Joining the gig economy? Check out these 4 tips first

The term gig economy was batted around an awful lot the past two years, and with good reason. The number of workers who made money working on short-term contracts or through freelancing grew by 34% in 2020, according to SmallBizTrends. That trend is only expected to grow as the global pandemic continues to shape the way work gets down and how people view the nature of work. With numbers this big, chances are the thought of making extra money with a side hustle or going full-time as a freelancer has crossed your mind. If so, check out these tips on transitioning to the gig economy before you make the leap.

Know your ‘why’

Make no mistake, when you enter the gig economy, you will be an entrepreneur and that is no easy life. You’ll have to sacrifice your time and money to make your dream a reality, and there will be times of doubt and fear. So, if the reason you are transitioning to the gig economy isn’t strong enough, your will to succeed won’t be there during the tough times. Taking time to reflect on what is driving you to try the gig economy is critical for success. While there is no right or wrong answer, determine your reason and try to envision if it will be enough to keep you moving forward years from now.

Have a plan

You may not need a full-blown business plan to start, but you’ll need a vision of how and what you want your business to look like. Determine if it is going to be a side-hustle or a full-time venture. Also, figure out a time frame for goals. Having dates for start times and financial goals is important in ensuring your ideas don’t lose momentum. Also, have a plan for marketing your venture. Traditional marketing can be expensive. So, if your budget is small, know how you’ll use social media and word-of-mouth advertising to bring in business. Speaking of budgets, let’s talk turkey.

Know your numbers

Any successful business person will tell you that knowing your financial situation is essential to success. And that financial situation starts at home. The first number you need to know is your own cost of living. If you don’t have a personal budget, make one. You’ll need to know how much money it will take to keep the lights on at home, buy food, and keep you (and your family) clothed. Beyond that, you’ll definitely want to create a business budget. It doesn’t have to be fancy software. A simple spreadsheet will work at the beginning.

The key is to accurately project just how much money you’ll need to spend on your business to set revenue goals. Oh, and don’t forget about taxes. They are an essential part of your business budget. At least the IRS thinks so. Business taxes are much different than employee taxes. You can do online research or reach out to a tax professional for help, which brings us to our next tip.

Know your resources

Maybe you want to join the gig economy for more freedom and autonomy. But no one can go it alone. Good entrepreneurs know they need help. So know the resources and tools that can help you. Friends with business experience, professionals in the field, and online resources like this one are essential to gig economy success.

That’s it! Using these tips will serve as a springboard for success and help you avoid some of the headaches and troubles of becoming your own boss, even if it’s part-time.