Starting out as a Freelancer – Major Considerations for New Entrepreneurs
Freelancing has been one of the key business buzzwords of the 21st century. The unparalleled development of the Internet has made it possible for millions of people to start thinking about a freelance career. Still, like every new thing, it requires some thinking in advance, as well as some preparatory work. The following strategies will help you become your own boss in a smooth and efficient way.
1) Set your business plans and goals
- When you’re considering going your own way in business, it’s extremely important to define your vision and a plan to reach your goals.
- For instance, if you realize that your skills generate a high income for your employer, but you’re still working for peanuts, it’s time to set off on your own entrepreneurial quest.
- Logically, the first feature of your freelance business vision will be generating enough assets for a self-sustainable venture. Therefore, get ready to work a bit more at the beginning, until you build your online reputation and manage to negotiate higher rates.
- Moreover, set the goal you want to reach via your freelance effort. For example, you might want to invest your time and energy in long working hours for a period of time, to save enough money and hire additional staff.
- By doing so, you’ll use your experience from the pre-freelancer career to collect assets and commence a new stage of your professional growth.
2) Organize your work space
- Working in a company saves you from thinking about a significant expense-generating aspect of work – the work space. As a company employee, you’d simply come to work and sit down and the desk and the computer provided by your employer.
- Now that you’re starting out as a freelancer, you need to find a way to find a proper work space that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
- The most natural thing to do here is to try working from home. If you live alone, this might be a clever solution. For instance, you won’t spend any additional money on your office and commuting.
- Nevertheless, not leaving your home for eight or more hours a day might become depressing after some time. This is even more likely to happen if you’re a sociable person who liked spending time with colleagues at work.
- If so, the next best option is to work from one of those co-working spaces. By doing so, you’ll keep the habit of “going to work”, while you’ll actually be working for yourself, but from a formal work environment.
- Also, you’ll be able to spend your breaks with other co-workers and share some experiences with them. They might give you some new ideas pertaining to your freelance work. What’s more, they are much more affordable option than renting an office of your own.
- Because of all these reasons, co-working spaces are working for yourself.
3) Get ready for financial challenges
- Going your own way in business terms means that from now on, you’ll be completely in charge of all the financial elements of your freelancing work.
- For starters, don’t even think about ignoring the IRS, i.e. the tax administration in the country you live in. The tax authorities will eventually knock on your door, no matter what you do and where you are. Since avoiding to pay taxes is a serious violation of law in every country, register your business and learn more about your tax duties. You can read more about it and download some ready-made tax forms on the SBA website.
- Apart from that, you need to prepare for processing the payments you’re going to receive for your work. In order to get paid, you’ll first have to send your client a business estimate and your rates for the work in question. What you also need to receive your first payment are genuine HTML invoice templates. By using these original forms, you’ll leave an impression of a serious businessperson.
- Moreover, it’s extremely important to bring a set of budgeting strategies. In line with that, decide how much money you need to cover your basic expenses monthly. After that, define how much you can use for your personal expenditure, but keep it on the lowest possible level. The rest of the income should be put aside and saved for the improvement of your freelance career and business.
4) Manage your time wisely
- Apart from the aforementioned financial aspect, freelancers also leave their steady jobs because they want more work flexibility. While this sounds terrific, you need to know that freelancing isn’t meant for people who don’t have a strong sense of self-discipline and time management.
- However, even if you aren’t the best student in the time-management department, you can gradually improve those habits.
- For starters, don’t go for flexible work hours, but set fixed work hours. For example, you can work from 9am to 3pm. If you realize that it’s not enough to finish all the work tasks, extend the period spent at work. You should stick to that fixed work schedule for some time, e. g. for a month.
- Then, if you succeeded in finishing your work tasks on time, it’s time to gradually indulge in flexible work hours. However, if you didn’t manage to cover all the bases working fixed hours, keep that schedule until you reach all the set work goals.
- Also, make sure that you take enough rest and do physical exercise. Becoming a freelancer is a huge mental and physical transformation, so take care of your mind and body. They’ll return the energy invested in their maintenance through higher productivity and improved health.
Freelancers are the future of the global economy. This form of work requires low or no investment from employers and provides a great amount of work flexibility for employees. However, freelance work is no cakewalk and it demands a high level of commitment and professionalism if you want to succeed. By following the strategies presented in this article, you’ll smoothly transform from a cog in a company mechanism worker to a self-assured, freelancing hero.
AuthorBio: Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus – a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.