Freelancers aren’t just creative individuals working on whatever vocation they’ve decided to focus on. It’s not just freelance designers, developers, writers, bloggers, etc. They are business owners.
Own a business means that they are essentially a sole proprietorship and therefore have to take care of all the operations that keep a business afloat. From finance to marketing to customer service, they take care of everything.
If you’re thinking of going freelance or just dipping your toes in the pool, here’s a find out what else you will need to take care of. I will also share some practical tips that might help you.
Basically, freelancers, regardless of their industry, are their:
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Freelancers are responsible for managing the finances of their own business. They do their own books, file their taxes, spend hours agonizing over 2 cents they can’t find in their ledger, and pay the price if they forget to file their taxes on time.
Since most freelancers tend to ignore their taxes and their filing system is dismal, you’ll find plenty of them going crazy as tax time approaches.
Point: Take the time to research and invest in a good accounting system to avoid headaches and setbacks.
2. Human Resources Manager
While you’re making fun decisions like which client to take on and which to let go, you also have to be the one who makes you show up to work even if you have a cold. After all, you don’t get paid sick leave.
Dealing with difficult clients and hiring other freelancers to outsource your work, etc., all of this falls under the HR side as well. It’s only about you.
Point: There’s no way out of this one. If you treat your customers well, HR issues won’t crop up often enough.
3. Public Relations Manager
Freelancers are their own PR team. No one else will be lyrical about their job or company. They are responsible for telling potential clients how great they are, how they help their clients succeed through their work, and how easy it is to work with them.
They also deal with the repercussions of unhappy customers or any other issues that arise.
Point: Social media is a favorite PR tool for freelancers. Luckily, if you’re using social media correctly, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes each day to do your PR.
If only the job landed in our lap just because we’re good at it, but it never does. Freelancers must actively and continually market their business to attract clients, not just when they need new clients or work.
No matter how great our work is, customers won’t find out and we won’t know if we don’t market ourselves. It’s one of those day-to-day activities that can take up as much time as the actual work.
Point: Instead of focusing on time-consuming marketing efforts, find a few smaller, easy-to-do marketing techniques that don’t take a lot of time and do them regularly.
5.Customer Service Team
You thought your days of talking to customers, answering their questions and listening to their complaints were behind you? Think again. Satisfying a client is the #1 job of a freelancer.
If you don’t take your customers’ complaints seriously, they will drop you like hot coals.
Point: Customers are the lifeblood of your freelance business. Treat them like gold, do whatever you can to make them happy with your work, and reap the rewards of a successful client-freelance relationship.
If you’ve been freelancing for a while, there are probably days when you feel more like a secretary than a freelancer. If you’re not careful, scheduling meetings, deadlines, and interviews can take half a day.
No one can screen your calls and emails. Add filing and organizing your files to the mix and you almost feel like you have another job outside of freelancing.
Point: This is why many freelancers hire virtual assistants if they can afford it. They can’t offer you coffee, but they can certainly take care of planning and organizing your work! Otherwise, be sure to do all your filing, planning, and organization as you go. Don’t procrastinate.
7. Collection agent
Unpaid invoices are the harsh reality of freelancing. Luckily, if you’re careful about who you work with, that won’t happen often. But when they happen, you have to be the one nagging the customer to clear the payments.
Tips: Make sure you have a contract in which you specify the terms of payment. Send your invoices on time and charge late fees if the invoice is not paid. In some cases, time tracking apps can help.
Independents do not sell products. They sell services – their own services as well. Whenever they contact potential customers, they put on their salesman’s hat.
This goes hand in hand with marketing but it is essentially this team that closes the sale.
Point: It is their job to convince the potential client to hire them. It’s not an easy task, but think about the benefits. New client, more work and more money. It is really worth it!
9. IT Technician
As a freelancer, there’s no one you can call and yell at if your computer crashes or your printer stops working for some mysterious reason. Freelancers are responsible for taking care of their own equipment.
If the thought scares you, get help with setup, then always keep a backup.
Point: Be sure to back up your files religiously and have more than one backup! Have alternatives for anything that could possibly break down near a crucial deadline.
10. Quality control personnel
Sometimes, when the work is plentiful and the deadlines are too close together, freelancers focus more on completing the work on time than on the quality of their work.
Since you work for yourself, no one but you can guarantee the quality of your work.
Point: Pencil on time a few days before they are actually due. This gives you enough time to go through your work and make sure the quality is still there. Keep track of client needs through their creative briefs.
Finally, don’t worry if you’re not a multitasking wizard. I’ll let you in on a little secret: Most of us weren’t good multitaskers when we started either. We learn everything on the job, and so do you. Keep it up and don’t give up!
Organizations around the world define themselves as innovative, but very few actually embrace the meaning of innovation, and far fewer have a specific plan to achieve it. If you are working on innovation, you need to plan the figure of the Director of Innovation We tell you!
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Who is the Director of Innovation?
An innovative company is one that has the ability to create with an impact on the market. When we speak of “creating” we refer to developing new products or internal processes in the organization. On the other hand, having an impact on the market means that we are able to monetize innovation so that it is associated with a value that people want to pay for.
And all this responsibility falls on a specific profile within the companies and who was part of the CSuite level manager, it is the Director of Innovationthat is, from the CIO.
It is important to note that innovation is not just technology. We can use new technology in our organization and that is not why we will be innovating. Innovate and create with impact. What is certain is that in a large part of the cases the innovation is on the frontier of what is technologically possible.
The 3 horizons of innovation
Peter Drucker, the great guru of business strategy, said that throughout his life he met many people capable of managing the long term well, and he even knew a large number of people capable of managing the short term efficiently, however, there are very few people capable of efficiently managing the balance between the short and long term.
This efficient management between the short and the long term must be a capacity of the management level of the entire organization, and even more so, of the chief innovation officer.
A very useful planning technique to manage this balance and map growth is called Three Horizons. This technique appeared for the first time in the book The Alchemy of Growth, but nevertheless, in my daily work as CIO of IEBS Business School, it changed some in terms of time and form according to the needs of today’s digital companies that I pass on to you. explain and hope result from courage.
Horizon 1 focuses on the short term. This short term will depend on the type of company, but we can say that it is a space between 1 and 3 years. It deals with the type of innovation that occurs in this horizon. incremental innovations about existing products and services in the organization. In other words, we focus on what the market already understands as value. This horizon should consume 50% of the organization’s resources.
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Horizon 2 focuses on the medium term, which for most companies includes a temporary period of approximately 5 years. In this case, the creation process focuses on new products and services, improving the knowledge and skills that the organization carries. In other words, innovation in this horizon focuses on new products related to existing ones. The actions to be developed in this horizon will consume approximately 25% of the resources.
This horizon is the one with the greatest risk, but it is also the horizon that brings organizations opportunities to break the existing rules of current markets and lead them, and even create new markets.
In this horizon, the objective is to develop new products, services, business models, channels or new companies that have nothing to do with what we know or do. The objective is to reflect on social and market trends to then see what resources we have to address a solution to a problem that does not yet exist, or even that may never exist. Horizon 3 proposed a time frame of 10 years for digital companies and their Moonshot-type projects.
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Functions of the Chief Innovation Officer or CIO
The CIO of an organization is a key role that reports directly to the CEO of a company, there is a role that requires great leadership with specific mindsets and skills.
The person responsible for innovation in a company in today’s digital age must have a mindset of creationthat is to say, as seen in Los Tres Horizontes, creation is the predominant process in innovation.
Also, be a person curiousable to ask the why of things, even those that we consider to be true or immutable.
And this is not all, but he has shown a strong mentality, adaptable to the incessant changes of the current world, and resilient Since innovation is risk and the failures that come cannot change the focus or the plan.
- Regarding the capabilities of the CIO, first of all to say that it has to be a person close to the team The culture of the organization should work towards innovation.
- On the other hand, the critical analysis ability is key, the CIO cannot take anything for granted or be guided by lines of general opinion, the person in charge of innovation of a company must have his own opinion about things.
- Lastly, it must be a person observed trends and social changes Looking for opportunities in changes.
Who said it would be easy to be the CIO of an organization? Those who, despite everything we have seen here sober the responsibilities of a CIO, are still convinced of becoming one of them, thanks all my admiration and respect, and I sincerely wish you the best of luck.
If you are interested in a Chief Innovation Office, we invite you to train in our MBA in Digital Business in which you can become a futuristic and innovative leader capable of anticipating change. We will wait for you!
MBA in Digital Business
Be the forerunner of innovation in any company!
I want to know more!