How to Launch an Hourly Billing Business in 2020

You’re Hired!

Being your own boss is a lot like applying for a job. Except, instead of sending job applications out into the void and never hearing back, you can apply and get hired instantly. Ready? Say “You’re hired!” out loud, and then follow the steps below to step down the path to self-employed bliss.

Pick something you’re good at.

You’re good at things. People have ​told​ you so. Maybe you’re super-organized. Maybe you play guitar. Maybe you give your friends fashion advice. Maybe you used to draw, but you haven’t in a long time, but you’re pretty sure you could pick it back up if you made time.

Any skill, trade, or hobby can be turned into a business that bills hourly. If you’re organized, maybe you’re a virtual assistant or project manager, who helps other people stay organized. If you’re a guitarist, you might be a guitar teacher. If you have fashion advice to share, maybe you’re a personal shopper or online style coach. And that drawing hobby you’re about to take up again? Maybe you’re an illustrator or a storyboard artist.

They say “do what you love”. We say “do what you love all day, and get paid for it.”

Launch a Soul Site.

You don’t need a fancy office, a home office, or a desk at a trendy coworking space in a warehouse district, near a mini fridge stocked with small-batch craft beer.

All you need to house your new hourly business venture is a Soul Site. It’s the modern magic of a perfectly coded website, distilled into a low-effort setup that only takes minutes to launch.

No design skills, company logo, or photography skills required.

Just type a headline that introduces the service you’re offering. Add a few sections describing what YOU can do for THEM. Describe the service you’ll perform, and tell them when you’re available.

And if you really want that small-batch craft beer, now’s the time to crack one open. Because you’re about to…

Set your prices.

How much you should charge for an hourly service is a question that vexes even seasoned freelancers. You can start by searching for people who already offer your service, and snoop on what they’re charging. You’re just starting out, but set your price somewhere in the middle of the range. You can always adjust it up or down, later.

Another way to set your price is to do some quick math. Decide how much you want to earn from your new business each month. Figure out how many hours you’re prepared to spend fulfilling orders. Divide the money by the hours, and that’s your hourly rate. If it’s outlandish, adjust the monetary goal down and divide by the hours again.

Keep doing the math until the hourly rate is a reasonable amount that will add up to a monthly amount you’d be satisfied earning for the time you’ll spend.

Get paid.

You want money and people are going to want to give you money — so you’ll need a way to accept it. You can sign up for an account at PayPal or Stripe so you have a way to accept cash or credit card payments from your hordes of new customers.

Tell everyone.

In your head, make a short list of every brand name you’ve heard of.

Done? Okay. There’s a ​reason​ you know all of those brand names: they weren’t shy about telling you that they exist, they have something for sale, and it costs this much.

That’s all you have to tell people: that you exist, you have something for sale, and it costs your hourly rate. Post it on your social feeds regularly. Mention it in conversations. Tell your family and friends, and ask them to tell their family and friends.

And send everyone to your Soul Site for more information.

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Questions? Email us.