As marketing strategists who left our corporate jobs to start Pizzaphant, we understand how hard the entrepreneurial world can be. Oftentimes, businesses start off as ideas which then become side hustles before becoming full-time businesses. We recently reached out to Lucy Reed, owner of GigMine, to discuss the characteristics a person needs to start a successful business. Check out her blog post below.
If you have all of these characteristics under your belt, then check out our post on the top business tips that we learned during our first year of business.
5 Characteristics You Need to Start a Successful Gig-Based Business
In a 2017 study conducted by Freelancing America, 63% of freelancers said they started their career by choice rather than by necessity. And with roughly 36% of the American workforce now freelancing (57.3 million people), we are on track to see that number exceed 50 percent by 2027. More than ever before, the gig economy appears to be a legitimate and rewarding option for workers. If you’re looking to start your own gig-based business, here are five things you need to have to be successful in this booming gig economy.
While everyone may think they have what it takes to be a personal chef, dog walker, writer, etc., there are some basic skills you need to be successful. Before diving into a certain side hustle, make sure you have whatever certifications, skills, and other items that would make potential clients more apt to hire you. If possible, find other people who are already successful in your career area and figure out what they did to start out. What challenges did they face? What did they wish they knew prior to starting their side hustle? What skills or certifications do they recommend?
Being knowledgeable about the career you want to pursue and obtaining whatever additional skills or certifications for that career will make it that much easier to convince people that you’re worth hiring.
As you get started, tap into some apps that are designed for gig-based workers. From dog walking and pet sitting to driving for a rideshare company and copywriting, you can explore a variety of opportunities to launch your freelance career.
Having the correct knowledge and skills are extremely important to having a successful gig-based business, but you also need tenacity and passion. Tenacity is symbiotic with passion — the more passion you have, the more tenacity you will have, and vice versa. Think of it this way: If passion is what fuels your quest for success, tenacity is the quality of following through, no matter what. It’s arguably more essential than intelligence when it comes to entrepreneurism. It helps you to minimize distractions and focus on your goals, and it’s what allows you to keep pushing through failure after failure—which any successful entrepreneur experiences.
Willingness to Take Risks
You also need to be willing to take risks, because no real success comes without risks. Actually, choosing to freelance is a risk in itself. Particularly if your aim is for your business to be your primary income, you’re giving up the security of a traditional job and going down a riskier road. But if you want the freedom of being your own boss, you may have to leave that guaranteed salary behind and prepare for some growing pains. Also, you must use your own capital, unlike in a traditional economy where businesses provide capital.
You’ll also need to budget for taxes. In a traditional 9 to 5, the company deducts funds for the IRS. However, as a freelancer, you’ll need to set aside money to pay quarterly taxes.
Another required trait for running your own gig-based business is adaptability to the ever-changing economy. Just as corporations must be flexible to changing their standard operating procedures and workplace policies, those who are starting their own business must be willing to respond to the demands of the moment. The rate of technological advances makes it imperative to make key decisions quickly. You have to make adaptability part of your business culture if you want to remain relevant and successful.
Finally, you must know how to solve problems. In many ways, entrepreneurism is solving problems. First of all, you must know how to define a problem. Being able to spot a problem will help you to nip it in the bud before it becomes bigger and harder to handle. You also need to be able to look at problems from all angles. There is rarely just one solution to a problem, and being more open-minded will allow you to solve it more effectively and efficiently. Once you’ve defined the problem and looked at it from various perspectives, you can choose the best solution and take steps to make sure it doesn’t reoccur.
The gig economy is growing each year, with more people opting for short-term or freelance jobs than ever before. While there are many advantages to starting your own gig-based business, it takes a lot of hard work and creative thinking. If you understand why you’re in your field, practice tenacity, are willing to take risks, remain adaptable, and can solve problems, then you’re on the path to a successful career in the gig economy.
About the Author
Lucy Reed has been starting businesses since she was a kid, from the lemonade stand she opened in her parent’s driveway at age 10 to the dog walking business she started while in college. She created GigMine because she was inspired by the growth of the sharing economy and wanted to make it easier for entrepreneurial individuals like herself to find the gig opportunities in their areas.
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