More and more people are becoming freelancers, meaning they are self-employed and don’t work for any one particular company.
Working from home and being your own boss attracts many people to the freelancing lifestyle. If you’re considering becoming a freelancer, read these tips before you make your decision.
1. Working by Yourself Can Be Lonely
Consider that you may be lonely when freelancing. You may miss working in an office with coworkers and collaborators. However, this could be a plus for you too if you find an office setting distracting.
2. Prepare Yourself for Last Minute Cancellations
Not only will you have to prepare yourself for rejection, but you’ll also have to prepare yourself for cancellations. This means you should plan to have at least some of your payment be upfront and nonrefundable.
3. Know Your Value
It’s important to be honest with yourself about the value you’re offering. It’s easy to under- or over-sell yourself. Do research on comparable services and pricing to be sure you’re accurate about the product or service you offer and the price you charge.
4. Hold Yourself Accountable
Freelancing means you’re solely responsible for your work. If you mess up, you need to recognize that and what it means for your business. If you are on a tight deadline, you need to discipline yourself to do the work.
5. Set Boundaries
When you’re a freelancer, your friends, family, and even your clients, may treat you differently. You may find that friends and family are asking for your time even when you say you’re at work. A client may think that you only work for them, even when you have other clients waiting. Be clear about your boundaries. Set working hours and make them known to your friends and family, and schedule specific times to talk to different clients.
6. Keep Up With Trends
As a freelancer you’re isolated and self-directed. It’s important to remain up to date on the latest trends so you can keep your work fresh and brainstorm how best to move your business forward.
7. Remember, You Need to Do Taxes
You thought doing taxes was a pain before? Freelancing takes taxes to a whole new level. Yes, you can claim more for your deductions, but that also means you have to keep track of much, much more as well. If you can, invest in an accountant to make your life easier.
8. Build a safety net
You should have a hefty savings before going freelance. Pay is inconsistent, unlike a salaried position, so be sure to have a safety net in place. Be sure to add more to it when you can so that if it gets depleted you’ll still be secure.
9. You Have to Wear Many Hats
As a freelancer, you are your whole company. That means you’re in charge of everything: accounting, communications, marketing, development, and management—you name it, you’re in charge. Yes, this means you’re your own boss, but it also means you’ll likely have to be doing a lot of work that you don’t enjoy.
10. You’ll Have to Chase Checks
Unfortunately, you may run into clients that don’t pay on time. It’s fairly likely that this will happen at least a few times, if not more often. As a freelancer you have to advocate for yourself. Be persistent and keep your chin up.
11. You’ll Need a Workspace in Your Home
When you’re a freelancer, you don’t have an office to go to. This is great as it means you don’t have to commute, but if you don’t have an office in your home it can be quite distracting. Make sure you have the proper equipment and space before you go freelance so that you can start working in an organized and distraction-free space.
12. Start Out Freelancing on the Side
If you can, try to freelance on the side before going full time. It will take time to build up your clients and reputation. It will be hard work, but try to overlap your full time job with your freelance gig for at least a few months so that you hit the ground running.
13. Take Time to Talk to a Lawyer
Start off right with an airtight contract. This is the safest way to do business and your clients will appreciate clear parameters. It’s a smart investment you won’t regret as your business grows.
So what do you think? If freelancing seems like the right choice for you, go for it! Are you a freelancer? Share what your type of job is really like on UltiCareer to help people considering it as a career option determine if it’s the right choice for them.
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