Closing the gap between a contract practice and a scalable business requires a shift in mindset, and taking a leaf out of the startup founders’ book would put you on the suitable trajectory:
1. Productizing Your Offering
You and you’re time should not scalable. Which means that the primary and most significant step is to resolve this problem. There are generally speaking two ways to do that – with people, and with technology. The primary way will turn your practice into an agency. The second, which is more interesting for this text – to a startup.
Productizing your offering means turning your services right into a product that will be sold repeatedly to multiple customers at minimum cost, or a minimum of getting as near that ideal as possible.
To do that, you have to discover the core elements of your service that will be standardized and packaged. For instance, for those who’re a contract author, you possibly can create a series of templates or content packages that will be customized for various clients. When you are a designer or artist – a course or a package of tools for artists and/or designers.
Productizing your offering requires careful planning and a deal with making a high-quality, repeatable product that meets the needs of your audience as closely as possible. At the identical time, it also means your goal is to customize it for individual customers as little as possible, which is a 180-degree shift from the best way a freelancer often thinks about their work with clients.
For instance, an ebook is a superbly scalable product – you possibly can sell it to a vast amount of individuals with zero customization and shut to zero marginal cost.
2. Shifting from a Solopreneur Mindset to a Team-Oriented Mindset
As a freelancer, chances are you’ll be used to working on your personal and handling all points of your enterprise. Nevertheless, to scale your enterprise and switch it right into a startup, you will need to shift from a solopreneur mindset to a team-oriented mindset. This implies hiring employees, contractors, or freelancers to aid you with various points of your enterprise.
Productizing your offering might require expertise that you just don’t have. You ought to be prepared to involve other people and invest financially on this project.
3. Developing a Comprehensive Business Plan
Freelancers may not all the time prioritize long-term planning, but a comprehensive marketing strategy is crucial for turning your enterprise practice right into a startup. This plan should outline your vision, audience, revenue streams, and growth potential. It must also include details about your marketing and sales strategies – as a freelancer, chances are you’ll be used to getting recent clients from referrals or from directly applying to jobs or gigs. This will likely be not sufficient for those who are selling a recent product, nevertheless (or a productized service). Your marketing efforts must be scalable, and you have to be certain that that the associated fee of acquiring a recent customer is sufficiently low to be covered by the value of your product, otherwise, your efforts to scale your enterprise wouldn’t make economic sense.
Furthermore, because you could be investing time and resources into this project, it can be crucial to have basic financial projections.
When you don’t intend to go looking for out of doors partners or investors all of this information doesn’t necessarily need to be presented in an official marketing strategy. Creating one anyway, nevertheless, continues to be a superb idea because it helps you structure your thoughts and see potential problems in your plans.