5 straightforward ways to go from employed to self-employed..getty
If you’re considering taking the leap from employment to self-employment, you’ll feel a mix of excitement and uncertainly. Starting a new business from scratch is a scary prospect for many, holding various unknowns. A better way is to make a plan based on your current situation. Start where you are and use what you have, for a smoother, less daunting way of making the transition.
Here are five straightforward ways of going from employed to self-employed.
Do your existing role as a freelancer
One option is to do the role you currently do, for the same company, but on a freelance rather than employed basis. Perhaps you base the contract on a specific number of days per month or, even better, a specific set of outcomes.
What matters to your existing employer is not the number of hours you do, it’s the output or results you produce and the quality of your work. If you know your job takes you less than 40 hours per week, see if you can turn your employment into a contract instead. Not only will this free up your time to find other clients, it means you can make better use of your time and achieve more with less.
Cutting out the mundane aspects of employment can be efficient and more enjoyable. Saying no to team-wide meetings, performance reviews and appraisals and needing to clock in and out at a certain time might be the flexibility you’re looking for. This baby step could lead to giant leaps and new opportunities opening elsewhere. If you approach the conversation in the right way, your employer will understand the benefits of not having you as a member of staff.
Join freelance marketplaces
Assuming you want to stick within your current field, you could join freelance marketplaces where you build a client base from inbound leads. People Per Hour, Fiverr, Upwork, 99Designs and many others allow you to list yourself and your skills and secure project-based or ongoing work.
Particularly effective for roles including designers and writers, this approach involves you backing yourself to win clients and putting the work in to create an impressive profile, complete with work examples and references. Once that’s done, it could be an abundant resource of future clients. Securing the first few will lead to reviews on the platform, attracting more people to make enquiries.
Whatever your skills, whatever your industry, there are companies and individuals looking for them. Put yourself out there to make sure they find you. Set up your profiles without handing in your notice, then make the transition to self-employment as your workload dictates.
Work as an associate of other self-employed people
Want to do the work but not the business development? Rather than focusing on finding clients for yourself, create relationships with people doing the same work who may have too much to handle. Busy service providers only have so many hours in each week, and they may be happy to pass you clients on a white label basis, or for a finder’s fee.
See collaborators, not competition. Someone doing exactly what you want to do could be your biggest source of income if you get in with them at the right time. Don’t be afraid to ask the question; you never know where it might lead.
Seasoned self-employed professionals are often looking for ways they can make more money and impact without simply working more. Be confident that your proposal is a win-win situation and be exceptional in every interaction with them. They will be looking at you through the eyes of their clients, so be sure to impress.
Become a contractor for other companies
As well as asking your current employer if you could contract for them, make a shortlist of similar companies you could also approach. Graphic designers, for example, could receive regular work from multiple agencies. Same with telesales professionals, business development, HR and legal experts.
Having a range of companies who know your style and pass you work will mean your weeks are varied and flexible. It gives you freedom over your time and freedom over which gigs you accept.
Start with small projects and build up. Enquire about overflow and see if you can lend a hand, then prove yourself and win bigger commissions. Trusted suppliers are worth their weight in gold, and being the favourite contractor of all your clients will mean the work keeps flowing.
Know your ideal client mix before you begin. One day a week for five separate clients or less regular work with more? Perhaps something in the middle? Collect recommendation and keep meeting new companies until you have the ideal amount of work for your revenue and lifestyle goals.
Create a membership or retainer offering
Could what you do take the form of a membership? Imagine a legal advisor starting a $99 club, where businesses can have ad hoc advice in return for a small monthly retainer. As well as taking their calls, you send out helpful summaries and pre-empt problems that may occur. How many clients could you serve and how much value could you have?
This business model could work well for multiple areas of work. Human resources, accountancy, graphic design, research and intelligence. Mind map your membership club and what members receive, then run it by some prospects and see what they think.
Set your revenue goals and work backwards from there, to ascertain the members required and the monthly fee. Aim to add 10x value so the cost to subscribers is a no brainer. Think about what you could throw in. Think about the benefits your clients will access, being part of your club. Ask your current employer and ask your existing clients. Having access to your wisdom on a regular basis might be exactly what they need.
Five ways to go from employment to self-employment without starting from scratch, so you can take the first step right now. If you’re still not sure, think about the worst-case scenario, and what you’d do should it come true. It’s very likely that, as long as you don’t burn any bridges, you could still go back, in which case there’s no reason not to try. Could one of these options be the one you’ve been looking for?
While the start of vaccine rollouts offer hope that the worst of the pandemic may be over, its devastating financial impact for many will be felt for a long time to come. In research spanning 18 countries from the Deloitte Consumer Industry Center, we find evidence of continued household financial distress.[i] One in five consumers are spending more than they take in as income. During the course of the pandemic, they are twice as likely to have had their financial situation change for the worse and to indicate that they have cut back on staples like groceries and household goods.
That can lead to tough choices like dipping into savings, increasing the use of debt or prioritizing which upcoming payments will be missed. Even larger numbers of consumers are worried about this becoming their fate. Forty percent of all consumers in our study are worried about the amount of their savings and credit card balances.
Since the 2008 Great Recession the divide between more affluent consumers and lower income consumers has grown.[i] Just as the pandemic accelerated the adoption of contactless commerce, video conferencing and home gyms, it also accelerated this bifurcation. The pandemic has created one world among high income people who can work at home and make discretionary purchases, and a second world of people who are more likely to be unemployed and/or more limited in their buying ability. While the pandemic has inconvenienced more affluent consumers, others have experienced a severe economic crisis that is likely to extend for some time.
Economists talk about the “K-shaped” recovery—to describe how different segments have experienced, and will continue to experience, the effects of the pandemic.[ii]Our research shows that the K-shaped recession and recovery are features of many economies and a direct outcome of the pandemic’s acceleration of a long-term change in the labor force.
Globally, the chances of being unemployed were about six times higher among low income workers compared to high earners though that varies by country. The ratio is higher in the United States (nine times as likely). While in Germany, low-income workers were only four times as likely to be unemployed. The difference is likely the result of Germany’s Kurzarbiet scheme to keep workers attached to their employers (so they aren’t officially unemployed) compared to the U.S. use of unemployment insurance. Similar schemes are set-up in all Western European countries.
With the pandemic, unemployment was, in many cases, spurred on by an inability to work from home. Consistent with World Bank research that finds that “jobs more amenable to WFH are more prevalent among workers with high levels of education, in salaried employment, and among younger workers,”[iii] high income workers in our tracker are almost twice as likely to be working at home as low income workers.[iv]
Spending bifurcation is also very clear. We track spending intent on 15 categories of goods and services ranging from groceries to travel. Some of these, like housing and medicines, are essential, or non-discretionary from the point of view of the consumer. Others, like entertainment and electronics, can be more easily postponed or managed without. This is discretionary spending.
Globally, since early May, the difference in discretionary spending intent has widened. At that time, approximately 40% more high-income than low-income households planned to spend more on discretionary goods. By the beginning of January, about twice as many high-income households reported such plans.
Not only are high income households now even more willing to open their wallets for “nice to have” items, they are also a third more willing to pay for the contactless commerce and other forms of convenience accelerated by the pandemic. This differs quite a bit by country. Germany and the Netherlands lead the way by being three to four times more likely to pay for convenience respectively. And despite the importance of convenience during the pandemic, lower income households are less willing (or able) to pay for it.
How should businesses respond?
For the past few years, we have advised Retail and other consumer companies to prepare for a corresponding bifurcation between price-based value and value delivered through differentiated product or services.[i] Indeed, priced-based mass merchants and luxury brands fared well while others struggled during the pandemic. Possibly more than ever, companies should urgently refine their focus.
Specifically, they should:
Deepen empathy for consumers and employees. Wall Street and Main Street have experienced the pandemic differently. Don’t be fooled by rising indices. Reconnect with and evaluate your investments in your customers and employees to better understand their experiences and needs.
Make trust a guiding principle. Trust in institutions overall is in decline, but it is critical to success. Eighty-five percent of customers choose trusted brands over others, compared with only 60% who select brands they don’t trust.[v] Trust has clear impact on financial performance.[vi] Investing in and continuously building mutual trust with consumers can help ensure they come along with you on the journey, even when inevitable shocks occur.
Become more granular in your consumer observations. The standard, historical data relied on pre-pandemic may not capture new consumer realities. Decisions made based on old data models can easily go wrong. While continuing to rely on judgment and instinct, leaders should also get creative in seeking new forms of outside-in real-time consumer, marketplace, competitive, and economic data to inform decisions.
Become more precise in your value propositions. Adjust how you segment consumers, prioritize channels, establish product portfolios, position your brands, and deploy service models in ways designed to address your chosen strategy and explicitly avoids getting caught in the shrinking middle.
Be agile with your channels. The shift to digital was already happening, but COVID accelerated consumer adoption. Companies that invested heavily in their digital commerce, services, and offerings pre-pandemic (e.g., mass merchants) shifted faster between channels and fared better than those that did not. Recently, half of consumer company executives said they will be increasingly reliant on online and omnichannel strategies.[vii]
Other contributors to this piece: Steve Rogers, executive director, Deloitte Insights Consumer Industry, Deloitte LLP and Danny Bachman, US Economic Forecaster, Deloitte
Leon Pieters is the Consumer Industry leader for Deloitte Global, where he is responsible for overseeing globally four consumer sectors: Automotive; Consumer Products; Retail, Wholesale & Distribution (RWD); and Transportation, Hospitality & Services (THS). Leon is charged with setting the overall strategic direction and go-to-market strategy for the practice.
Anthony is a partner in Risk & Financial Advisory within Deloitte & Touche LLP. He currently serves as both the US Consumer Industry Leader and Advisory Consumer Industry Leader. Previously, he led Advisory’s Finance Transformation practice and is a former member of Deloitte’s cross-business Finance Transformation leadership team. With nearly 30 years providing finance transformation services to multinational clients in the consumer products, manufacturing, transportation, retail and distribution sectors, he focuses on assisting clients with transformational projects involving the development and/or evaluation of finance operations and programs designed to improve financial integrity, compliance and operational effectiveness and efficiency.
Dr. Cedric Dark, Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine & Board Member with Doctors for America joins Yahoo Finance’s Kristin Myers to break down the latest coronavirus developments as the U.K. authorizes emergency use of the Pfizer, BioNTech vaccine. For 2020 election results please visit: Election results: https://www.yahoo.com/elections Subscribe to Yahoo Finance: https://yhoo.it/2fGu5Bb
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