Current Status: You have a real business.
You’ve developed a content strategy, built an audience and are likely starting to work with brands. You have a clear direction, aesthetic and are and generating real revenue. You may still consider this a part-time job or side hustle, or you may have made the leap to full time. Either way, it’s clear that you’ve got a real business—now it’s time to think about making that business sustainable long term.
Recommended Approach: Set up your processes.
Above all, stay consistent with your content and audience engagement, because as we’ve mentioned, this is the most important part of your business. But now is the time to start thinking about the business side of this adventure (if you haven't already). Up until now, hopefully you’ve been very thrifty in terms of your expenses. This practice will continue to serve you throughout the life of your business, so keep it up. At the same time, now that you are generating revenue, you want to grow it. The best way to do that is to make sure that you have the appropriate processes in place.
When You Have A Spare Minute:
Work on finding solutions and processes for tasks that prevent you from focusing on your content and audience.
The Tools: Money and content management are crucial.
Focus on the most important tasks first.
- Accounting & Bookkeeping: Make sure you are top of your finances. The ability to sustain a business for any length of time is defined by smart financial decisions. And those smart decisions start with knowing where you stand: what money is coming into the business and where it leaves the business. It does not have to be complicated, but it is essential you have a firm grip on your finances. And this starts with a budget. Start simple with a spreadsheet, and begin the process of building in good financial habits to your business. If you need more than a spreadsheet (which you will very soon) we recommend a number of tools to help, including Bench Accounting for organization and time saving. If you need a more cost-effective solution, Xero and Quickbooks are both great as well.
- Project Management: You also have to be on top of your content. Being consistent with your content is the number one growth tactic. As you grow your business and you get busier and busier, things tend to slip through the cracks. You need to keep yourself organized and on track, because your business is growing and you cannot afford to miss deadlines. Try Underlist for lists, and Trello for content management. You can also try Tailwind, CoSchedule, and Asana for content organization, though these all come with fees.
Managing your finances and keeping content organized are the first two things to get under control, because they will allow you to be more effective during your day, while being smart about your money.
Other things to consider:
- Incorporate Your Business
- Separate Bank Accounts: Hopefully you have done this already, but make sure you have a separate bank account for your business.
- Upgrade Your Website: Take a look and re-evaluate your website if you have not done so recently. Make sure you are keeping it up to date.
Bottom Line: Spend your time on what counts.
At this point, you are running a full-blown business, generating revenue and incurring expenses. Regardless of whether this is full or part time, treat yourself like an entrepreneur, because that’s what you are. Set up the proper infrastructure and build out the necessary processes now, so that you can spend your time and effort focusing on what got you here: your content and your audience.