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4 Things To Consider Before Becoming A Successful Self-Employed Contractor

If you’re thinking about becoming a self-employed contractor, you’re in for a job with many advantages where you’re running your own business and calling all the shots.

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Things To Consider Before Becoming A Successful Self-Employed Contractor

If you’re thinking about becoming a self-employed contractor, you’re in for a job with many advantages where you’re running your own business and calling all the shots. If you have excellent skills and experience in your field and are looking to transition from full-time employment, this is the next logical step.

However, while self-employment comes with many benefits, some challenges come with being your boss that you need to think about. Before you delve into the waters of self-employed contracting, here are all the things you need to know and consider.

1. Use Partnerships

Partnerships between businesses are always beneficial because they allow you to improve your business outcomes and expand your market. Through a good and solid partnership, you can strengthen some of the weaker aspects of your business and come out on top.

Use partnerships

But of course, it’s also important to choose who you partner with wisely. For instance, if you’re starting an eCommerce business, you can’t go wrong using Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA). Amazon takes care of all of your inventory storing, packing, and shipping for a small monthly fee.

If your partner with Amazon FBA, you can expect the following benefits:

  • You will have more free time. There’s nothing better than having a lot of free time on your hands to grow your business, and since you don’t have to worry about storing and shipping items, that’s exactly what you will have.
  • You won’t need any storage space. Amazon will take care of any storage needs you may have, and you won’t have to deal with the headache of finding a storage space that’s big enough and fits your budget.
  • You will have Amazon’s reputation. Amazon is an eCommerce giant, and the name Amazon itself instils trust. When potential customers see that you partner with Amazon, they will trust you more, your chances of making a sale will increase, and so will your sales volume.

And if the time comes when you want to retire and sell your business, it will be easier to sell an FBA store. However, when the time comes for that, you need to calculate your Amazon business worth to get the best possible price. Make sure to take all factors into account, and you will get the best possible reward for all your effort.

2. Take Advantage of Business Intelligence.

Business intelligence isn’t a thing of the future anymore, it’s present in many companies, and it is here to stay. The global business intelligence market is predicted to reach $33.3 billion by 2025 as more and more companies take advantage of business intelligence.

Take advantage of business intelligence

The main use of BI is to help businesses make better and more informed decisions backed up by data. There are many reasons why data analysis is crucial for business, and with the help of BI, you will be able to spot new opportunities easily while also cutting costs at the same time.

Here are just some of the benefits you’ll have if you start using business intelligence:

  • Have a better understanding of your customers. The best way to succeed in business is to understand your customers and give them what they want. BI can help you dig into any issues your customers may have with your business and understand their needs and wants better.
  • Drive performance and revenue. Good BI software can analyze any staff-related data to help you understand what drives them, what issues they have, and what you need to do so their performance will improve.
  • Identify sales trends. Customer data allows you to analyze what they are looking for from a business and what they’re willing to pay for.
  • Provide personalized service. Today’s consumers are looking for companies willing to cater to them and their specific needs through personalization. You can give them just that when you analyze their data.

There is no question of whether you should use BI software; the only thing you need to decide is which tool is perfect for you. For example, ZoomInfo is one of the most popular BI software on the market and one of the more expensive ones, so maybe you should consider using a ZoomInfo alternative. Such a tool will give you the same or similar features at a considerably lower price, saving your budget for other valuable tools.

3. Create a Business Plan

You might be wondering if you need a business plan or not, and most of the time, the answer to this question is a resounding yes. However, as much as 27% of aspiring entrepreneurs don’t have a fully developed business plan, and this is usually a recipe for disaster.

Create a business plan

When you wouldn’t need a plan, the only instance is to be hired as a contractor as soon as you leave your current job. This means that you already have several clients lined up and don’t have financing requirements, but this is extremely rare for self-employed individuals in any profession.

There are multiple reasons why you need a business plan:

  • Performing market research and seeing if your business idea is feasible and has the potential to be profitable.
  • Attracting potential investors and obtaining financing.
  • Setting out a plan on how you will market your services and products to clients.

Forecasting any expansions you might have in the future, such as hiring new employees and subcontractors or acquiring new equipment.

Your business plan doesn’t have to be overly complicated or even hard to make, as you can find templates online that will help you input all of the necessary information. And don’t forget to update your plan regularly as your goals and objectives will change over time.

4. Think About Whether You Want to Expand

Most contracting businesses that offer quality services and products will reach a point where they need to expand. The expansion would require hiring more people to handle the increased workload, and while this is a good thing in some instances, in others, it’s unnecessary.

Here are a few things to consider before you hire new employees:

  • How specialized is your business? A regular contracting firm that does the same things as any other company can hire practically anyone. However, if you have a specialized business, not every worker could hire the wrong person to hurt your profits and reputation.
  • Do you have enough time? The entire process of looking for a new employee is extremely time-consuming. If you don’t have the time to post job listings, vet resumes, run background checks, and go through interviews; it’s better not to start the process at all.
  • Is the ROI going to be enough? Consider how much the return on investment hiring a new employee would be. Unless they generate more income than the cost of their employment, including salary and taxes, you might even lose money when you hire them.

For most self-employed contractors, it’s better, easier, and much less stressful to remain a small business and take on manageable projects but remain profitable. But if your goal is to build a large business, you need to plan for that from the very beginning.

5. Final Thoughts

Starting your own business is a big life change and requires a lot of careful thought and consideration. If you’re drawn by entrepreneurship and want to be self-employed instead of answering someone in a higher position, then take the plunge and become your boss.

It won’t be easy in the beginning, and there may be times when you want to give up, but if you keep chasing your goals, one day, you’ll be as successful as you always hoped.

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Business

Upgrades That Will Help Your Business Thrive

Once you’ve identified your goals and how to attain them, you can then grow your business in specific areas according to what you want to achieve.  The following 13 upgrades cover common areas of business that typically need developing:

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Upgrades That Will Help Your Business Thrive

Continuous improvement should be the primary goal of any business.  While it takes time and effort and some financial outlay, it’s crucial to continue growing and striving toward becoming the leader in your field.

This guide offers 13 ideas to help your business grow, increase your customer base, improve your productivity and boost your bottom line.

Start With A Solid Foundation

Before you commit to growth you should ensure your business is built on solid ground.  Here are some tips to help you begin:

Know your business – the use of tools such as benchmarking, market research and trend analysis will help you get a better picture of the factors affecting your business.

Take charge of your finances Make a commitment to understanding your daily, weekly, and monthly figures. Unless you have a dedicated accountant, you need to have a thorough understanding of your financial situation.

Prioritize your goals – identify those business goals which can be achieved relatively quickly and those which will require more time and financial investment. Make sure the goals you set are relevant and can be achieved in a realistic timeframe.

Develop a plan – once you’ve identified your goals, you will need to develop strategies to realize them and the best means of implementing those strategies.

Make your results measurable – work out how you are going to measure your results.  You may want to introduce devices such as a point system or desired percentage increase.

13 Ways To Upgrade Your Business

Once you’ve identified your goals and how to attain them, you can then grow your business in specific areas according to what you want to achieve.  The following 13 upgrades cover common areas of business that typically need developing:

Include reviews – today’s consumers place great value on the opinions of their peers when it comes to buying products. Upgrading your website to include customer reviews will help to increase sales and boost customer confidence. Be sure to include both good and bad reviews if you want to be taken seriously.

Upgrade your internet an upgrade to FTTP (fiber to the premises) now will pay big dividends for your business down the line and it doesn’t have to cost you anything.  Qualifying businesses connecting to high-speed NBN plans can enjoy a $0 upfront cost.

Computer Monitor and Other Remote Work Must-Haves

Introduce automation – there is a multitude of software and applications designed to reduce labor costs and increase productivity. Many are inexpensive and can free up small business owners, allowing them to focus more on growing their core business.

Increase your social media presence – rather than just a Facebook page and a presence on Instagram and Twitter, you should look at other forms of customer interaction such as articles, sponsorship, blogs, and webinars.

Start networking – as well as an online presence, you need to get out there more and attend industry-related events such as expos and seminars.  This is, not only to network with others in your field but also to forge new contacts with like-minded businesses, with cross-promotion in mind.

Create a rewards program – think of ways to reward your existing customers to maintain their loyalty and incentivize them to buy from you again.  These could include early access to specials and exclusive offers not available to the general public.

Create an email list – email addresses of existing customers are a valuable resource you should be taking full advantage of.  Send those on your mailing list regular reminders of what you have to offer, but make sure it’s valuable content rather than what could be perceived as spam.

Ask for feedback – another valuable resource is your customers’ opinions.  Ask them what they think of your products and then use this feedback to improve your product line and customer service.

Streamline your business – identify which products aren’t selling, which employees aren’t performing and any other areas that may be holding you back.  Make changes and be ruthless on behalf of your business.

Reduce overheads – look at ways to cut costs within your business such as transitioning to a remote workforce or outsourcing business processes such as payroll, HR, and bookkeeping.

Invest in your people – good staff morale translates into good customer service. Provide your employees additional training, advancement opportunities, and a fair wage to ensure a healthy company culture.

Improve your credentials – reduce your carbon footprint, introduce sustainable processes and practice corporate responsibility in order to retain and grow your customer base.

Increase cybersecurity upgrade your cybersecurity systems to make sure you are protected from the latest threats from hackers, malware, etc.  This is particularly important if you have a remote workforce.

Roughly half of all small businesses don’t make it past their fifth year of operation, so continuous improvement needs to be a priority from day one. Adopting just a few of the measures suggested here should help keep your business on trend, competitive, and above all, profitable.

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