Starting a freelance business can be a rough, scary, fun, exciting, anxiety filled, awesome time in your life. You’ll be bundling 20 different feelings together on a daily basis, from the regular “wow, I love working from home” feelings to the “why can’t this client just get hit by a bus” feeling, so you better get used to it now.
However, there are a few more important things you should think about when starting your freelance business.
Don’t setup a corporation
Incorporating your business won’t do you much good. In fact, it will cause you headaches by requiring you to file more tax forms and keep more records. Most small businesses are sole proprietorships and they’re happily earning money.
Physically getting started with Freelancing
Firstly, you are going to have some work to show your potential clients before they will hire you. You won’t hire a beggar to work in your garden unless you have proof that they are capable of gardening, would you? The same principle goes for designing or writing or anything as a matter of fact. You have to build and setup a portfolio to promote your work.
Luckily, for you there are quite a few exceptional portfolio platforms out there to make use of, whilst you get on your feet as a freelancer. All of them have Job Forums as well, so whilst building your portfolio you could apply for different freelance jobs on the forums and build your portfolio whilst making money too. Remember, you want to attract clients, not scare them off. When creating your portfolio, make sure you showcase your best work.
Your clients will (almost) never pay you quickly
With a lot of freelance businesses, there are net 15-30-60-90 payment plans set up, so you’re semi-aware of the fact that the client will be paying during a certain time period. From the sounds of the payment plans above, you’d think that you can plan ahead for 15-30 days and know when you’ll be getting cash after you’ve submitted your invoices, right? Wrong.
Clients will pay on their time. So, having a back up plan together for cash (remember the feast or famine cycle from above?) is a great idea. If you’re not in the clients face, reminding them that they’ve got cash to send you that you’re owed, they’ll forget and move onto something else.
Beware of the roller coaster cycle
When freelancing, there’ll inevitably be very productive and high-earning periods. Those amazing times when you’re making lots of money and enjoying a healthy bank balance. But before you go out and splash the cash, be aware that the good times might not last. Because every freelancer is constantly on a roller coaster cycle of ups and downs.
There will be quiet months and there will be months when you’re working all hours of every day. Just remember that any money you earn one month, might not be the same the next. So get used to saving for a rainy day and be prepared for the worst at all times.
Have a Backup Plan
What if something goes wrong? What will you do? It is always a good idea to have a “what if” scenario. I hope you never have to use it, but if you do, you will be glad you had it setup and ready.
Freelancing is fun and hugely rewarding
Yes freelancing is hard work. And yes there are times when the going gets tough. But overall, freelancing is lots of fun, hugely rewarding and different every day. It brings a huge amount of freedom and your earning potential tends to be a lot higher than if you were working for someone else. You can work your own hours and choose the way you want to work. You can take week days off and work weekends instead, if that suits. Nothing beats freelancing and for many of you, you’ll never go back once you’ve gained the freelancing bug. So what are you waiting for? There’s really nothing stopping you except yourself, so go for it.