Right partnership can help to launch your freelance business
Boomers looking to work during their golden years have a few choices. They can work part time for a company, do some volunteer work or perhaps use their passion and skills to become a freelancer. Much ink has been spilled about the advantages of the freelance model. Indeed, some have argued that freelance or “gig economy” is the future as technology reduces the need to have permanent employees and more people decide to start their own business as solopreneurs.
But just to be clear, becoming a freelancer for anyone, especially Boomers, means starting your own small business. It may have just one person as employee and CEO, but it is still a business and Boomers need to think like business owners to make their venture a success in the long term.
For some Boomers words small business may mean a local restaurant or some other local business. However today’s technology and changes in the way we work are creating opportunities for pretty much any type of service to be done as a business. These opportunities are great for anyone wanting to stay engaged and do what they are passionate about.
Starting along the path to becoming s freelance business, one needs to recognize that it can be difficult to succeed alone as competition is stiff. There are a few things Boomer freelancer entrepreneurs can do though to help themselves. In a world where social media and professional networking are widespread, freelance small businesses should know there’s great strength in numbers. Boomers can benefit considerably when they collaborate with other entrepreneurs to build their business and ultimately thrive together.
Even though there is little capital required to start a freelance business, there are some costs associated with any venture. Even as a freelancer in a field that is in demand you need to spend some time or money on marketing your services and becoming known to your potential clients. While you should have a plan to develop your own brand, partnering and collaborating with someone can provide a valuable shortcut to achieving market presence.
One of the nest way to develop collaborative relationship with other businesses is to find complimentary areas and identify potential partners. For example, if you are an engineer with product design experience, partnering up with a marketing freelancer or accountant can help you to reach new clients. You will not be competing with your new partners but together you can provide a better service to prospective clients. Developing a network of partners over time will greatly reduce your costs and will ensure a steady flow of business. Agreements do not need to be formal in the beginning and can develop over time.
Finding the Right Partners
To ensure you’re collaborating with a true partner rather than someone who is looking to take advantage of your time and services you should assess the potential for the relationship using the following questions:
- Are your skills and services complimentary?
- Are your goals and objectives for this partnership clear?
- Specifically how will you collaborate and what details you need to consider?
- How will you manage the collaboration if you are not in the same geographic location?
- How would you measure your success and return on your time invested in building of this partnership?
- What would happen if you decide to go alone down the road?
While professional collaboration may be attractive, it may not be necessarily the right decision. Sometimes it might be safer to go it alone and look for partnership opportunities as you become more established.
Start small, local and personal
As you start your business and consider establishing some collaborative relationships, it would be best to set goals that are small and local. Boomers tend to have a well-established network of friends some of whom might be already doing freelance business or knowing someone who does. Social networking platforms can also be a good starting place to build relationships. Finding local business groups can help to define and improve marketing approach and result in business much quicker than trying to go alone. It is important though to make an effort and build personal relationships. It’s your business and your future income at stake. Making the right relationships work will pay off, but mistakes can be very difficult to fix.