If you’re considering whether to launch a business, the thought of diving headfirst into entrepreneurship can seem a bit scary — and for good reason. From financial constraints to burnout, entrepreneurship is challenging — and approximately 20 percent of small businesses fail before their first full year of operation.
While this statistic may be enough to turn you away from entrepreneurship for good, you shouldn’t give up before at least dipping your toes in the water. If you have a great business idea you’d like to pursue, it’s very possible to experiment with entrepreneurship before diving in headfirst. These tips from Youngstown Game Developers (YGD) will help you to do just that!
Start Freelancing From Home
Whether you’re still working a regular nine-to-five job or you’ve got 40 hours a week to devote to game development, now is the time to start freelancing from home. Freelancing can be a great way to experiment with entrepreneurship before investing all your time, money, and energy into starting a business — and it can even help you to build your professional portfolio.
As you work toward becoming a freelance game developer, be sure to complete these steps:
- Register your business. Registering your new business is one of the first steps you’ll need to take as a freelancer or entrepreneur. Freelancers may operate as sole proprietors, but limited liability companies (LLCs) are best if you’ll be looking for startup funding now or in the future. Plus, other benefits of forming an LLC include protection from personal liability and double taxation.
- Expand your skill set. Explore online resources and tools to build on your existing game development skills, including things like programming, game design, and storytelling.
- Build an online presence. Create a freelancer website, social media pages, and join online job platforms like Upwork, Toptal, Guru, and Fiverr.
- Market yourself. To land your first clients, you’ll need to market yourself online. Kevin Payne of Business 2 Community shares seven strategies for marketing yourself like a pro.
- Keep financial records. Financial record-keeping will be one of your most important tasks as an entrepreneur, and it’s something you should learn as early on as possible. With accounting software systems like Quickbooks or Freshbooks, you can easily track your business invoices, expenses, and cash flow.
Upgrade Your Tech
Since the bulk of your time at work will be spent on a computer, you may need to upgrade your tech before launching a career as a freelance video game developer. But fortunately, you can find reliable desktop computers and laptops — and save money on your tech purchases — if you visit manufacturer websites. Plus, you can find everything else you’ll need to launch your game development business from home — including wireless noise-canceling headphones, computer monitors, keyboards, a mouse, a desk, and a comfortable chair.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed as you experiment with entrepreneurship, remember to start small and don’t take on more projects than you can handle. Take on the work that can be completed in a few days, and avoid month-long projects as you adjust to running your own business and working from home. Once you are certain entrepreneurship is right for you, you can complete the larger, higher-paying projects that take up more of your time.
Enjoy the Journey
The journey to entrepreneurship is a long and challenging one, but getting there is half the enjoyment! As you experiment with entrepreneurship before taking that final leap into owning a business, you’ll develop new skills, make connections, build confidence, and learn a lot about yourself along the way. And by taking things slow, you’ll prevent entrepreneurial burnout, make smarter financial decisions, and turn your freelance development career into a successful video game startup!