In recent years, the rate of people going freelance has drastically increased. Surveys show that people opt to go freelance because they get to work independently, have flexibility in locations, choose their own projects, earn extra income, etc.
If you’ve been thinking about going freelance, here are some major do’s and don’t s that’ll help you take the right steps towards freelancing.
10 CRUCIAL THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE GOING FREELANCE
Responsibility and Stress
Being one’s own boss means you have to have a strong work ethic and are ready to take on all the responsibility on your shoulders. An emerging freelancer must be aware of the issues they must tackle every day on their job, which would otherwise be resolved by pre-made policies or the Human Resources Department.
To build on a freelancing career, one must be patient and understand that self-made success does not come with a signed contract. It takes dedication, hard work, and slow progress. Hence, there will be a few times when a freelancer has to draw their boundaries. These would typically include not having vacation time, lunch break, fixed work timings, and a fixed salary.
Before jumping into starting a business, there are a few questions that need to be answered. Some of which are:
Who will you sell your goods and services to?
What are the goals you want/intend to reach?
How will you take care of your administrative duties?
Which systems do you need to run your business effectively and efficiently?
Do you want to work from home, do fieldwork or get external office space?
Which connections do you have to make?
How will you efficiently use your time?
Once you have your answers, make a foolproof business plan that’ll help you launch your freelancing career.
After you’ve successfully made business plan, it’s important that you register yourself as ‘self-employed.’ One must inform their inland tax service providers about it, and subsequently, follow the steps provided by the authorities to register as self-employed.
Doing a freelance job comes with the liberty of working from home, at any time. While office space isn’t a requirement, it’s best for a freelancer to create an office ambiance at home. This can be done by allotting a room/space and designing it according to one’s aesthetics.
For popular HOME OFFICE IDEAS, read 16 Must-Have Amazon Items for Your Home Office
Starting a spreadsheet is not everyone’s cup of tea; but, it is undeniably a requirement of running a business. People are prone to delaying this task for later until they are in dire need of it. Therefore, a freelancer needs to put this on the top of their to-do list.
A spreadsheet can be used to create budgets, produce graphs and charts, and for storing and sorting data.
It has been taught to everyone since a young age that money management is the key to life. And if one is out there starting a business, then learning how to use money cautiously is necessary.
At the beginning of each month, a freelancer must set a budget and only allow themselves to spend money from that budget and not go overboard. Once a budget has been set, the next step is to identify how many projects they need to complete to spend that money. Being aware of what purchases are being made is equally important.
A lot of obstacles come in the way when running a business. Hence, freelancers must also focus on their client count, unpaid or delayed invoices, family emergencies, etc.
Running a self-made business means that important contacts and connections have to be made. It is vital to find the right clients to work with and to have a clear idea of whom you want to work with.
One of the downsides and challenges of working as a freelancer is having to deal with clients. You may have to face challenges such as late payments, gap in communication or not getting along with each other.
To avoid any mishap, freelancers should draw boundaries, such as adding payment terms on their invoices and charging interest on any late payments. It’s also good for freelancers to be aware of their rights granted to them by law, so they can rightfully protect themselves.
If you are a freelancer and you aren’t taking advantage of social media, then you’re missing out on reaching almost half of the world’s population. Pick a platform and start promoting your services. With time, your followers will grow and so will your business!
Being a freelancer is a game of extremes. You’re either too busy, or too idle. There are months when you make extra money, and then there are months when you have to work through a dry spell.
Becoming a freelancer sure is fun, but it doesn’t come with instant success. One has to be patient and persevere to make it in the world of freelancing. Money may not flow constantly in your early freelancing days, but maybe the key to success in the freelancing world lies in the quote by Angela Duckworth – “Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.”
Endure a bit more, and you’ll see success soon!