Going it alone for the first time can be incredibly scary while being exhilarating at the same time. It’s important to have confidence in yourself but there are also tricks of the trade that will help you avoid the typical pitfalls as well. At the end of the day, you can’t know everything and you can’t learn everything on your own so don’t be afraid to seek advice from others who have come before you. Having a mentor or accepting help from people doesn’t mean that you can’t make it on your own, it simply means you are wise enough to realise that others have come before you and can help you succeed quicker and more gracefully than perhaps you could yourself.
Know Your Worth
Unfortunately, money is at the centre of everything we do and the same goes for your business. Although you may love your job and have a passion for what you do, you still need to earn a living. One of the most important lessons is do not undercharge. By pricing too low you will attract clients that don’t necessarily have the means for your services. This will result in uncomfortable negotiations and will always end up with the client being unhappy as the price will never be low enough.
Maintain Great Relationships with Previous Employers
When changing jobs it’s important not to burn bridges as your previous employer could either be a great advocate for your hard work to potential clients and others in the industry or they could bad mouth you behind your back as you left their business on bad terms. Your previous employer could also end up being a customer in the future. Work hard at maintaining that relationship.
Get involved as much as you can in local events to make connections with local businesses and other developers. Engage with people on social media as well, by being open and answering questions you show you know your stuff. When running your own business, treat every social encounter as a business opportunity online and offline.
Under Promise and Over Deliver
This is key to any successful business. There is nothing more disappointing than a company promising the world and seriously falling short and bad news travels fast. No matter how much that pushy client tries to barter with you, promise what you know you can do and in the end if you can give a little extra they will remember you for it.
Set Aside Savings
Running your own business can be tough and unpredictable, especially at first. Ensure you have cash set aside specifically for slow months, three months is the ideal amount.