Doing business doesn’t have to be stressful. We hear new designers talking about their “hustle” all the time and how hard being in business is. While we do know there are challenges we face as business owners, we also see all the benefits. Because of this, we wanted to provide a new perspective on designing businesses that create a life well-lived.
People often think about starting their own freelance design company because they love working independently but don’t like giving up personal time in order to get ahead financially. The reality is, most freelancers burn themselves out trying to keep up with client requests while also making sure their “real” life isn’t completely neglected.
Our philosophy is that you CAN have a life you love and a business that supports it. Business is about making healthy strategic decisions and not allowing stress and pressure to kill your creativity. So today we are going to talk you through some of our favorite tips for keeping your business in the inspiration zone and still living a life that leaves you fulfilled and happy!
#1 Create a life you love each day
You can’t create the business of your dreams if you don’t take time for yourself and do the things that make you happy. By creating a daily rhythm and putting things in your schedule that make you feel fulfilled, you are giving your mind the time and space it needs to move from stress and pressure to creativity and inspiration. Make sure to carve out space in your day for physical activity. Things like walks, yoga, meditation, or anything else that puts a smile on your face. Whatever it is, find what works best for you and then prioritize accordingly! Remember, that the more you invest in yourself the better version of yourself your clients will get!
#2 Focus on how to run your business with less stress.
Outsourcing repetitive tasks (like invoicing) can free up more time in a small way so that you can so focus on revenue-generating activities. Next look at your SOP’s (standard operating procedures) – are they efficient? Is this particular process necessary at all? These can help you actually hire more help for your business as you grow and help decrease the learning curve for anyone you add to your team! Finally, ask yourself “How much does (insert activity here ex: Instagram Posting and Engagement) cost me?” Keeping in mind that costs can be time and monetary as well. Sometimes you have to “pay” for your freedom a little bit with business. If it’s costing too much time or money and not giving you a great ROI, it may be time to cut it out!
#3 Plan some vacation time for yourself
It can feel overwhelming or impossible to take time off when you are “Flyin’ solo” The good news is that the team at Weeknight Website has been doing this for a while now. We have some super helpful tips on how to schedule time off so that your clients are well taken care of and your business stays strong while you are away. Check out our blog post below to learn why your business will thrive when you take time off. It’s filled with practical tips you can use to take a vacation without worry!
#4 Follow the flow of the year
This post is all about planning for your year as a freelancer. It will help to plan ahead and avoid getting into too much of a rut, or not having the time you need to devote to your business because you were busy with other things.
There are some really good points in this article so make sure that when you read it, take notes on what works well for you! You may just want to review this at different times throughout the year (perhaps around tax season) so that there’s plenty of time to plan and it can encourage you that the trends in business you are seeing are completely normal.
#5 Set good boundaries for your client work
Most of owning and running a successful service-based business is about creating clear expectations. If you are not clear with your clients from the start about what they can expect it is bound to get messy.
If you find yourself in “hustle mode” all the time, you may need to set some more clear client communication boundaries. Even though we live in an always-on world, you should be clear with your clients are at least certain hours during which you don’t answer email, calls, or texts.
#6 Scale your business by creating new offers
It’s a good idea to have some clear goals for what you want your business to accomplish each year. So what happens when you have a client that loves you, but you don’t have anything else to offer them? Create something new specifically for them.
This is one of the easiest sales you will ever make. Simply create a list of clients that could use your new offer and pitch it to them. Create an email about how you can help them with their goals. Be specific, give examples, and show some results from other people they know who’ve worked with you before.
Check out this blog for our best tips for scaling your business easily with existing clients