How I Built My Location Independent Business
In the last two years, I have been able to take more than 12 weeks of vacation and downtime in order to recuperate from running a busy business. As my company grew, however, I made some mistakes early on that compromised my ability to be location independent.
As a soon-to-be military spouse, being able to do my work over a Wi-Fi connection has major advantages for me and my schedule. In fact, it’s been one of the biggest benefits of working for myself that helps keep me motivated during long days or when I have a difficult client contract. What follows are my tips for building a location independent business.
Recognized My Ideal Client- and Worked Only with Him
Everything in your business is about selecting your ideal client. This is true whether you blog for yourself or whether you’re a freelancer or building some other type of business where a person is purchasing a product.
Think carefully about this ideal person.
Who is this person?
How are they thinking?
What challenges have brought them to this point to consider working with you?
Finding the right type of client can have a significant impact on your ability to be location independent. For example, if you have a client who wants regular phone calls with you and you’re going to be traveling across multiple time zones, this person might not be the ideal fit for you.
You’ll constantly be juggling potential jet lag and various time zone changes, which could make it challenging.
Selecting projects where you can provide deliverables on an assigned deadline allows you to submit work more easily and avoid the challenges of constant communication.
A bonus to this is that having phone calls with numerous clients can easily fill up your schedule and distract you from what you’re hoping to do.
I know my ideal client today down to a T. In fact, I have given this individual a name. As a blogger for law firms across the United States, my ideal client is a man – I call him Adam – between ages 35 and 55.
He runs a small or mid-size personal injury, estate planning, medical malpractice, or family law firm and has no time to deal with content marketing. It’s his goal to outsource everything to me and trust that I will follow SEO guidelines to do it properly. Now this is not to say I turn away anyone who does not fit this perfectly- I don’t. However, I’m careful to make sure that anyone hiring me fits the same general guidelines.
Since the majority of my clients don’t care to have constant conversations with me, I can craft their content with my expertise and provide it when they need it. This takes everything off of their plates so that they know that everything is getting done.
In the past, however, when I worked with clients who wanted to touch base every couple of days, it became very difficult to juggle my schedule and make sure I was getting everything done.
Always Looked Ahead
When you know what is coming down the pike, it’s much easier to plan in your vacations.
Since I use recurring business primarily with my existing clients, when I took a 3-week vacation to Europe this summer, I knew what work I had to get done well in advance. I completed all 3 weeks’ worth of work in the weeks leading up to going on vacation so that I could truly disconnect and unplug while I was on my trip.
Always knowing what’s coming as well as planning around the busy and slow schedules of your particular business is important. For example, I know freelance romance writers who can bring in significantly more profits during the holiday months when people are purchasing gifts for others or are more likely to be at home reading romance novels.
They put in all of the leg work during September, October and November to have a successful December and cash in on the maximum amount of revenue from their romance writing sales. Likewise, as a freelance writer, I know that my busiest months will always be September and October, I make sure that I capitalize on my earnings during this time and throw my efforts into other projects during slow seasons like the months of December, January and July.
This also makes it much easier for me to schedule my vacations around slow seasons and client needs so that I can take a break.
Focused On Recurring Business
As a virtual assistant, recurring business might be in the form of hourly packages that your clients purchase from you. As a freelance writer, it could be a set number of whitepapers or blogs that your clients request every single month.
This allows you to stay on top of things and not have to spend a significant amount of your time marketing. If you’re travelling all over the world, having established relationships with clients you love to work with, makes it that much easier to do the research for their projects and complete the deliverables without having to be tied to a specific location.
Being location independent is not only advantageous for you and your ability to see the world while also doing some incredible work that you feel passionate about, it has also become more accepted these days to be location independent.
More people understand the draw of not being tied to a specific desk or geographic area. So if you find the right clients, focus on recurring business, and know what’s always coming down the pike, you can capitalize on an amazing business that allows you to leave and work from anywhere, or take time off as needed.
What about you? Are you also building your location independent business, working from home or looking to start one? We want to hear your stories too!
Laura Pennington is a freelance writer who left a career as an inner-city middle school teacher to pursue writing and project management virtually. She now coaches others how to do the same at www.sixfigurewritingsecrets.com and www.yourwaytova.com