A lot of people don’t like working for someone else. Having to work hard to make a small amount, while someone else makes loads is never fun. In the past, this was a trap that was almost inescapable for most people. But, with the help of the Internet, it’s much easier than ever to become a freelancer. This means working for yourself. And, it means that all of the money you make is yours; not someone else’s. To help you out, this post will be going through some of the fundamental considerations every freelancer has to make. So, now, you just have to do the legwork.
First things first, you need a place to work. Of course, you probably won’t be wasting any expense on an office. This will cost far too much for most freelancers that are just starting out. But, it’s still important to have a good place to work. Your surroundings and environment are very important to your concentration. It’s easy to become distracted when you’re amongst your normal spaces. Instead, you should have a separate space. One that can be used solely for work. If you don’t have space for this; it could be worth finding a local library that is happy to accommodate. If you ignore this area; it’s easy for your work to go down hill. Working from home is hard enough for most people.
As a freelancer, you are in complete control of your own finances. The government won’t touch your money before it reaches you. Instead, you will declare your own taxes and expenses. Different types of freelancer will have to worry about different sorts of taxes. For example, a building contractor may be able to save money on their taxes but would have to remain IR35 compliant in the process. If they fail to do this; it could result in massive fines and even prison time. So, freelancers like this need to use a handy IR35 calculator to make sure they handle things correctly. Along with this, it helps for freelancers to use tools like QuickBooks to handle their accounting. This will ensure that your invoices, taxes, and other financial work is mostly handled for you.
Most of the work that freelancers do will involve computers in some way. Even if you work in some sort of field job; you will probably have to handle emails and accounting. And, to do this, you need to have a computer that will stand the test of time. Thankfully, most places give small business owners tax relief on purchases of things like computers. This enables you to get a better computer for your money, which will last you for much longer. The money that you can get back is usually around 20%. Most modern laptops in the mid-range are good enough for you to work on. If you’re a content creator, though, you might need something with a dedicated GPU and high-resolution screen.
Along with your computer, you’ll need some software. Most people won’t need much more than word processing and other office software. And, nowadays, there’s no need to pay for this sort of software. Instead, if you make an account with a company like Google; you can use all of the software you’ll need for free. You’ll have to do it in-browser. But, this makes it much cheaper to run your company. If you make content like images or video; you might have to invest in some software from companies like Adobe or Autodesk. Thankfully, nowadays, most of these companies offer their software on a subscription basis. This is much easier than paying for this all at once. The software you use is a big part of your business. So, if you have to invest in this area; it’s worth doing it.
- A business address and phone number
One of the hardest things to gain as a freelancer is the trust of your customers. So, it’s important that you work hard to ensure customers have no reason not to trust you. Of course, this will start with the way that you talk to and treat your customers. This isn’t the limit, though. To be trusted as a business it’s important that the details you give to customers are professional. For a start, your email address has to be on the same domain as your website. Then, you should think about the physical address and phone number you give out. Thankfully, there are services out there that can give you a business number that can be used like a mobile number. This enables you to give customers a professional looking number, without having to pay for the expenses of an office. Companies like this will often also have a mail redirection address, which can make it look like your business is located elsewhere. These sorts of services are great for most businesses. And, they don’t cost a fortune to get set up.
Getting work as a freelancer can be incredibly difficult. At the start, no one will know your name. So, you will find it hard to get work based on word of mouth. As you get more work, this will change. But, until then, you have to find some ways to get work as often as possible. Thankfully, websites like Freelancer.com and Upwork.com can assist computer-related professionals in getting work. So, they’re great for people who make things like websites or videos. This won’t suit everyone, though. So, you might need something a little more specialised. There are loads of sites like this, too. For example, a chef might want to use a site like Chefs Hub to get their work. Or, a construction worker might use a local trade site to catch wind of jobs that are going. The services you use to find jobs could have a huge impact on your success. So, it’s worth making sure you do as much as you can here.
Hopefully, this will give you a good idea of what needs to be done as a first-time freelancer. Most people in this position will leave it too late to consider a lot of these things. But, this is a big mistake. Ignoring the important aspects of your work could result in huge problems in the future. Some of which are reversible; some of which simply aren’t. Don’t worry, though; it’s easy to get things done right, once you know how to.