Quitting your day job to establish a freelance business can be intimidating but it’s also incredibly freeing.
The people you’ve observed at the local coffee place, taking advantage of the Wi-Fi and pounding away on laptops, surely must be making money, reports the Investopedia.
1) You’ll work much harder than when you had an office job.
You and you alone are responsible for your success and that means that there’s no one else to pick up the slack to meet deadlines.
There’s no such thing as regular office hours (or paid overtime) when you’ve agreed to produce work for a paying client.
Fledgling business owners frequently find it difficult to turn down work, so anticipate having to juggle several projects at once and adjust your schedules to accommodate the work.
Taking a client call while on vacation, working over weekends, being available almost 24/7 – all are a regular part of a freelancer’s work life.
2) You’ll miss the convenience of an employer’s office.
Simple, no-brainer items such as a copier, a postage scale, a stocked office-supply cabinet, a courier service: None of these services will be readily available until you figure out how to provide them for yourself.
Freelancers often find that their local UPS store becomes a life-saver for providing those small, essential items that are part of the daily work routine.
Consider coworking spaces and shared offices; these can be an affordable solution for a freelancer needing equipment, services and supplies without having to purchase those items for the new business.
You’ll want to conserve your working capital.
3) Even familiar surroundings can be very distracting.
Kids, roommates, pets, the refrigerator down the hall, the ringing doorbell, even checking your email too often – these are all temptations that can disrupt your productivity.
You’ll work smarter and better when you figure out how to get them under control.
Some ideas: installing an intercom to answer the front door without leaving your home office, scheduling afterschool activities for your kids so that you can keep your work momentum going, working offsite during some hours.
Establish an email routine to read and respond to important emails only at certain times during the day.
Watch the use of social media – while it’s fun and inspiring, it’s also a tempting time drain on productivity.
If you’re scheduled to be working, log out of your accounts and even consider blocking the networks on your devices until you take a planned break.
Those in creative fields often set aside specific times to do research at social sites, but if you need to work, stay away.
4) You’ll need to establish credit and financial accounts in your business name.
The surprise is how much of a “non person” you become as a new freelancer until your credit is established and can be used at companies that provide goods and services to your business.
You may need to make use of your personal credit cards and refer to personal financial statements until your business credit is accepted – and that can take up to three years to establish.
Even though, while working as an employee, you may have purchased printing or commissioned laminated plaques from local companies, as a new business owner, you may find that the same company will require a new credit report in order to continue doing business with you.
It’s not personal, it’s just the reality of having financial risk in the business world.
The longer you’re in business the easier it will be to establish credit with companies.
5) Don’t underestimate the importance of mentors, accountants, attorneys, tech help.
You may be flying solo as a freelancer, but the need for research and help never goes away.
Make it part of your business plan to seek out fellow freelancers by joining an association and attending events.
Not only will you discover everything you need to know about getting your business going, but you’ll have resources for finding financial and legal advisers, healthcare insurance, suppliers, and even the best free Wi-Fi coffee lounges in your area.
Don’t be surprised, either, when you are referred to a potential new client – fellow business people are known for being very generous in passing around names.
Before you are bedeviled by all the details, implement these ideas and launch with more finesse.