The Covid pandemic has accelerated to move towards freelancing and many people are considering going freelance as a part-time or full time occupation. Here are ten points to consider before taking those first steps as a freelancer.
1. Choose an industry – you can go with your training and experience and remain in your current field, you can follow your passion into something new, or you can find and leverage a gap in the market.
2. Assess your strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats you face (SWOT). A SWOT analysis helps you to focus on your strengths, minimise weaknesses and threats and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available.
3. Analyse your motives for freelancing. Money is generally the main reason but there are other reasons. Are your motives strong enough to carry you over the rocky road of self-employment?
4. Get advice – from friends and family as a start but also consider finding a mentor to guide you over the first few years.
5. Register with all the relevant tax and national authorities. Good record keeping is essential for small businesses and makes annual tax returns easier. In the beginning, consider bookkeeping software, which is affordable and reduces the need for accounting services.
6. Create a brand. Select a good name for your business that reflects your service offering. Tempting though it is to go with interesting or funny names, these prove less successful when creating websites, printing business cards and turning up in Google searches.
7. Find a coworking space or dedicated workspace. Working from home is often the first choice for start-up businesses but try to have an area that is separate from the rest of the house, even if it is just a door to close at the end of the day.
This prevents burnout and family arguments. Consider a local coworking space that will help you connect with local freelancers and offer the dedicated workspace you need.
8. Dress for success. Learn to get up and get ready for the office, exactly as if you were going to an outside job. Your brain then moves into ‘work’ mode. Working in pyjamas may be comfortable but your brain knows that you are not serious about work and acts accordingly.
9. Consider your IT needs. A laptop looks cool but is an expensive alternative to a desktop computer. These are often cheaper and new and can be upgraded and serviced easily, unlike laptops that have a definitive lifespan. It is however important to consider the flexibility that a laptop brings as well as affordable solutions such as Chromebooks.
10. Create a business plan. This is not just a tool for external financing, it acts as a reminder to you as to what your goals and plans are. Transfer the main points to a PowerPoint presentation to explain what your business does. Capture the main goals on pieces of paper and put them up on your wall as a driver to success.
If you are freelancing across country or even across borders, getting paid swiftly for your work, in your local currency, is what you want.
What you don’t want is exorbitant service fees on payments, less money because of currency fluctuations, excessive transfer costs and complicated paperwork because that makes you and your clients reluctant to expand outside their own territories.
This is where Velvet Platform can help. Contact us to learn more.