If you’re finding success freelancing, you’ve probably considered scaling up and turning your freelance career into a small business.
Most people start freelancing because they’re keen on working for themselves, excel at time and self management, enjoy a customizable schedule, or possess a diverse skill set that doesn’t always get put to use in full-time roles. These traits are all indicators that you’d make a good business owner.
How to Turn a Freelance Career into a Small Business
To effectively turn your freelance career into a small business, you need to consider and plan for the following things: Scale-ability, demand for your work, and profitability.
Can you scale up without slipping?
So far, you’ve been freelancing alone. It’s worked well for you, but can you scale up successfully? The type of work you do is a major factor in determining your scalability, as some work is easier to scale than others. Writing, for example, takes a time investment and can’t be automated. Once you’ve taken on your max number of clients or writing projects, you’re tapped out unless you hire more writers.
If your customers are used to your writing, hiring other writers to help you scale your business can have negative consequences. If your customers notice a difference in the writing or are dissatisfied with the work they receive, you’re not scaling – you’re slipping.
But if you’re confident you can find skilled writers or collaborators to help you generate a larger volume of content or freelance work, it’s safe to consider your freelance idea scalable.
How much demand is there for work like yours?
If you’ve been freelancing successfully so far, you know the demand for your work. One reason many freelancers consider turning their freelance career into a small business is consistently receiving work requests that they are forced to turn down due to time constraints.
If you’ve been turning down work because you don’t have enough time to complete it all, there’s likely plenty of demand for work like yours, meaning it would make a viable small business. But if you struggle to find clients or don’t get requests for your work often, it may mean there’s not enough demand for your services to warrant turning it into a small business.
How profitable will it be as a small business?
Once again, let your experience as a freelancer guide you here. You know the profits you’ve been making as a freelancer, but consider that doing the same tasks on a larger scale as a small business may not net the same profits.
Anytime you’re planning for growth, costs will increase.
You might hire new staff, outsource tasks, purchase new equipment and supplies, spend more on marketing and advertising, and incur miscellaneous costs like creating and hosting a website, professional memberships, and attending industry conferences.
At the end of the day, will you still be profitable?