5 Top Tips for Switching to Freelance Work
With so many people working from home or finding their careers upended, starting your own business is tempting. If you have a skill you can market, it makes sense to earn money through it, even alongside your day job. However, beginning a freelance career or switching to self-employment can seem daunting. Here are five top tips for starting a freelance career.
1. Do your research
It might seem like an easy option, but self-employment does come with some laws and government requirements. You’ll need to do your research about taxes, declaring yourself a self-employed person, and any rules you have to follow in your specific industry. It’s much better to know all the facts before you start and run your business correctly, legally, and safely from the outset. You don’t want to get caught out later by something you just didn’t know about before. There can be some heavy fines for some things, such as taxes, and the last thing you want is to get saddled with a massive penalty.
2. Manage your admin
Administration can take large chunks of your time, and you don’t want to be wasting your work time on answering emails or bookkeeping. If you keep on top of your admin daily, you’ll never need to set hours aside to maintain your business, and you’ll have more time left to earn money.
Apps and software can help you manage a freelance career enormously. Just take a look at how remote workers manage with apps like Slack or COVID APIs.
3. Get a qualification
If you’re marketing a more expensive skill, consider obtaining a relevant qualification first. It will look good next to your name on your business correspondence and website, and potential clients will have more faith in you as a professional.
Studying for a qualification first will also give you more confidence in your abilities, and you can charge that little bit extra.
4. Don’t forget insurance
Whether it’s professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance, or simply covering your laptop or other assets, you’ll need to look into business insurance. Insurance can help you with legal aid if you’re accused of something, and some policies cover unpaid client fees, too.
In specific industries, such as contracting, you must have public liability insurance by law, and failure to do this is a criminal offence.
5. Keep an eye on your business expenses
It’s easy to let your business expenses get on top of you, but by keeping an eye on them, you’ll save yourself money. As part of your bookkeeping, you’ll need to keep track of any business-related expenses anyway, so totting them up every month, or even every week, should be easy.
With all the new remote working opportunities, there’s never been a better time to work for yourself. Just remember to do your research first, keep on top of your admin, consider obtaining a qualification first, keep your insurance policies up-to-date, and watch your business expenses. Good luck with your freelance venture, and keep this top five list handy for reference later.