Thanks to the gig economy, workers are finding flexibility and freedom like never before. That same freedom can be daunting when it’s time to jump in. How do you set yourself up for success in what may feel like an unstructured arena?
Flex, Bend, Jump
Along with the freedom of gig work comes instability. The gig economy is a terrific vehicle for those embracing short-term and freelance work, but you need to be focused, disciplined, and graceful in order to connect with opportunities and put them to work for you. Harvard Business Review compares gig employment with a trapeze act, pointing out these ventures can be risky, and if you want a safety net, you’ll need to make it yourself.
You also need to remain productive despite distractions and without anyone setting your schedule on a daily basis. There are no traditional workplace benefits, so nobody is setting aside funds for your tax payments and retirement. You need to schedule your days and plan for your future, both in terms of work and finances, with nobody to prompt you. On the flip side, there is no cap on how much you earn, so long as you are willing to put forth the effort.
What’s Your Gig?
Before you can jump in, you need to identify what you will offer in the land of side hustles and remote employment. Providing a terrific concept is a good start, but you need the skills and ability to flesh it out. There also needs to be a market for what you’re offering, and the kind of work you are thinking about should match your work style. Consider your strong points and what you’re passionate about. For instance, can you stay focused and busy when you’re home alone, or do you need to be around people to be productive? Do you enjoy variety in what you’re doing, or do you prefer to offer one specific skill to a number of clients?
Fortunately for gig workers, the possibilities are almost endless. You can become anything from a pet sitter to a personal assistant to a software engineer. Develop some criteria for getting started, and that begins with your strengths and interests. As explained by Woman's Day, you then simply pair those skills with access to the internet and a computer to get rolling.
Planning and Strategizing
In addition to figuring out your state’s requirements for setting up an LLC, money management is key to being successful in the gig economy. You need to set aside funds for rainy days and for Uncle Sam, and if you want to establish a college fund for the kiddos or a vacation account, that’s all on you. If balancing a checkbook isn’t your forte, you should create a system that will support your weak spots. One suggestion is to create a budget for tracking cash flow and designating funds. Make some notes about your projected expenses and your categories, including both your basic necessities and goals. Use tools like financial apps and business credit cards to track expenditures and income.
Online platforms are an opportunity to list your service or product and allow clients to come to you. There are highly specialized platforms as well as broader, more all-encompassing ones. As Monster explains, it’s a pre-existing marketplace with a substantial customer base. Note that many platforms vet their listings and require a minimal fee to get started, but it’s a quick way to get work flowing and brings your business instant validity.
Through the gig economy, you can find flexibility and freedom in your work like never before. However, in order to be successful, you need to create your own safety net. Through planning and hard work, you can structure your own successful future.
If you need additional help making your business a success, seek professional assistance at IAmAwet.com. We can help you develop branding and messaging that will help you connect with potential clients and customers.
Authored by Marissa Perez
Marissa Perez has spent the last 10 years honing her marketing skills, and now she wants to share her knowledge with those who have decided to take on entrepreneur