5 things to consider before quitting your job to be a freelancer
More and more people are transitioning from a traditional 9 to 5 working role to the flexible and self-managed world of freelancing. However, with the perks of working from home come the risks of being your own boss. Before making this leap you’ll need to consider just what it takes to make it on your own.
Here are five things to consider before quitting your job to be a freelancer.
1. Ensure You Have A Savings Safety Net
Establishing yourself as a freelancer takes time and the enthusiasm you bring to your new role won’t immediately translate to a steady income, so having at least six months’ worth of savings is a solid starting point. Even if you have brought over a lengthy client list or identified a steady revenue stream, there are so many variables in freelancing that it pays to have your finances in order before you start. Whether you work with clients who pay regularly or those who require edits which stretch your project deadlines out, becoming financially overextended can happen. So set aside a nominated amount each week into a savings account – it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan.
2. Consider Your Start-Up Costs
While the start-up costs you’ll need to take into consideration will vary from industry to industry, there will be outlays associated with your initial foray into freelancing. A worthwhile initial cost would be to hire a professional to neaten up your CV and maximise your hiring potential. Other costs may include registering a website domain name or enrolling in a course to improve your skillset in your chosen field. Ultimately while the start-up costs may seem significant, they are an investment in your future. Planning out the expected set-up costs and building a budget around them will help you avoid any financial surprises and pave way for success.
3. Create A Productive Home Office Environment
Working at home may seem appealing but without a structured working space, you won’t be productive. Your first home office goal is to acquire internet speed that suits your freelance role. A comfortable and ergonomic chair is another important investment as you may spend hours sitting down. Gauge the importance of other office supplies and technology as you go and invest as your revenue streams grow to ensure your office always grows with you and doesn’t overwhelm you. Keep in mind that you may be able to use shared areas like public libraries or Wi-Fi hotspots when you get started to build up your funds before you invest in your home office.
4. Market Yourself To Key Contacts
As the old saying goes, it’s not always what you know but who you know, and freelancing is no different. Before you branch out on your own arrange to meet people in your industry. This will help you identify the areas to focus on, build a client contact list to get you started and even highlight what your competitors are doing which will help you with a strategy once you get set up. Social media has made it easier than ever to connect so get searching on LinkedIn. However, the good old fashioned coffee shop still makes for the perfect meeting place so don’t forget to reach out in person. As well as knowing the right people before you take on a freelance role, you’ll also need to be able to properly market yourself. This skill is essential in not just finding new clients, but keeping them, which is vital as you go at it alone.
5. Identify Additional Revenue Streams
The freedom of freelancing is often offset by unpredictable income so it never hurts to have more than one revenue stream in the works. There are a number of options outside your direct speciality that you can access. For example, you can join an online community like Airtasker which allows you to pick and choose the individual jobs that suit your schedule and expertise. Alternatively, if you follow forex markets, you could join a forex trading platform like AxiTrader, which allows you to trade international currency 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. There’s no shortage of online communities, from Uber to Fiverr, so identifying and tapping into additional revenue streams is now easier than ever. Focus on your strengths and match them to the opportunities available to help your bank balance grow.
Quitting your day job to take on a freelance lifestyle can be liberating and exhilarating. However, without the necessary planning this excitement can quickly turn to disappointment. Weighing up your freelance goals with your freelance needs will ensure you put yourself on the track for success.