Working for yourself, escaping the drudgery of the 9 to 5 and having no boss seems like the ideal for many a person. But, doing it unprepared can lead to many more problems than solutions. This is why all of your freelancing hopes and dreams should not rest on a flimsy plan or half-baked ideas, but a solid understanding of what you’re getting yourself into and how your freelancing venture will be moving forward.
So, with that in mind, what do you need to keep in mind when launching your very own freelance business? And how can you guarantee success when doing so?
Often, when you are starting out doing freelance you may consider a business plan to be a bit of an unnecessary step. It’s just you, your computer and a handful of clients after all. But, having the right attitude and treating your new freelancing venture like a fully fledged business can actually be invaluable. Don’t be afraid to put some goals in place, give yourself a timeline and targets to hit – they may help you do better in the long run!
Quality + Relationship
As a freelancer the competition you are pitting yourself against is tough. Often, you will find that not only are you up against other freelancers but agencies and fully fledged business also. However, this doesn’t have to be as daunting as it may first appear. Building a relationship with clients is often the best way to trump the competition and ensuring the quality of your work is a vital way to do this.
Bad work and rocky client relationships can also be an extreme hazard to the health of your business. An angry client could potentially write you a bad review, but they could also potentially take legal action against you. In such a situation, it is best that you have both the right litigation solicitors Manchester and insurance with which to cover the costs. It’s not something you will want to think about, but is certainly something you need to be prepared for just in case.
The relationships you build with clients can also be very rewarding over time, even leading to more clients and work. Referrals can be some of the best ways to gain new clients and lead to more over time. And remember, repeat business is key as a freelancer. So, a good relationship with your clients can ensure that money keeps coming through your bank account month after month.
Client relationships aren’t the be-all and end-all of business success, but they can surely help you on the way, so make sure you make strong connections whenever you can.
Keep Finances in Mind
Money is the bane of any freelancers life. Keeping on top of finances is often difficult, but essential for keeping you in the black every month. You won’t be able to borrow funds to start your freelancing business, so you will have to fund the attempt and find clients quickly in order to sustain yourself. This means that keeping track of income, outgoings and ensuring new business continually is the lifeblood of your freelancing endeavours.
The real trick is to ensure that you are not spending money that you don’t have. Don’t make outlandish purchases for your ‘business’ with money that doesn’t exist, as it will only hurt you further along the line. You don’t need to rent an expensive office space, buy an expensive computer or other costly business purchases. Keep your outgoings as low as possible in the beginning and you will benefit from this much later.
Another big part of financial security as a freelancer is setting the right kind of rates. More importantly, setting rates that don’t undervalue your services. No one is going to tell you that you are selling yourself short – especially if they are befitting from it! – so, you need to make that impossible from the start. Use a freelance rates calculator to determine your desired (realistic) income and what it will take to get you there, from there you can set rates.
The Legal Side of Things
As a freelancer, it is easy to feel that certain legalities of business do not apply to you. But, whether a large corporation or a one man band, the law applies all the same. As such, you need to ensure you are following all of the right steps when it comes to the legal side of your freelance business.
One of the most important legal matters you should consider is drawing up a properly binding work contract, one that ensures you are protected in all instances when dealing with clients. A good contract can help protect your income, keep you from being sued if claims are made you have not provided the right service – a contract should include a detailed outline of the services you are providing the client – and ultimately ensure you are not made to do more work than you are paid for. Using corporate solicitors for this can be the best way to protect yourself in the long term.
Long-term protection is vitally important, especially if your simple freelancing venture where to grow into a proper business eventually. Wills solicitors Manchester can help to ensure that you keep your affairs in order from both a personal and a business perspective, protecting you in the long term.