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How to Get Your Business Started in the Gig Economy

Guest Writer: Lucy Reed

If you have heard about the gig economy, you might be interested in learning how you can start your own business. Gig work is short-term or freelance work that you can do with only a reliable internet connection. If you are excited to be your own boss, here is what you need to know before launching your new career.

Find Your Niche

With the rise of the gig economy, it has never been easier to turn a passion or skill into a viable business. You may find that something you are adept at has a gap that can be exploited. Are you an English major? You could build a business on tutoring, guest post blogging, or simple proofreading. Love photography? That, too, could be turned into a successful gig-based business. Creativity is something that can be particularly lucrative when it comes to the gig sector, and you may find that crafting and art are things that could be turned into freelance business. However, the gig economy can also be an opportunity to “upskill,” or acquire a capability that you do not yet have, but which could be a great idea for a business.

Have a Plan

Having a tangible plan can be a compelling force not only to realize your ambition of having a business, but to drive it forward, too. Without a plan, it can be easy for a business to lose momentum. This can be all the more applicable to the highly-competitive gig economy. Detail the scope of your business. Identify platforms you will use to advertise yourself and seek clients. Decide which services you will provide. Consider how you will fulfil your goals, and if they can be met within a certain time. Come up with some realistic projections about the costs of your startup, and make note of your aspired profits. By creating something that you can tangibly see, you can both motivate yourself to fulfill your goals and remind yourself of the progress you make.

Market Yourself

Every type of business can benefit from good marketing. Whether you are branding your business or selling your abilities, well-thought-out self-promotion can be instrumental in attracting clients and growing your enterprise. Marketing is multi-faceted. It encompasses how you sell your individual skills and personality, how you engage clients and potential customers, and how your business is perceived. Look to create a website that can function as a portfolio of your best work and overall experience. Detail your skills, your work ethic, and anything that could bring you a commission. Make extensive use of social media and freelancing websites. These are the places where you can not only find new clients, but generate positive feedback and discussions about your skills. That can go a long way to raise your profile and support business growth.

Create Your Work Environment

Having a gig-based business brings with it many advantages, including flexibility and a schedule that can work around your needs. It can also be comfortably run within the convenience of your own home. While you may eventually expand beyond that, being able to work from home can be a boon. However, it's important to create a functional workspace that will not interfere with productivity or the quality of your work. If you think you may have distractions at home, consider converting a room into an office. However, if that is not possible, choose somewhere where you can at least remove yourself from anything that could divert your attention away from work. As you may find yourself putting in long hours, be sure to choose office-standard equipment, like an ergonomic chair and good lighting, and set a schedule with breaks as you would in any job. A high-end personal computer or laptop will be critical, too, as you may require something that can handle a range of software depending on your niche.

Don't let fear stop you from creating the job of your dreams. With the right planning, research and leg work, you can accomplish just about anything. Sit down and create your plan, and get started on the business you have always wanted.

Lucy Bell is the owner/blogger/developer of gigmine.

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