Year Of The Freelancer? Deciding To Go Self-Employed In The New Year

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December 15, 2017
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Are you sipping fine, orange-scented wine over a fireplace yet? Christmas is lumbering up to us like a welcome friend. After that, we have the New Year, when people tend to reassess their goals and see what they really want out of life. When these thoughts arise, making a break from employment could be right at the top of the list…

So could 2018 be the perfect time to go freelance? Tens of thousands of UK workers are already doing it and loving the associative freedom. We have some ideas about how to know if you’re ready, including the help that’ll make it worthwhile.

Consider your skillset

The freelance market is very competitive. Wherever your talents lie, other people will be selling them too. That means you have to be aware of the exact benefits a client can get from you. It doesn’t just fall down to what’s feasible from a design, technical, manual or artistic perspective – buyers will want to feel confident in your sense of how that impacts their bottom line.

Gaining this self-awareness will also help you network and spread the value of your skills as far as possible. Plenty of people can do certain things, but why are you unique? What do you specialise in? Answer such questions before a freelance career starts to disembark.

Assess where business can be found

Platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr and Toptal can put you in touch with clients from around the world. Get to know them, including how much cash members charge for each job, or whether you’d prefer an hourly rate. Going in with too-low a fee could put some customers off, especially if you have a fairly slim freelance portfolio. But equally, you don’t want to be taken for granted; a reasonable starting price shows confidence and savvy commercial skills.

However, there are ways to prepare for a freelance career beyond online account memberships. We’re betting you’ve come into contact with a few industry figures, just by doing your job. They might like you enough to use you as an independent source of work, or recommend you to their wider affiliates. In either case, it can’t hurt to reach out and prod them for interest. Then they can line up some immediate opportunities for 2018.

Get a partner for the financial transition

Employees have it lucky, in some respects. They turn up, finish a shift, and look forward to a PAYE wage at the end of the month. Freelancers on the other hand have to manage their own finances; the change can be quite a shock if you’re left unsupported. There are Self Assessment tax returns to consider, for one thing, as well as recording expense payments, chasing clients for your fee and seeing where any outgoings can be cut back. All of this, as you might imagine, is tough to do alone…

But it’s where Bright Ideas can prove an asset, stepping into plug any financial mistakes or oversights. Our freelancer packages start at a mere £90 per month, savings hundreds on hiring a traditional accountant. We give you the FreeAgent tool for better bookkeeping, in addition to health checks, tax advice and a dedicated account manager.

Once you’ve nailed each of these points, a freelance career in 2018 looks a lot more promising! With high-quality assistance, Bright Ideas will fortify those self-employed plans, and keep earnings on-track for a burgeoning professional change. Contact our team if you’re interested in a New Year partnership.

Self-employed in the new year

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