Whether you’re looking for a little extra cash on the side or wanting to change the course of your career, now is a good time to consider doing your own thing. A major trend in the workforce is underway: independent contracting. The gig economy, which consists of a variety of short-term and freelance jobs, has seen steady growth over the last decade — even through the recent economic recession. As of today, experts estimate the gig economy to be about 34 percent of the workforce and expect that number to grow to 43 percent by 2020. If you’re interested in starting your own gig-based business, here are some tips on how to begin your journey to success.
Research the stories of others
If you happen to know someone who has been successful in a venture similar to the one you’re considering, talk to them and pick their brain. Seeking advice from those who have already tread the same path is a great way to learn. It also helps to find books or articles as an informative way to provide inspiration for your journey.
Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses
Knowing your passion and honestly evaluating your skills, strengths, and weaknesses will go a long way in helping you find your place in the gig economy. It’s important to find an area where you can thrive — an area where you know you can deliver the goods. Once these factors are considered, you’ll be able to make objective and realistic goals, which helps keep your expectations healthy.
Whatever you do, do it with confidence
No matter what kind of career you pursue, confidence is always a factor. It’s no different for doing a side gig or starting your own business. Confidence is of utmost importance to customers, and if they don’t see it in you they will look elsewhere. There will be moments when you don’t feel competent and like you’re in over your head. In those moments, use the fake it til’ you make it approach. Remember that you’ve placed yourself where you are based on an honest assessment of your qualities, and remember that new and daunting tasks are how you grow.
Keep start-up costs down
If you’re wanting to start a business, evaluating your skills and figuring out how to do your work with low overhead will help you test the waters and give you a fighting chance from the beginning. There are many kinds of businesses that can be started for $1,000 or less. This will likely require you to do everything yourself, as you won’t be spending money on hiring other workers. But if you keep your head down (like your costs) and make sacrifices to get your business running, one day you’ll be able to hire out for certain tasks while maintaining control of your business.
Work from home
One way to prevent going overboard on your start-up costs is to work from home. Avoiding the costs of renting a space and cutting out your daily commute, among many other reasons, makes the home a great place to run a business. However, it’s crucial to set aside an area of the home specifically for work. Somewhere that has minimal distractions and that has enough space where you can set up shop. Creating an adequate and inspiring workspace can enhance productivity. Try to work with what you have and make your workspace personal by designing it to fit your type of work and working style.
There are many benefits of doing temporary and freelance work, which is why the market for such jobs is growing so quickly. Venturing into the gig economy can lead to side-work, a completely new career, and everything in between. Though it takes a lot of tenacity and creative thinking, the possibilities are endless. If you decide to give it a shot, remember these tips: talk to or research people who have been successful in your field, evaluate your qualities, work with confidence, spend your money wisely during start-up, and make an inspiring workspace at home.
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