When you are your own boss, running a business of one, you most likely work out of a home office or coffee shop — like I do.
So it’s imperative to lower your expenses and streamline your business as much as possible. This will give your budding business the boost it needs to grow and blossom into something amazing.
Here are three strategies you can use to make your freelance business run more efficiently.
1. Lower Your Overhead
When you’re starting out as a solopreneur, your business income and expenses are often intertwined with your personal income and expenses.
This means you need to do everything you can to lower both your personal and business overhead if you want your business to have a fighting chance.
The biggest expense you pay out of pocket is for your mortgage and rent. So the first thing you want to do is refinance your mortgage to get the lowest interest rate possible, or negotiate for a lower payment on your rent.
Having a lower housing payment will allow you to invest that extra money into your business, and give you the opportunity to be a more risky with your business ventures.
Next up are the utilities and other monthly bills — like cable, internet, homeowner’s insurance and etc. The beginning of the year is the perfect time to re-evaluate these types of bills to see if you even need them anymore — or if you can find a better deal.
For instance: I recently talked to my internet provider and asked if there’s any way I can lower my bill. Come to find out they could upgrade me to a better service while lowering my bill by $30 a month!
Yes, seriously — all it took was 5 minutes of calling the company and asking. Now I have better internet service, which helps my online business run more efficiently, and I have money in my budget for more important things. Talk about a win-win!
2. Utilize Your Resources
Part of running your own business involves bootstrapping when you can — which essentially means to use the resources you have available to you. This could be in the form of contacts, skills, ideas, equipment, research and etc.
You’ll have to do a little creative maneuvering and think outside of the box. For example; bartering is one of my favorite ways to find the help I need for certain projects. I can offer my tax consulting and financial help, in exchange for web design, branding or any other expert advice.
Most of the time, my contacts and friends are more than willing to help me, help them. So it’s a profitable situation for everyone involved — that’s the true meaning of bootstrapping.
3. Operate with Less Waste
One of my biggest goals for the year is to work smarter not harder. So any client, project or venture that I take on, has to align with that model. If I start wasting time, wasting money or wasting energy, that particular project gets dropped.
There’s no reason why any of us, who are creating virtual businesses, should waste our time working with clients or projects that don’t propel us towards our goals.
This could also mean giving up control on things you either 1) hate doing or 2) don’t have the skillset. This is one of the realizations I came to recently, and have now started collaborating and working with other freelancers who excel in the areas I’m lacking.
When you’re trying to streamline your business, it’s important to not only cut costs, but to operate with less waste so you have more time to work ON your business and not IN it.
What’s one way you’re streamlining your business this year?