5 Tips for Successful Part Time/Freelance Business

By Zulkifli Musa.

Many would think that part time and freelance jobs should not be taken seriously. Wrong. A not-so-serious job that is handled seriously will give you serious money and serious fun. Whereas, not-so-serious job handled not so seriously may land you in a serious trouble. In fact, if you study carefully, many of the big companies today started as very small, part time and freelance businesses.

For example, Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Company started his company at the back of his own home while studying in the university. The business grew at a rapid pace and eventually Steve was forced to abandon his studies to focus on his business. His business allowed him to make his first billion dollar. In one of the SKOR Career blog postings, you can also learn how 2 sisters who started a part time business and now is on the verge of getting into full time after their venture was discovered by the press.

Here are some of the tips that can propel you to success in managing your part time jobs.

1. Treat it as a full time, professional job

Treat your part time job as if it is the sole income earner for you. By doing so you will as much as possible avoid yourself from doing a sluggish job, or job meant for half-dead people. Do you job as if your annual bonus will depend on how well you accomplish your task.

Also, give a professional outlook to your part time business. When you bill your customer, create an invoice or billing document/receipt. Don’t only tell customers to deposit money to your bank account, complete the jobs and consider your task done. When dealing with emails, put a signature at the end of your resume that signifies what your business is about. Do your packaging for your physical products properly.

2. Make habit to get in touch with your customers

Treat your customers as subscribers, and not as transactions. Subscribers use your products/services regularly, while transactions happen at once and soon forgotten. Send them wishes during special occasion times e.g. festive seasons, birthdays and so on. Sometimes, good customers who share a lot of common things with you eventually end up as friends. Many of my friends come from those previous customers that have been keeping in touch with me for not only business related stuff, but also personal and other matters.

3. Reward your customers for introducing others

The most difficult part in selling your part time products or services is to engage new customers. But once you do a good job for your customers, they will form a positive impression for you. They will have no doubt to use your service again. They will also not hesitate to recommend your service to fellow colleagues if you do a good job.

As such, make a practice to reward your customers who make referral to another customer. The amount or form or reward you want to give is up to your own justification. I pay my referral as much as one-third of the overall billing amount. If they refer 3 friends, they have recovered almost all of their investment before.

4. Showcase your existence

The era for us to rely solely on word on mouth advertising is an era in the past. To succeed and to make it big, you need to go extra mile. Create a website that tells people about your business. Market it. Introduce to your friends. Ask them to introduce to other friends. Update your website or blog. Don’t leave it to rot. Your website will grow.

Familiarize yourself with job portals that offer part time job opportunities. Need recommendation for such website? You are looking at one now! Bid for jobs. Perform your job well and stamp your reputation as the best in the market.

Market, market and market. Never think that if you have a fantastic product people will buy it without you having to sell yourself. Having a good product that no one knows is as good as having a bad product that everybody knows. The final outcome is always the same; no one is going to buy your product.

5. Under promise, over deliver

What does it mean by under promising, and over delivering? This is a very useful tip I got from my former boss. At first, it did not make much sense to me, but then again, after analyzing it carefully, this can become a secret weapon for your winning edge strategy.

Under promise, over deliver means that you finish and deliver your task sooner than what you have scheduled to your customer. Say you estimate that you can finish a report for a customer in 2 days. You promise your customer to finish it in 3 days time instead of 2. You deliver the report in 2 days instead of 3. Voila! Do you notice how impressed the customer is? Just look at their face and see how broad is the smile.

But don’t overdo this. Example, if you can finish a task in a week, don’t tell your customer you will deliver it in 8 months! That’s suicide! Use this wisely and the world will be your oyster.

Zulkifli Musa (Zul) is an independent Career Consultant for Malaysia job seekers and professionals. He conducts Online Resume Workshop and writes tips, guides and his personal insight at SKOR Career that is maintained regularly.

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5 Comments »

Comment by PohEe Subscribed to comments via email
2007-10-31 15:07:03

This is a good tips sharing. Thanks Zul.

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Comment by Shobha Subscribed to comments via email
2007-11-05 15:17:18

Hi, thanks for the tips. Freelance and part time jobs should be picking up in Malaysia faster. Do you know of any? I have my masters in HR and ICSA with experience in company secretarial, admin and hr. Thanks

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Comment by YOB Subscribed to comments via email
2007-11-06 10:21:46

salam..thanks for the information.

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Comment by zmusa07
2007-11-07 09:50:14

Hi Sobha, just google it and you will find plenty. You will discover that many of the freelance/part time jobs are from overseas, which you can do from home.

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Comment by Hazel Lim Subscribed to comments via email
2007-11-27 15:19:23

Zulkifli Musa, thanks for da useful tips

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