New Year, New Business? Deciding To Go Freelance

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January 19, 2017

Rolling back into the doldrums of January, you may be feeling uninspired by your current work. A frustrating schedule, lack of recognition, being lost in a massive corporate hierarchy… there are many reasons why ennui is afflicting you. Is it time you did something about it?

Freelancing can be the clean slate you’re desperate for, allowing you to work at your own pace and apply skills to clients who really value them. However, before you turn over this new leaf, there are practical elements to think about. Let’s see what they are.

Are there any people you can work for immediately?

It’s never a great idea to jump into something with your eyes closed. Whatever industry you’re in, consider which business contacts have made an impression on you, especially those who are occasionally disgruntled with the way your company operates. They might be the bedrock of your freelancing career, a launch pad to get you off the ground.

Obviously, be careful about who you approach. Suggest a face-to-face meeting or a phone call in your own time, and explain what you have in mind. Also, create an account on freelance platforms like Upwork to gauge interest in your services.

How disciplined are you?

The sweet air of freedom will doubtless bowl you over if you can form a solid clientele list, as you begin to work from home, a small office or even an internet café day-to-day. The thing is, are you truly prepared for the strict timekeeping that’ll accompany it? You have to treat freelancing like a real job if you’re going to succeed.

That means as soon as you start work, you should chip away at it for a set number of hours, only taking a couple of breaks in-between. Distractions and social plans have to take a backseat during this period.

Do you have strong business skills?

Often, it’s the minutiae that undo your best-laid plans. You may be a whizz at design, sales, manual tasks or media production, but other responsibilities – like accounting and balancing the books – could send you into a tailspin.

We speak to freelancers about this on a regular basis; usually, we offer the FreeAgent bookkeeping software to simplify your broader business acumen. That’s in addition to the Bright Ideas accountancy packages that are our bread and butter. Check them out if you want an affordable, flexible service geared to independent professionals.

What are your savings like?

A nest egg never comes more in handy than when you’re leaping to freelance stardom. An emergency fund, as it were, can see you through rocky patches in your work life. Remember that even the very best freelancers experience peaks and troughs over the year.

Assignments may dry up one month, then build inexorably the next. A healthy savings pile will also cover your back against damaged equipment, a nasty bill or an unforeseen personal crisis.

We applaud your tenacity – so many people wilt comfortably away in the bowels of a huge organisation, barely thinking of a better career scenario. Freelancing can definitely be your saviour, but only if you’re ready for what it entails. Make 2017 your most amazing year yet, and call Bright Ideas on 0161 669 4221, or email info@biaccountancy.com for help with the transition.

New Year, New You, Deciding to go Freelance

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