This is What You Need to Thrive in the Gig Economy

The freedom to set your own schedule, be your own boss, and do what you enjoy — what’s not to love about working in the gig economy? While these benefits are real, going solo isn’t entirely a walk in the park. Working as a freelancer or side gigger requires specific skills and assets that an office job doesn’t. If you’re going to make it in the gig economy, these are four things you need to have:

A Network

When you’re starting out in the gig economy, the work doesn’t come to you — you have to go out and find it. But if you develop a network, word will get out and, over time, clients will start knocking on your door. Cultivate connections with other independent workers and small business owners and don’t be afraid to ask clients to tell their friends about your services and leave positive reviews online.

Self-Motivation

As an independent worker there’s no one holding you to deadlines or quality-checking your work. It’s completely up to you to make sure the work gets done, and gets done well. There are a lot of freelancers and side giggers out there, and if your clients don’t like the way you do business, they’ll spend their money somewhere else.

Being a freelancer or side gigger can also mean working in unconventional spaces. Sustaining productivity is challenging in the face of constant distraction. Self-motivation and discipline are key for keeping yourself on task.

Somewhere to Work

Loitering at coffee shops gets expensive and library seating is rarely comfortable enough for a full day’s work. So where do you set up shop when you don’t have an office to report to? If your work is computer-centric, you have two main options: rented office space or a home office.

Private office space is expensive (can cost up to $575 a month or more depending on your location), so many freelancers and side giggers opt for shared workspaces instead. Also known as coworking spaces, shared workspaces charge monthly membership fees for access to desk space and a WiFi connection, along with amenities like coffee, snacks, and networking events. In coworking spaces you’re typically sharing an open-plan office with dozens of other people, so you need to be able to cope with background noise if you go this route.

Home offices are great if you need a little more peace and quiet while you work. A home workspace can be anything from your kitchen table to a dedicated office, but if you plan on spending several days a week working from home, it’s best to carve out a separate workspace to minimize distractions. If you’re willing to spend a little extra, you can hire a carpenter or handyman to come in and build out the space for you. This could include a custom desk, a cord organizer, shelves, and cabinets for your office. Hiring a handyman in Washington, DC, will likely cost you $205 – $832, depending on the scale of the work.

A dedicated home office also lets you take a home office deduction when you file your taxes. Learn what it takes to qualify for a home office deduction at Money Talks News.

Diplomacy

The time comes in every freelancer’s career when she has to chase a client down for payment. According to Freelancers Union, 71 percent of freelancers have experienced trouble getting paid at least once in their career. The average loss? $6,000. That’s no drop in the bucket, which is why you need a strategy for getting paid without burning bridges.

The key to collecting payment from a client who’s gone silent is having set payment terms and politely, but firmly following up when they aren’t adhered to. If the first reminder doesn’t work, increase the firmness of your request but remain professional and polite. While there’s always a chance someone will refuse to pay, communication usually does the trick. For more tips on chasing down payment, check out this nonpayment advice from Shopify.

Working in the gig economy isn’t the easiest path. However, when you cultivate the right skills and the right connections, it can be an incredibly rewarding one. Before you set out to become a freelance worker or side gigger, make sure you have these four things in your toolbox.

Article by: Lucy Reed, Owner/Blogger/Developer of Gigmine.co

Image via Unsplash

5 Tax Time Tips for Stressed-Out Entrepreneurs

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Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Being an entrepreneur requires determination, tireless devotion to your business, and being open to growing your company. And never is that dedication needed more than during tax season.

Tax time offers a great opportunity to review how your business did the previous year, but it can also bring copious amounts of stress. Here are a few tips for making the most of tax season while keeping your stress level to a minimum:

Take It One Step at a Time

A lot of prep goes into getting ready for your appointment with your accountant. So, take it one step at a time. The best course of action is to make a list and make a plan. For example, you might spend your lunch break one day organizing the year’s invoices and another calculating your mileage. Don’t be a hero.

There’s no need for you to try to figure all of this stuff out on your own. Take advantage of available tax software that will make things like prepping employee W-2s a lot easier. And if you haven’t already, download an app that will calculate your mileage for you. That will make things a lot easier come this time next year.

Aim for Good Health

If you aren’t taking care of yourself, how can you truly take care of your business? It’s easy to let things like healthy eating and exercise slide when you are busy getting your taxes ready and managing your business on a daily basis. But your health should always come first. By exercising regularly and eating healthy you not only are taking care of your body, but you are working towards cutting back on stress.

Exercise is one of the top ways to relieve stress. Besides, a lot of successful people have their best ideas when they’re working out.

Consider the Future

Preparing your taxes shows you how your business did the previous year. But it’s also a great time to see where you might make improvements for the next year. Are there credits or deductions you could be taking advantage of? Did you overspend in any areas? Could you be distributing your revenue in a more “tax-friendly” way? These are all questions to discuss with your tax preparer. Once you have your answers, put a plan in place for making profitable changes that will give your company a boost in the coming months and make tax time next year a little more painless.

Step Away

When you own your own business, it’s very difficult to step away, and that’s especially true during tax season. But time off to decompress is necessary for your health and your stress levels. Take breaks. Tax Day is still weeks away, and you’ve got time to prepare. Marathon days in your office running numbers and searching for receipts will only increase the chance that you’ll make a mistake. Plan, use your time wisely, and then, go home.

With some careful planning and by taking advantage of all available resources– including helpful software and your CPA– you can get through tax time without having a breakdown. Get started now, and you can take things at an easy pace that won’t leave you frazzled and will minimize the chances that you’ll make a costly mistake.

Author: Julie Morris

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How To Change A Facebook Page Username More Than Once

Are you trying to change your Facebook Page Username more than once?
It’s truly unfair how Facebook only allows you one Username change per page. It’s almost as if you’ve inked yourself a tattoo dedicated to an ex-lover that you’re stuck with forever. Between rebranding, changing of business plans, merging of companies, and many other scenarios, it’s certainly inconvenient.
However, we’ve recently discovered a simple and easy way of working around this. The good news is that it’s free, takes only a few minutes, and doesn’t rely on the invisible powers that be at Facebook.
Here are the steps involved:
1) Visit the Page that is Already Established.
This is the page that has your following and all of your content. It’s seemingly perfect, other than that lousy username that is burning a hole in your soul. We’ll refer to this as your Original Page.
2) Create a New Page and Make Identical to your Original Page
Be sure to title it as similarly as possible to the original page. For example: The original page is titled ABC Company so title this new one ABCCompany or something like that.
3) Request Facebook to Merge the Pages
Select to Keep the New Page.
Even if it only has you as the sole ‘Like’ this is your page’s new home.
Select the Original Page to be Merged with the new one.
*IMPORTANT NOTE: Merging the two Pages will only transfer Likes. You will lose all of the content such as posts, images and anything else. While these are great, the Likes are the valuable assets here.
4) Click Send
Facebook should send an approval (or denial) in an email. This can occur in as little as a minute after you’ve clicked Send.
5) Set Up the New Page
Now you should have a brand new page and you can alter it as you please. You should be able to change the Title as you like and as long as you have more than 25 Likes, you can change the Username FINALLY to what you prefer. It can take some time for this to be available though as it’s common for it to get stuck on the ‘Loading’ phase.
This should have you on your way to getting around one of the most frustrating aspects of doing business on social media. Facebook, you’re great and all, but sometimes you can be a real pain in the…
Feel free to leave comments below and let us know of your success (or lack thereof).