Can you be successful in the gig economy?
Monday, 9 December 2019
More and more Americans are working on a contract, short-term basis for a variety of customers, rather than working on a long-term basis for one employer.
Known as the gig economy, this arrangement allows workers more freedom to control their own schedules and projects. But it also means they are responsible for getting enough work to stay busy and earn the income they need, as well as their own healthcare and retirement planning since they don't have an employer to provide those benefits.
Despite the challenges, millions of Americans are making their living as gig workers. And by 2027, more than half of American workers are expected to be freelancing or contracting.
If you're interested in joining their ranks, here are some things to keep in mind:
Choose your gig
There are contract assignments available for all types of work. You can freelance as a writer, designer, nurse, tutor, delivery driver or plenty of other professions. The first step is to decide on the task or tasks that you'd like to develop as a career (and that you can earn a living doing).
Establish your goals
Being successful in the gig economy doesn't mean having a hobby. It means making a living. Figure out how much you need to earn as a gig worker each month or even each week to be able to pay your bills and meet other financial goals. Set a weekly or monthly income goal, so you have something to aim for and something by which to measure your success.
Set your prices
You'll need to set your prices based not only on what your potential customers will be willing to pay, but also based on the amount you need to earn. For instance, say you want to earn $1,200 a week as a freelance dog groomer. If you charge $30 per dog, you'll have to groom 40 dogs per week to meet your goal. But if you charge $60 per dog, you'll just have to groom 20 dogs each week to meet that goal.
As a gig worker, if you don't have clients, you don't have a job. Many gig workers use apps like Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit and others to find clients. If you're looking for your own customers, you'll need to network, use social media, advertise and develop strategies for finding and keeping clients.
Keep your day job
As you start out as a contract worker, don't be surprised if it takes several months or longer to achieve the level of business and income you want. It's a good idea to keep your day job to maintain steady income and benefits as you gradually build your gig income.
The content provided is for informational purposes only. Neither BBVA USA, nor any of its affiliates, is providing legal, tax, or investment advice. You should consult your legal, tax, or financial consultant about your personal situation. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BBVA USA or any of its affiliates.
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