So you’ve made the decision to freelance. What comes next? Here are some things you might want to consider for your first few months of freelancing.
Sole trader or limited company?
Some freelancers operate as a limited company as it acts as a brand of trust for clients, whereas a sole trader is a relatively uncomplicated choice that offers more freedom, but less in terms of security. For more information, gov.uk offers a great break down of the best legal structure for your business.
Are your finances in order?
Do you have a business bank account? Can you afford to hire an accountant? Using a Cloud-Based Accounting, like FreshBooks, Xero or FreeAgent is a good alternative to save money and manage your incoming and outgoings effectively. Investopedia gives some useful advice on having an accountant vs using software yourself.
Do you have a place to work?
Where will you work? And how do you work best? Whether you have your own home office or will be working on the go, as long as you have one easy channel of access between you and your clients work where, and according to a schedule that suits you. Maybe a virtual office would work well for you.
How much is your time worth?
Finding a balance between making a profit, working realistic hours and factoring in your expenses is essential. You need a rate that sets you up as a viable competitor in the market, while also allowing for coverage of your own time and schedule. Find some more advice on this here.
What will your hours of business be?
Who are your clients? How will you remain accessible to the people you are working for? While you need to be prepared to put in the long hours, you also need to be able to be productive and function, especially in the early days of your business. Setting up your hours on your company website also avoids clients getting frustrated later down the line. Google also say that businesses with hours listed on their website and on their Google My Business page, get ~40% more clicks to their site and more requests for driving directions.
How will you maintain client correspondence?
Make sure all channels of communication are streamlined, with mail trails between clients logged in emails and archived, and all physical papers kept in order. You will need a secure storage and disposal process for maintaining client confidential data, as well as keeping track of all your admin from the start.
How will you remain connected?
Seeking out like-minded individuals and joining social media groups on LinkedIn can prove the key to promoting yourself and sourcing new people you can trust. Ensure you set up company profiles on all major channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as looking to more creative Instagram and Pinterest profiles to keep your branding interesting.