The dream of being able to work for yourself is almost too much. The freedom you’ll have to work from home in your pyjamas, not having to worry about going into an office full of people you’re not too keen on is just the best thought in the world. But actually making the jump from employed to self employed is a really scary prospect. When you don’t have someone setting you targets or telling you what to do, and complete control over your own work, it can soon become a bit intimidating. You might find you’ll miss that office you once hated, or that overbearing boss. But in the long run going freelance has so many more benefits than it does negatives. There’s the potential to earn more, travel freely, and live a life without as many constraints. So if you’re going to take the plunge, here are some points to consider about being freelance.
This is something you’re always going to struggle with when you’re working from home, especially if you’re choosing to do it from the comfort of your bed. It is all too easy to be tempted to curl up and take a quick nap. Or to put the TV on. Before you know it you’ve pushed your schedule back and back until it is too late to try and complete the work. A nightmare that you just need to avoid. Just because you aren’t in an office environment, it doesn’t mean that you can relax all day. The earlier you get up and get it done the better. Don’t put all your other daily needs in front of working. That film can wait a few hours until you’re done. As we said, staying in bed is one of the hardest times to find motivation. The solution to this? A home office if you can. It’ll help put you in the frame of mind for working. If you don’t have the space for a home office, simply sit upright in the kitchen or dining room. As far away from a TV as possible. They say that simply getting up and getting dressed as if you were going to work makes it so much easier to actually stay motivated.
This is another toughy. With employed work you were used to knowing exactly how much you were going to get paid, and exactly what would need to be deducted. But when you go self employed it is time to figure it out all by yourself. It is hard to predict your income if you don’t know how much work you’ll get from one week to another. So save as much as you can in preparation for the weeks where you might not get as much work in. If you get to the point where you’re bringing in a steady income, then you can think about treating yourself. One way of easily keeping track of your money is through invoicing. Not only is it something that clients will find professional and convenient, it’ll also help you to manage what people should be paying you, what for, and when for. proforma invoices is a template you can use if you’ve never had to write out an invoice before. One last thing you need to think about is paying your taxes yourself. It’ll be confusing at first, but there’s plenty of self help guides on the internet to help you out. If you don’t register yourself as self employed you will be liable to a fine. But if you don’t pay your taxes on time you could be faced with an even bigger fine. There’s different dates when your taxes would have to be paid by. Make sure you do your research and fully understand all of this before going self employed.
Finding Your Feet
This is always going to be hard. Initially building up a client base, or just finding work in the first place can be really intimidating. There’s so many other established freelancers out there already doing what you’re doing. But this is where you need to punch through into the market and make your mark. Don’t be afraid of doing some free work to begin with to spread the word about your little business venture. At the end of the day going freelance is a business venture. You want to make sure you’re doing it right. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice from other freelancers you know of as well. They will have all been in the same boat as you before.