Many individuals have toyed with the idea of starting up their own business and working for themselves, only to never follow through. You don’t have to be in business school or take web design courses for a creative career to consider self-employment. So how do you go about this? How do you go from having a steady paycheck with benefits, to hunting down clients?
Here are a few ways to help you gain freedom from working for ‘The Man’ in no time:
Organize your Time
Whether you set up your own work area at home or commute to a nearby artist studio, it’s important that you set up a dedicated area to work from. If you know that you aren’t the type to stick to a strict schedule at home, then consider renting an artist space or shared business office where you can still interact with others and get your work done in a timely manner. Plan your days the same way you would working a 9 to 5 in order to maximize the time that you are spending working. Whichever method works for you to get through your days in the most efficient manner, then do so.
Manage Money Worries
Finances are the biggest reason why anyone who is thinking about freelancing remains unsure. Who can blame you? To go from full benefits to haphazard payments can be tough. However, if you keep finances in mind and plan in advance, then working for yourself can be the dream that you’ve always thought that it would be. First off, always put aside money for taxes. You should be aiming to put aside 25% per business year. It’s always better to put aside too much rather than too little. And if you have money left over at the end of the year once taxes have been paid, then you should put the rest into a savings account or retirement fund. However, if you are finding all of this challenging, then you might benefit from accounting training to help you out.
The second rule is to set up client payment terms. Agree to dates in advance when full-payment should be made. Spending your free time chasing client payments and hoping that they pay in a timely manner most likely wasn’t the lifestyle that you envisioned for yourself when you decided to freelance. The more that you plan in advance, the less likely you’ll find yourself in the red.
Set Client Boundaries
Just because we’re more connected now than ever doesn’t mean that your clients should be able to reach you at all hours of the day. Set office hours and stick to them. You don’t have to answer every email in your inbox when it enters your inbox. If you decide that your work hours will take place from Monday to Friday, then you should stick that schedule. Just because you’re a freelancer doesn’t mean that your work should control your life. However, you should be reliable and reachable to your clients during your set office hours.