Women In Business

5 tips to avoid the self-employment trap

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If you’ve already established that you have what it takes to be your own boss, next you need to make sure you do not fall into the trap that many self-employed people find themselves in.  Many women leave their jobs to enter self-employment with dreams of a flexible work schedule, shorter hours, and more control over their lives. Although this is possible, it’s not the case if you fall into the self-employment trap, where you can be stuck working insanely long hours to complete multiple jobs within your own business.

Avoid this exhausting trap by following these tips:

1. Don’t charge hourly

Putting a hourly price on your work lets your clients think they are paying for your time and not your valuable service. There are only so many hours in a day, so by charging clients an hourly rate, you’re severely limiting your business’s potential revenue.

2. Market yourself

Self-employed women should always market themselves, even if they’ve reached their workload capacity. You never know when a client will leave or reduce their services. Because of this, it’s always best to have your name out there already by using eye-catching print design to create business cards and promotional materials to hand out at networking events. This way, you’ll be able to keep potential clients on the backburner in case you are able to expand and take them on in the future.

3. Plan your day

Create a schedule for each day that accounts for time to yourself, time to tackle the day-to-day operations of your business and time to work on your business. There’s a difference between working on your business and working in your business. Working in your business means you are acting as an employee completing regular business tasks, while working on your business means you are actively seeking ways to improve and expand. Successful self-employed women manage to find time for both by planning out each day.

4. Delegate

Do you have people working underneath you? Sometimes, self-employed women in this situation can become overwhelmed with the number of questions that their employees can throw at them throughout the day. It’s tough being the boss and having to answer all of these questions, so instead, teach your employees how you think. When a question arises, take the time to walk everyone through it together so they can see your thought process to arrive at the answer. Train employees this way so they can tackle future problems on their own and leave you to build the business.

5. Adapt

When you’re the boss, it’s hard to tell yourself no, but it’s important for self-employment success. Many self-employed women become trapped because they are blinded by their own passion for the business, so they don’t see the faults or inefficiencies. If a client is taking too much time and not worth the revenue or the old way of doing things is simply not effective anymore, face reality and change for the sake of your business.

Self-employment can be a wonderful thing, especially for women who want it all from life. With these tips, you’ll be able to avoid the common traps that come along with this lifestyle, and stay on the road to success.

About Nick Rojas

Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has contributed articles to Visual.ly, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can reach him at [email protected]

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