Going freelance? Things you need to consider
Thinking of going freelance? It makes a lot of sense when you consider the benefits - you control which projects to accept, you don't have to endure the daily commute and, perhaps most importantly, you can be your own boss.
However, it is a decision that can’t be taken lightly. After all, there are plenty of drawbacks to going freelance too - an irregular income, no holiday or sick pay, and the loneliness of working on your own.
So, here’s a list of things you should consider before taking the leap and going freelance.
Where will you work from?
In order to make a success of freelancing, you should have somewhere you can work comfortably and productively. Some people convert spare rooms or garages into a home office, while others go a step further by constructing dedicated outbuildings or prefabricated huts in their garden.
"The biggest key to my setup and success is separating work from home," says Samantha R. Strazanac, CEO and Founder, Strazanac Solutions LLC. "I close the door when I am in my office, and I close the door when I am not in my office. I do not eat in my office or socialise in my office. It is for work only."
How will you find work?
Before committing to going freelance, think carefully about where potential work is going to come from. Doing this ahead of time should help you find your self-employed feet quicker and avoid the financial heartache of having no income.
There are a number of avenues you can explore when searching for freelance work, such as reaching out to former colleagues or associates, putting some shout-outs to your social circle, or browsing opportunities online.
What are you going to charge?
Seeing as you won't be getting a regular salary, holiday and sick pay, as well as pension contributions, you'll need to work out how much you're going to charge for freelance work, either as a flat project-based fee or as a daily (or hourly) rate.
"Do some basic research and get a sense of the going rate for your services or skillset," says Jessie Day, Head of Brand and Creative at Simply Business. "Of course, it’s going to depend on your level of experience, but there’s no sense charging a lot more for a service that can easily be procured for a better rate."
Is freelancing right for you?
The ultimate question when considering a career of freelance work is whether its right for you or not. Even if you don’t like your boss or are unhappy in your current career, that doesn’t mean to say freelancing is the right option.
In fact, requesting a change to your situation such as moving to a different department or working more flexible hours could be the answer to your work-related issues. So, think carefully about whether you’re going freelance for the right reasons.
One option is going freelance or setting up a small business on the side. By testing the water initially and getting a taste of what it's like, you'll be in a more confident and competent position if and when you decide to commit to self-employment full-time.
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