You can’t say being self-employed is easy, but it certainly has beaten any traditional employment you’ve ever endured. You can schedule your own hours; you can pick and choose your clients; and best of all, you reap most of the benefits of your hard work.
However, recently, you’ve noticed that your workload has been slipping. You aren’t keeping as busy as you used to, and your income has clearly dropped. What gives?
Here’s the simplest answer:
You Stopped Trying
Even traditionally employed workers eventually reach a wall and stop trying for a while, but when you are self-employed, your motivation often directly correlates to your income. Likely, your failure to try hard enough is resulting in one or a few of the following serious issues:
You stopped engaging your customers. Customers want to feel valued, and if you aren’t taking the time to answer their questions, address their concerns, inspire their trust, and communicate in other vital ways, they will give their business to someone else. Maybe you neglected your social media or have been less-than-helpful with customer support in recent months, causing customers to disengage.
You stopped trying to communicate with staff. Because many self-employed workers begin their careers on their own, by the time they hire their first employees, they have grown accustomed to doing it all themselves. Unfortunately, a business big enough to have a staff likely needs those extra hands. If you stopped communicating with your workers, giving them responsibilities and projects, you are wasting your business’s time and your energy.
You stopped adopting new tech. It seems that every few months, new tech appears that swiftly becomes vital to business operations. Adopting new technology can be exhausting, but if your audience is making use of that tech, you must, too. What’s more, your competitors are probably taking advantage of new tech options, so your failure to investigate new tech is making your business less appealing and less efficient.
You stopped being unique. When you started your business, you might have been only one of a few workers in your field. Yet, these days, at least a third of the American workforce is self-employed, and by 2020, freelancers are predicted to take over around 40 percent of all jobs. Likely, you aren’t the only option your clients have, and if your competitors offer better features or prices, you undoubtedly lost business directly to them.
The best chance you have to jump-start your business and start making as much money as you did before (or more!) is to identify how, exactly, you stopped trying and follow this one simple piece of advice:
Start Trying Again
Unless you are willing to abandon the perks of self-employment and return to a hum-drum regular job, you need to find some way to motivate yourself. Here are a few ways to renew your interest in your career and reinvigorate your business, as well:
Become better educated. Even if you don’t plan on starting a business empire, attending business school or obtaining an advanced business degree can help you better manage your business. You don’t even have to interrupt your career; you can continue working while you attend the best online MBA programs, no GMAT required.
Enhance your marketing strategies. When your old clients aren’t giving you enough work, it’s time to pull in some new paying customers. Marketing is vital for the success of any business, and if you haven’t updated your website or your social accounts recently, it might be time to renew your strategy. In fact, an entire overhaul of your brand and assets might be warranted. Updating your business’s look often attracts new customers and reminds old ones that you exist.
Delegate. If you are fortunate enough to have employees, you might need to try harder to trust them. You should make an effort to delegate some of your tasks, taking time to train your workers in necessary processes and skills. Then, you will have more energy and motivation to devote to more pressing aspects of your business.
Expand your products or services. Perhaps your work is no longer a challenge. To revive your interest and give your business a more competitive edge, you might begin offering new products or services. These, alongside a change in marketing or branding, will reestablish your business as attractive and unique, bringing back all the business you lost and more.