You know the drill. You’ve spent a few years establishing a business, devising systems and workflows, worked through pivots, and have begun generating enough revenue to keep things chugging along. Now you want (or need!) to grow, and you keep butting your head against a wall as you are scrambling to put out daily fires and stay focused through constant distractions. Luckily I have the perfect remedy, you need to inject some growth and take things to the next level! Luckily, Freelancer’s Union is on your side.
Freelancer’s Union is a nonprofit based out of NYC that provides insurance and educational resources for freelance and independent workers around the country. You can keep up to date on the most current topics and cities provided by Spark here: freelancersunion.org/spark.
This month at Freelancer’s Union: Spark, a hardcore group of five freelancers came together to source the knowledge and insights necessary to give their business’s a much needed boost. We focused on creating growth in two ways, through creating efficiency and establishing passive income.
Pro-tip: Split the workload! If you’re feeling overloaded, then consider contracting out work you aren’t good at or hiring an employee! Your time is money and you will save a bunch of both by letting another competent professional take care of those pesky tasks, leaving you to focus on growing the business.
Creating efficiency starts with taking an audit of your schedule, and understanding where you spend your time. I like to use the Tracking Time app (https://trackingtime.co), because of its task-based tracking, mobile and web based services, and is free for up to 9 team mates! You can also audit your schedule using a spreadsheet and manually entering your time and what task you’ve spent it on. After tracking your time, review your data and look for time sinks! Areas where freelancers frequently lose time are back and forth emailing, forgetting and resetting passwords, scheduling, client acquisition, and finances.
The next step is to AUTOMATE IT! Since I’m not very good with numbers, finance, or tax law I knew that bookkeeping and accounting would be a huge time sink for me. I hired a CPA and bookkeeper the moment it was affordable! The start of every year is super mellow for me, as I just send off my yearly expenses, pay my tax bill, and wish my CPA “happy taxkeeping!”. I now relish the extra time I have to focus on other, more important work to me!
You can generate efficiency by automating other areas of your workflow too. One of the easiest is scheduling! Cut down on back and forth emailing and scheduling mishaps by using many the solutions that abound online. My favorite is Calendly (https://calendly.com). This service is user friendly, and is easy to embed on a website as well. This allows my colleagues and clients to easily setup a 60 minute in-person session, which only selects from open dates and automatically triggers an event creation in my calendar (I use Google) once a signup has been completed. This is my calendly link: calendly.com/hellomynameiszen
Pro tip: Automate your prospecting and increase your sales by leveraging the on-demand economy. Services like Upwork, TaskRabbit, Thumbtack, and Fiverr to generate additional sales without hiring a sales team!
Passive income is one of the greatest tools in any entrepreneurs toolbox. This is any income received regularly, with minimal effort to maintain the revenue stream. Common sources of passive income include property and rental earnings; royalties from books, photos and patents; sales from ebooks, virtual educational materials like pdf and videos; dividends or interest from bank accounts, stocks, bonds and other investments; and businesses that require little involvement from the owner. Keep in mind that establishing revenue from these sources often takes a large upfront investment in resources and learning, but the effort is worth the return. Not only can you expect a long financial return, you’ll also free up your time to develop other passive income streams or grow your business!
Pro tip: When it comes to passive income, remember: Many streams form great rivers! Establishing many sources of passive income will add up quickly.