You’re likely reading this blog post today because you’ve put serious thought into quitting your day job and becoming a freelancer. You like the idea of being your own boss and working from home, and you also want to escape the rat race.
But, you also want to make sure that you don’t screw up your transition from employee to freelancer. Thankfully, following these essential tips and tricks will help you increase the likelihood of having a successful freelance business and edge closer to financial freedom:
First of all, it’s wise to build up a large savings pot full of money (electronic or otherwise) before you quit your job. During the initial stages of your freelance business, you likely won’t be making much money to break even.
That’s why you need to have money put aside to cover your living expenses and other bills, so you don’t panic about how to pay for things. It’s a good idea to save at least six to twelve months’ worth of money to cover your bills.
When you work for yourself, you don’t have the luxury of company perks like “death in service” benefit. With that in mind, you need to organize appropriate life insurance cover and also key man life insurance to help provide salary continuity to your family.
That way, should something happen to you as a freelancer that results in you being unable to provide for your family, or if the worst happens, your family’s financial security will be safe, and they won’t worry about having money to pay the bills.
You might think that business plans are for companies and large corporations. The truth is, while you might think of yourself as a mere freelancer, you are still technically running a business, and so you should have a business plan.
Your business plan should include details like your mission statement, goals and objectives, target market, competitors, and how you plan on growing your business. For example, what will you sell and how much for, plus how much income do you anticipate to make?
Most people that become freelancers decide they want to do most of the behind-the-scenes work themselves. That includes things like tax returns, marketing, and invoicing. The truth is, you will seldom have time to do all of that stuff when you become busy.
That’s why it makes sense to organize a business support network. Work with a bookkeeper to manage your accounting processes and file your tax returns. Hire a marketing agency to increase your brand awareness. Work with a mentor to help support your business generally.
One of the advantages of working for yourself is you don’t have to stick with the typical 9-5 business days as most other businesses do. Instead, you can create a work schedule that fits around your lifestyle and other commitments.
However, keep in mind that the daily routine you set yourself should be a realistic one. If you plan on doing other things alongside your work during the day, you need to ensure that you can commit to your work schedule.
The thing about automation is that it helps any business be more efficient and boost productivity. You might think that process automation is only for the domain of large corporations, but it’s actually useful for freelancers as well.
For example, you could find ways to automate your order processing if you sell physical products or digital ones like subscriptions or access to members-only online services. You can then use the time saved to concentrate on other areas of your freelancing business.
Another thing you should do before you become a freelancer is to have a marketing plan ready. You can’t realistically expect to start making money when you announce that you’re a freelancer and looking for new projects.
You need to have some marketing strategies up your sleeves and determine when you will use them. Plus, your plan should also have provisions for how much you’re willing to spend on each strategy and how you will measure the results.
Lastly, what will you do if you decide that freelancing isn’t for you? It’s crucial that you have an exit strategy if things don’t work out for you. For example, you could come to an agreement with your current employer where you could return if you change your mind.