A growing number of people are working for themselves these days. There are many exciting things about having your own freelancing business, but there are also some challenges as well. One of the issues that you were going to need to tackle is figuring out how to operate your freelancing business in the most eco-friendly way possible.
Many businesses are having a hard time doing this. One study found that 90% of business leaders think sustainability is important, but only 60% have taken steps to focus on it.
In this post, we are going to talk about some other things that you need to keep in mind if you are trying to be an ethical freelancer that wants to protect the planet. Keep reading to learn more.
do you intend to make sustainability a core part of your brand?
Some businesses specifically brand themselves around sustainability. They do this as a marketing strategy to convince eco-friendly customers to do business with them.
Other businesses care about sustainability, but they don’t go out of their way to make it part of their business mission. They keep their commitment to helping the planet to themselves, rather than advertising it in their literature and marketing messages.
There are merits to both of these approaches, so you are going to have to decide which one is going to work for your freelancing business. If you can demonstrate that you are seriously committed to sustainability, then it might be a good idea to build a brand image around that mission. However, this can backfire if you can’t prove your commitment or sustainability to your customers. You might be accused of greenwashing, which will hurt your marketing efforts.
The bottom line is that you should only make sustainability a core part of your marketing strategy if you can consistently prove it to your customers.
Key Factors to Consider When Starting a Sustainable Freelancing Business
The last 10 years have seen a flood of freelancers and solopreneurs. As technology advances further – the more the average, corporate worker will turn to working for themselves. Yet, the biggest reservations people seem to have with venturing out to be their own boss, is that they don’t know where to start. We are here to quell your curiosities as we dive into what you need to start a freelance business.
A number of companies we spoke with, such as the experts that launched The Bunion Cure have taken steps to lower their carbon footprints. This has helped them reach more customers that care about sustainability.
So, take a break from scheduling your appointment with your masseuse, and let’s get right into what you need to start a freelance business.
Start With Why
In the wise words of Simon Sinek, “Start with why.” When it comes to building a freelance business, a clear direction and intent is paramount. Before you start building your foundation, you need to know what kind of house you want to build, so you build with the right materials.
Allot a considerable amount of time to think about the purpose of your freelance business. Write down your ideas and consult with other freelancers or small business owners.
What About Money?
Is your business idea profitable? What is the current competition in the world of freelance business? Before you venture far and get too invested in your freelance business, you need to ensure it will be profitable.
While freelance copywriters and freelance paralegals on average charge a hefty fee, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will earn that off the bat. Freelance business is a grind at the start, and you should prepare to not make much of a profit until you are fully established – this sometimes takes over a year.
Do your research when it comes to how much money you will make as a freelancer and decide if it makes financial sense to pursue it. If not, you can go back to the drawing board and rework your freelance business idea into one that is more profitable.
A Website is Vital
Don’t skimp on your website! Your website will most likely be your “store” and your largest platform for selling yourself. It is important your website is aesthetically appealing, easy to navigate, and clear when it comes to what your freelance business offers.
You could support another freelancer by contracting one out to build your website for you. There is a plethora of talented, affordable freelance website designers. Your website is the face of your business, give the attention to it that it deserves.
Think About Your Pricing
When it comes to pricing your services, you should refer to the original research you conducted at the start of creating your freelance business. It is important to consider and investigate the current rates of others. In the beginning days of your freelance business, you will do better if you price towards the bottom of the spectrum until you become more established as a business.
Don’t sell yourself short. Even though you will likely be getting paid less at the start of your freelance business, don’t let others take advantage of you to the point of burnout. Be reasonable with your prices, for both your customer and you. Expect less now to get more later.
Believe it or not, you will most likely need to acquire a business license. If your freelance business generates more than $400 in profit, you will be required to file an income tax return. It’s advisable that you get a business license as soon as you can. This will protect you and help with taxes later down the road.
There is a whole host of free information about how to obtain a business license, you should start your researching as soon as possible.
Insurance is a Must
Along with obtaining a business license, you should certainly get insurance for your freelance business. Small business insurance is an absolute necessity. A claim could be devastating to your small business if you don’t have insurance, and you want to ensure you are protected.
However, the type of coverage your small business needs depends on factors such as the size of your establishment, the number of employees, revenue, and the product or services it offers. It is also important to take a look at what your state requires for insurance, as there are some places in the country that require some insurance coverage for small businesses. Do your research!
On average, general liability insurance costs about $45 a month, and it could save you millions down the road.
Ways to make your freelancing business more sustainable
Here are some important guidelines for freelancers that intend to be more sustainable.
There are digital apps that can help reduce emissions and go paperless. Miro and Trello can replace sticky notes and offer project planning tools. These apps provide a digital paper trail in one place. Tide is a paperless banking tool that offers a user-friendly digital experience for business customers. Freelancers can manage their business with Tide’s tools and services. Using these tools saves time and helps the planet.
Get the right office supplies
Office supplies like pens, sticky notes, and notebooks are still important for freelancers, even in the digital age. Freelancers may need to sign contracts or take notes offline. Some pencils have a seed capsule that can be planted when they’re too small to write with. Biome offers beautiful, refillable bamboo pens. Some notebooks are decomposable and made from 100% post-consumer-waste recycled material. Sticky notes are recyclable, but policies vary. Reusable sticky notes are the safest bet.
Work with eco-friendly clients
As a freelancer, you can become more selective with your clients over time. Display your eco-friendly practices on your website and join sustainable business networks to connect with like-minded clients. This can help you find clients who prioritize sustainability in their operations.
Lower your internet carbon footprint
Did you know that the Internet accounts for 3.7% of our global carbon footprint? You will need to take the right steps to reduce it to make your freelancing business more sustainable.
The internet’s data is stored in data centers worldwide. These centers are always powered and ready to send information to our devices. This includes videos, music, news, memes, and messages. Our constant need for fast access to data contributes to our digital carbon footprints.
You need to be aware of the size of your Internet carbon footprint and take steps to reduce it.
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