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4 Ways to Scale Your Freelancing Business

Do you currently work full-time and freelance as a side hustle?

Kudos to you! I just got done doing that for the better part of 2014 and although it was ultimately worth it, it was grueling at times!

I am the breadwinner and my husband stays at home. Eventually as I was working my normal full-time schedule and freelancing in the mornings and on weekends, it got old –  for him, for the kids and for me!

But we survived and today I’m going to share how. If you work full-time and are hustling in hopes of taking your side business full-time, just know you can do it! Here are four tips that I implemented that might make it a little easier to scale your business in the meantime.

1) Get Up Earlier

I know you probably don’t want to hear this, but I’m going to say it anyway. Get up even earlier than you are right now. This is especially important, if you are a parent of young kids like me.

I find it almost impossible to work while they are awake in the same house. I love my one and three year old, but they don’t really get that when mommy is typing away on her computer, that she’s working. Laptops or tablets to them are for fun. For games or for movies.

So instead of trying to work with them on my lap (quite literally), I just set my alarm for 4:45am during the week to work for an hour or two before they woke up (depending on the day). That way I could spend some time just snuggling them in the morning and feel like I already got something done. Win/win!

For those of you that are night owls, replace early mornings with later nights. Don’t sacrifice too much sleep though, as that doesn’t end well for anyone. I’m not a night owl and have to fight to stay up past 9 or 10 at night though, so getting up earlier has always made more sense to me.

2) Hire a Babysitter

This whole post won’t be for only those of us with kids, I promise! I just want to make the point, that sometimes it makes sense to pay someone to play with and watch your kids, so you can get paid more than you’re paying them to get some focused client work done.

Even though my husband is a SAHD, he worked on a huge project for much of the summer/fall, so this was a necessity for us. Our very lovely and energetic teenage babysitter would come over once a week or a couple of times a month and we were both cleared to work on our respective projects for a few hours uninterrupted. The noise in a coffee shop has nothing on my two littles!

3) Hire a Subcontractor

As you’re building up your business, you’re hopefully going to reach a point, where you have more work than you have time for, but not quite enough to put your notice in and quit your job. This is a good thing. It means you’re almost there!

As I geared up to quit my job last November, I ran into a large project that I needed some help with. Luckily, my friend Meghan was trying to break into the freelance writing game and I was able to send some work her way. I’ve used people from Elance in the past to do some research for me, but this was the first time I hired a subcontractor for writing and it worked out swell.

Now that I’m full-time, I’m not quite at the point of needing regular help in this manner, but I wouldn’t be opposed to taking subcontractors on from time to time to help me out. In the meantime, I’ve done this for a few other writers myself and have enjoyed that side of it too.

Don’t be afraid to “spread the wealth” when you get to this point and hire some help when you need it. Be wary though, in that you usually get what you pay for.

4) Track Your Income

Tracking my income publically was probably one of the best decisions I made last year. I started tracking it privately right away, but it wasn’t until September of last year that I published my first income report.

I recently published my fifth income report (for the month of January, 2015) and I’m happy to say that so far, my results seem to be getting better and better. This might not always be the case, but I’m cool with sharing the good and the bad – it’s reality after all!

Tracking your income (publicly or privately) is a great way to challenge yourself to earn more and use your time wisely. Over time, you should be able to raise your rates and take on better paying clients, which will help you to get better income results.

In Conclusion

Having a side hustle in addition to a full-time job and/or family, can be a lot to handle. At times you might feel that you’re not doing anything quite right, and that’s okay. Hustling on the side to pay down debt, build up savings or just make sure you’re new gig is viable is a great way to start a successful business.

If you find that you’re short on time or motivation, consider waking up earlier (or staying up a little later) to work, hiring a babysitter and/or a subcontractor and tracking your income. These four things really helped me as I grew my side hustle, while working full-time and managing the home front.

I was able to build up my business to the point where I could put in my notice and do this full-time. With a lot of hard work, time and dedication, you can be here too – probably faster than you think!

What’s your best tip for scaling your freelance business while working full-time?

Photo credit: Breather via Unsplash

Gina Horkey

Gina Horkey


Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s the founder of Horkey HandBook and loves helping others find or become a kickass virtual assistant. Gina’s background includes making a living as a professional writer, an online business marketing consultant and a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

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