps in knowledge and the occasional self-doubt are simply part of business life. If you don't ask, you'll stay stupid - and fail. For sure.
7. You should be economical - but not at the wrong end!
Just don't bother: When you drive into the yard of your prospective customers, you don't have to sit in a 7 Series BMW to get an order. Your potential customers know exactly who is paying. Start small - if you have to, at the kitchen table. Avoid fixed costs as long as you are not sure whether the investment is worthwhile.
Nowadays you can borrow, rent or buy used almost anything cheaply. Stay ‘variable and flexible - but always make sure that you have really good tools. Take the time to set up your direct work environment as functional, friendly, pleasant and healthy as possible. And: stay up to date. Invest regularly in yourself, your know-how, your professional and personal strengths.
8. Thou shalt not covet grants and subsidies!
Can you get the start-up grant, advisory grants, low-interest start-up loans for investments or other grants? Ok, take it with you. But don't rely on it - and don't even try ‘to become a subsidy collector. In the long run you have to do it on your own anyway.
9. You should have a long breath!
It just takes time until you finally get into business life as a self-employed person. Even if you can take one or two customers with you from your previous job and already have the first inquiries or orders. You can count on a longer start-up time and allow for generous start-up costs. If you have to wait a while for the breakthrough, it is not your fault. It simply takes time for prospects to get their first order, customers to become regular customers and for the industry to know that you do a good job and are reliable.
If a longed-for order does not come back, a customer drops out or something else goes wrong? Doesn't matter - as the saying goes: "Fall down, get up, straighten the crown and go on!" And if the sag is worse (can also happen): Don't bury your head in the sand, but get help - from a friend, mentor, coach or advisor.
10. Know that there are more important things than your business!
Don't drive yourself crazy Success in business is a fine thing - but not the highest of emotions - and certainly not the ultimate wisdom. Live healthy, take time for your loved ones, be peaceful, friendly and fair to your fellow human beings (yes, that is also possible in business life!)
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