Getting Started in the Gig Economy: What You Need to Know

by | May 25, 2018 | Entrepreneurship | 0 comments

Working table

For millions of Americans, working in the traditional sector and reporting to a boss just isn’t satisfying, either creatively or financially. More and more people are starting to realize that they can earn money while growing their own freelance business, either in the long or short term, and are looking for ways they can break into the gig economy.

 

This simply means working for yourself, and it can encompass dozens of jobs, from writing online to driving for companies like Uber or Lyft. Working for yourself can be a dream come true, but it should also involve lots of planning; self-employed individuals have to pay their own taxes, are required to apply for licenses in order to run a business, and don’t receive paid holidays or vacation time, meaning you need to set a budget and have savings to get you through

 

If you’re serious about getting involved in the gig economy, keep reading for some great tips.

 

Think About the Business

Many people get into business doing something they already enjoy, which is a great idea; it will help you stay motivated to keep going and make the business a success. However, you need to be sure that turning your hobby into a source of income won’t suck the fun out of it. When you have to do something in order to make ends meet, it might not be such a good time anymore.

 

Keep Great Records

No matter what business you choose, you’ll need to keep perfect records of all your business transactions. Staying organized will help give you peace of mind, reduce stress, and prevent any issues during tax season. It will also help you keep everything in order so you can run your business more efficiently and keep your clients or customers happy. Look into getting free business software to help you run things smoothly.

 

Start Saving

Keep in mind that even if you start making money right away with your business, you’ll need a cushion to fall back on when there are lean weeks (and there almost always are), or when you want to take a vacation. You should also set up a separate bank account just for depositing money every payday for taxes, and talk to an accountant about setting up quarterly tax payments so you won’t have to pay it all in one lump sum come tax time.

 

Keep Your Personal and Business Accounts Separate

Anything that’s related to your business should be kept separate from your personal accounts. Whether it’s finance-related or simply a social media page, drawing a line between your business and your life is essential. Not only will it help reduce stress, it will ensure that there are no discrepancies when your accountant goes over the books. Create a workspace at home where there are no distractions so you can stay organized. Click here for some great ideas.

 

Network

Being self-employed is often hard work; you can’t just sit back and let jobs come to you. Often, you have to learn to network and put yourself out there so clients can find you. Social media is a great place to start, but you should also do some facetime, whether it’s at your local coffee shop or at a convention. Make up some business cards so you’ll have a conversation starter.

 

Getting started in the gig economy isn’t always easy, but if you’re looking to make a big career change and set your own rules at the same time, it’s well worth it. Start with a good plan, do some research before making any decisions so you’ll be well informed, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Having support can make a world of difference.

 

Photo via Pixabay by Freephotocc

Posted by Lucy Reed May 25th, 2018

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