Is Freelancing for you?
- Published on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 09:00
- Last Updated on 22 October 2012
- Mary Cummings
- 0 Comments
Are you toying with the idea of becoming your own boss? Giving up ‘nine to five’ for something more flexible? Or perhaps you’ve heard that as a Freelancer, you can make more money; work on a variety of exciting projects and get time off as and when you need it.
A great career choice, right?
Well partly. The adhoc nature of Freelancing certainly makes it a great career choice for parents, as you can work flexibly around the family.
But it can also be a major pain in the … you know what. If you are thinking about venturing into Freelancing for the first time, it is good to be fully aware of some of the pitfalls so that you are fully prepared.
Are you ready to wear multiple hats and be an expert in them all? Being your own boss will mean having to do your own bookkeeping to keep on top of your invoicing; marketing, essential for searching out and pitching for those lucrative contracts; online social networking and blogging, nowadays an essential part of your marketing strategy; PR so valuable for any freelancer or small business marketing on a budget; and you can probably add to that list typist, SEO novice, cook and bottle washer!
Freelancers are not protected in the same way that employers are. There are, however, many organisations you can approach for helpful, impartial advice and resources such as PCG, Voice of Freelancers in the UK. Do check whether you need to be covered by any type of insurance or indemnity, which will cover you in the event of any mistakes or negligence on your part.
Structure of your business
How should you structure your business: Should you operate as a sole trader, or limited company? Should you use an umbrella company? Are you fully aware of any IR35 tax implications? How much should you charge for your services? Understanding what to do and how to go about doing it will improve your chances of success as a Freelancer.
Managing your time:
Are you good at managing your own time? As a Freelancer, time is a literal asset to you. Time is money. So you cannot afford to fritter it away, but focus your efforts on the activities that will earn you money efficiently and effectively.
Are you a self-starter who is fully motivated to stay on track even during the dullest of moments? It can be lonely working as a Freelancer, so perhaps the most important piece of advice is to network – both online and offline. Networking with like-minded individuals will ensure you have a friendly team of people who understand your challenges. It can also prove to be extremely valuable when you need to bounce ideas back and forth. Through doing this, many Freelancers have formed collaborative ventures with each other and become an Agency, putting them in a better position to pursue larger contracts.
If you are considering Freelancing for the first time, fully research your market to see what is available in your particular field. Ask yourself what it is you would like to achieve with your Freelancing career. If you have reached a point in your life where you are able to downshift, then your financial goals might be less ambitious than someone who needs to earn as much as possible.
Some of the following jobs are well suited to Freelancing, although not an exhaustive list:
- Virtual Assistant/PA/Secretary
- IT support/consulting
- Web designer
- Market research
So, is Freelancing for you? It is not without its challenges, but for many, having the flexibility to be able to work around the family’s school runs, holidays, sports days and countless other activities makes Freelancing an extremely rewarding career.
If you are looking for Freelance, part-time or work-from-home jobs, please visit www.workyourwayjobs.co.uk and register completely free of charge. Similarly, it is free to upload your project if you are looking for freelance staff to support your business. Please visit the website for further details.
Mary Cummings is a business woman, mentor, writer and mum of three, dedicated to helping aspiring parent ‘preneurs start and run their own successful businesses – whether it’s monetising a hobby or starting a business from scratch – her aim is to help them do it successfully and profitably.