An increasing number of people are starting to work freelance because of the great flexibility that this type of employment can bring. When you are self-employed you are your own boss which means that you can set your own hours, take on as much or as little work as you like and choose who you work with. Many people work freelance on the side to earn extra cash while some use it as their sole source of income and either approach can be a smart way to earn. There are all kinds of different ways to earn money when you are freelance, yet it is also a lifestyle that has unique challenges. Here are a few tips for running a successful freelance operation:
Establish Set Working Hours
One of the major benefits of being a freelance worker is that you are your own boss and you can work whenever you like. While this flexibility is a bonus, it is also important to have set working hours so that you can easily communicate with people and to make sure that you work enough throughout the week. Many people like to work the classic 9 to 5, and this can be helpful if you need to communicate with clients throughout the day. This also helps you to separate your home and personal life.
Although a good idea to have set working hours, you may also need to be flexible with your working hours. There may be times where you have to work late and/or at weekends in order to meet deadlines, so a flexible approach is important.
Avoid Burnout & Look After Yourself
When you do not earn a salary, there is a large temptation to take on as much work as possible in order to maximize profit. While you will want to take on a lot of work to earn a healthy amount, you should also not take on too much and not be afraid of saying no to clients in order to avoid burnout. It is in everyone’s best interest that you deliver high-quality work, so you need to take breaks and look after yourself in terms of relaxing, eating well, socializing, and exercising.
Set Money Aside For Taxes First
When you are self-employed, it is your responsibility to pay your taxes, which means that you need to budget for this throughout the year. When you receive payment, make sure that you are setting enough money aside for taxes before paying yourself. This ensures that there will be no nasty surprises by the time you complete your tax return.
Rainy Day Fund
It is also a smart move to set aside money each month into a savings account. Due to the nature of the work, freelance work can dry up without warning so there may be periods where you have much less or even no work. This can be difficult to survive which is why you should have a rainy day fund to cover rent, food, and other essentials.
In a similar vein, it is also wise to have a credit card in case there is a month where you do not earn as much as you normally would (such as if you are ill or on holiday). Applying for a credit card can be a lengthy and stressful process, but it does not always have to be this way with the best instant approval credit cards Canada has to offer. Use this card to manage tricky periods or large purchases and always make sure that you are sensible with your credit.
Separate Business & Personal Accounts
It is also worth separating your business and personal accounts as finances can be difficult to track otherwise. This is important for monitoring the perforce of your operation but also for tax reasons. Having separate accounts will enable you to monitor your business and personal finances and avoid having to use one to pay for the other.
When work is short-term or not guaranteed it is helpful to have a large network in order to open doors and provide new work opportunities. You can do this by networking as much as possible – this could involve meeting with clients, attending industry events, meeting up with fellow freelancers and, of course, networking online.
Build A Professional Website
Following on from this, you also need to have a high-quality professional website which provides detailed information on your skill set, experience, and contact details. This website could help you to attract a lot more business while also building your reputation. Increase traffic to your professional website by promoting it on social media, including a link in any form of communication and through internet marketing.
Obtain Client Feedback
Obtaining client feedback during or after completion of work/projects is available for a few different reasons. It allows you to learn how you can improve your operation so that there is the chance for new and/or repeat work opportunities, plus you can also use any positive feedback on your website to attract new business. Potential clients will want to see that you have experience and deliver a high-quality product or service and client reviews are the best way to achieve this.
Running your own operation can be chaotic and stressful no matter what type of business you offer. Stay as organized as possible with a detailed calendar and by using software to handle areas like accounting and time management. Having a clear system in place and staying organized will help you to run a successful operation, maximize profit and reduce stress.
Freelance work certainly has its perks, and it can be an excellent way to either earn on the side or as your sole source of income. It can also be challenging and stressful, and it is not a line of work for everyone. These tips should help you to run a successful freelance operation in terms of managing your finances smartly, landing work with clients and growing awareness about your business operation. It can be challenging particularly when first starting out, but after a while, you should get into the swing of things and start to enjoy the perks that this type of work brings.