Most people dream of living the freelancer life, but it can often appear ‘glossier’ than it is in reality.
As appealing as it sounds, there are a lot of personal skills you must learn before dipping your toe into the world of freelancing. After all, you become your own boss, and only you are responsible for your workload, growth, and income.
When you begin working as a freelancer, you become solely in charge of managing your time. Then, you are expected to become an expert in managing finances, client lists, taxes, and pensions.
If you’re about to step into this daunting yet rewarding career, the key points below are worth considering.
1. Understand your financial situation
Suddenly you become accountable for a host of things that never crossed your mind when you were in employment. This can be everything from mileage and renting a workspace, to printer ink and electricity bills.
Starting in the freelancing world can be slow at first as it takes time to build up clients and create a trusted business. It’s not unusual for freelancers to look into the help of a loan to cover those costs in the initial six months of starting up. There are many loans you can look at online, such as www.loanpig.co.uk, which could help you set up professionally.
2. Don’t forget about taxes, bills, and your livelihood
When you set your fees for your service, be mindful that it must be worth the amount of time you will be investing in the service you carry out. A proportion of the fee you charge has to be saved aside for tax, as well as your own living costs, bills, and not forgetting having a social life. After all, that’s what we all work for – to have a life.
The best thing to do is become organized with a financial spreadsheet which covers all areas of your life, both business and pleasure. Save a few hours a week where you break off from work and update your spreadsheets, assessing your money situation.
You’ll find as your freelance career strengthens, your financial responsibilities and priorities can change.
3. Be a numbers person
Just because you work for yourself and may work from home a lot, it still means you must be a ‘business owner.’ Every good business owner should have a good understanding of figures and numbers, and that isn’t just numbers related to money.
A good freelancer will understand business revenue, such as how much money you should be making for a comfortable wage and how much you should plow into your business. Other numbers worth getting your head around include website traffic and conversion figures. These are crucial if you market yourself online.
Also, consider the amount of time spent on certain activities and if this converts for you.
4. Know your worth
One of the most important factors about freelancing is to understand your self-worth. Your skill set should be reflecting into your pricing, and you need to be wary of taking on too much work at a lower fee, just to gain a new client.
It’s a strange approach, but some people assume freelancers can be picked up and dropped because they work for themselves and have no commitments to a boss or a corporate company. This is 100%, not the case, and you should never let yourself get into a position where clients can use you to their disposal. It’s all about equal relationships, where your service works for both you and the client.
Freelancing is extremely rewarding but comes with tough challenges. Be mindful that this way of working isn’t for everyone – some thrive from it, and others struggle from day one. Carefully consider the industry before making your choice.