The Tough Get Gigging

It’s a target-rich environment for writers, designers and consultants looking to start up their own projects and build their own business. But if you’re thinking of joining them, get ready. You’ll likely find certain traits will be an asset to your success, such as the willingness to take risks, adapt to changing business environments and solve problems on the go, flexibility, tenacity and quick wits.

Choose the Right Niche

Though it may be tempting to cast a wide net, you can’t sell everything to everybody so don’t even try. Besides, the fastest-growing freelance sectors are specialties such as SEO writing and ASP development, rather than just writing and platform development in general, according to Forbes. Choosing a focus also allows you to fine-tune your marketing and better position yourself as an expert in a chosen field.

How do you decide what to concentrate on? Profitability is the main concern. Some successful freelancers recommend validating your business idea by choosing a target audience, identifying a problem they have and coming up with a solution. Of course, your specialty also depends on your expertise, and there’s nothing wrong with doing something you like. Isn’t that one of the reasons you’re freelancing anyway?

Develop a Marketing Strategy

You’re going to have to bring your message to your target audience, and do it effectively if you want to compete. Consistency is the key, says The Startup. You should know what you’re going to do to reach clients, and when you’re going to do it, before you even begin. All of that should be in your marketing plan, which also includes goals, a strategy and activities.

So, about those activities. There are plenty that you can include in your strategy such as building a website and blog. This not only allows you to demonstrate your expertise, but also to showcase your portfolio, which is particularly useful for designers, writers and other creatives. Email marketing is another old standby, while social media provide a new avenue for reaching potential clients with daily updates about your services and even discounts.

Manage Your Time Wisely

Of course, you need to work, so those marketing maneuvers shouldn’t fill up all of your schedule. You do have one of those, right? It’s what keeps your new business from going off the rails. Since all of your time is your own, it should include things such as waking up, showering and eating lunch, but there’s no need to work 9-to-5 as split shifts and wandering weekends are now on option.

There are a number of hacks to come up with a timetable that works for you. You might consider setting aside the morning to do the hard things first while you’ve got the energy. Meanwhile, prioritizing is an … um … priority. Marketing might take first place when you’re starting up your business but move down the list as you establish a steady clientele. And, don’t forget to mark due dates for deliverables.

Organize Your Work Space

You’re schedule may be in shipshape, but it’s tough to work through it if your home office is a mess. There’s no need for a separate room to plop down your laptop and start tapping out your first client proposal. A quiet corner set aside by dividers would do just fine as long as you keep it neat, as clutter causes stress. No, seriously. There are easy remedies for this, though, such as purging paper, setting up a filing system and storing things in containers.

The going may be tough at first, but dedication and a commitment to success will see those contracts start rolling in. Keep an ear to the ground and eye out for opportunities. They’re out there waiting.

Image via Pixabay.

Quoted – 10 Tips for Better Time Management at Work – Staples.com

English: John Nepolitan photo taken at the sta...

English: John Nepolitan photo taken at the start line of the NYC Diamond League meeting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of us struggle to find enough time in the day to accomplish all that we need to do, but the crunch can be even more difficult for those working in a small business. Here are 10 tips to help you find time to focus on your business.

Tip #5: Take Breaks

Don’t underestimate the value of downtime, which helps your brain recharge and clears your thinking. Dr. Scott Testa, director of the Entrepreneur and Business Boot Camp at Villanova University, likes to go on predawn runs or bike rides. “That time unfocused on the business and exercising allows me to focus on the business,” he says. “It’s counterintuitive, but it helps me focus on what is important.”

Quoted – FOSS Devs’ Biggest Complaints: Documentation and Licensing – Linux Insider

English: Logo for the Open Source Initiative F...

English: Logo for the Open Source Initiative Français : Logo Open Source (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FOSS Devs’ Biggest Complaints: Documentation and Licensing

“What makes open source so good is often what makes it undesirable,” suggested Scott Testa, director of Entrepreneur and Business Boot Camp at Villanova University. “If you are a big corporation, you want to adhere to the license, but in some cases the legal issues are not clear. If you are a programmer, you just want to get the code writing job done.”

“What makes open source so good is often what makes it undesirable,” Scott Testa, director of Entrepreneur and Business Boot Camp at Villanova University, told LinuxInsider.

“By nature open source has poor documentation and problems trying to figure out if your intended use is legal,” Testa explained. “If you are a big corporation, you want to adhere to the license, but in some cases the legal issues are not clear. If you are a programmer, you just want to get the code writing job done.”

http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/78825.html

Quoted – How to Find a Mentor to Help You Navigate Small Business Ownership – Staples.com

Staples (Canada)

Staples (Canada) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Small Business Administration study shows that business owners who had three or more hours of mentoring experienced higher revenues and stronger growth than those who didn’t. So why wouldn’t you consider mentorship for growing your business and yourself? Here’s some important information to consider when it comes to finding a mentor and building a relationship as a small business owner.

Just Look Around

Villanova University’s director of the Entrepreneur and Business Boot Camp, Dr. Scott Testa, says there’s no best place or worst place for finding a mentor than the places you already go. “It’s how you’d meet a spouse or girlfriend — at a bar, convenience store, friend of a friend,” he says. Mentors can be college professors, former bosses and partners. “Find those people you have a common bond with and like to spend time with.”

Mitchell and Testa agree that the best mentors have strengths that are your weaknesses. “The best mentors push us out of our comfort zones and force us to look at things in a different way,” Mitchell says. “You want a mentor who’s the opposite of you so that you learn and fill in some of the gaps.”

When Testa was starting a business, he looked for mentors to provide an entrepreneurial example. “I really needed someone I felt could understand the experience I was going through,” he says. “My mentors helped not just with technical stuff, but also with the psychological.”

http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/tech-services/explore-tips-and-advice/tech-articles/how-to-find-a-mentor-to-help-you-navigate-small-business-ownership.html

Yesware

http://www.yesware.com/download?refer=3et56876