If you’re planning to set up as a sole trader, it’s important that you’re prepared to tackle all elements of business by yourself. Trying to keep multiple plates spinning with no help can be a big challenge, but this article offers a few tips on how to keep organized, productive and calm throughout the working day and beyond.
Streamline Your Socials
Social media is a vital tool for any professional. To keep your social streams effective, you need to be producing and sharing interesting, original, relevant content on a regular basis as well as interacting actively with a range of individuals and professionals on your chosen platforms. This sounds like a lot of work, but you don’t have to do it all yourself in real time. Instead, look into applications that collate all of your social activity into one handy dashboard. You can then create content in batches over the space of an hour or two per week, then use the application to schedule them to be posted as and when you choose. These tools can also be used to keep track of any interactions – like retweets, likes and comments – so you know what to respond to as and when it occurs.
Outsource Your Overflow
There may be times when you’re facing too many demands and requests to keep on top of by yourself. On these occasions, why not advertise particular one-off tasks on freelancing platforms, so it can be outsourced to another professional? You’ll have to pay them, of course, but this is an easy way of reducing a backlog of work easily and efficiently – and, if you’re very impressed with your chosen freelancer, you can keep using them in the future.
Marketing is an ongoing slog that is absolutely necessary, but also tends to get in the way of other vital tasks. One of the best ways to keep your business in the public eye with very little effort is to undertake search engine optimization. One of the key elements of this involves researching the most popular words and phrases used in online searches by individuals looking for the products and services you offer. You can then include those keywords organically throughout your site and in new content uploaded regularly.
This will ensure that you appear high up the search results when the right people look for you. There are free keyword research tools available online that enable you to really narrow down your search – even allowing you to check the most popular phrases used in your specific location. Do this at least monthly to keep your keywords up to date. Intent SEO can enable you to outrank competitors within your field and multiply your revenue without having to take hours away from your everyday duties.
Set Your Hours
Try to decide on your work schedule and stick to it. Whether yours is a weekend job, a Monday to Friday 9 to 5 or something else besides, you need to publicize the hours you work clearly and step away from your emails when that time is over. As a sole trader, it can be very easy to allow and deadlines to persuade you to keep working into your free time. This is bad for your stress levels and general mental health – and can lead to you producing poor work and losing custom. Be friendly but firm about your working hours. By managing client expectations, you’ll develop fairer, more clearly defined working relationships and reduce some of the pressure on yourself.