If you’re a freelancer, you’ve definitely heard someone say, “You’re so lucky you don’t work for anyone! That must be so much easier!”
Cue eye roll. While there are certainly perks to being your own boss, the truth is that you do work for someone—yourself—and sometimes that can be even harder than having someone constantly looking over your shoulder. As a solopreneur, you have to be your own C-Suite and take responsibility for the entirety of your business, switching between multiple job titles and descriptions with ease to keep your work on track.
So who do you have to be when you run your own business? Below are the five hats that every solopreneur must wear:
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
This one is obvious. You’re in charge of your brand, your company and your product. Whatever it is that you do, it’s all up to you. As a freelancer, you need to think about the bigger picture in order to achieve your goals so your business can evolve. At the same time, you need to think about your daily responsibilities and make sure you’re not slacking on the little details that are just as necessary for success. As the CEO, you need to push yourself to stay focused, resist the desire to give up and be on top of every facet of your domain.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Think of the COO as a puppet master. You’re the one that’s ultimately in control of every aspect of your company. While the CEO oversees everything from afar, you get up close and personal with the work and analyze the results to see if you’re really doing what needs to be done. You have to consider everything from IT to administrative responsibilities, to simply getting the job done on time. Use AND CO’s time-tracking tool to better manage your time when juggling multiple projects at once and identify any inefficiencies that could be holding you back.
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
Even if you’re doing everything else right, you won’t get anywhere with your business if you’re not marketing yourself and getting your name out there. As a freelancer, you need to define your brand in order to target your services and clientele. With social media, that means building up a cohesive and active web presence that tells customers who you are, what you’re offering and why you’re the best person for the job.
When you’re playing the role of CMO out in public or while communicating with clients and prospects, you also have to be mindful of how you’re presenting yourself. You can wear sweatpants at home, but when you’re being the CMO, it’s time to look and act the part.
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Freelancers are not unfamiliar with complicated taxes and wonky budgets. As Chief Financial Officer of your own ship, you need to stay on top of your spending, figure out which expenses are tax-deductible, file everything on time and make sure you always have money in the bank. This may be the least fun part of being a freelancer, but it’s one of the most necessary.
It also means remembering to send your invoices, following up on late payments, determining how much you can spend on business versus pleasure each month and negotiating a fair rate for each project you take on. Use AND CO’s expense-tracking tool to make organizing your work budget a little easier.
General counsel for the solopreneur
No matter what job you have, you’ll encounter people who want to take advantage of you. Know your rights as an independent contractor so you can fight back when someone comes knocking. Learn how to recognize a sketchy contract and be able to break down the fine print.
Knowledge is power, and it helps to have a go-to expert or at least a few good online resources to fall back on when you’re totally at a loss. Want to create a bulletproof service agreement in seconds? Use the Standard Freelance Contract from AND CO and the Freelancers Union. It’s free!
The above are just five of many roles you will have to take on as a solopreneur. If you feel we missed any important ones, please leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
Content sponsored by AND CO