Taking the decision to go from a stable wage to working for yourself is one of the biggest and most daunting decisions you can make. It is also hugely exciting and often liberating. But it is undoubtedly risky, and thus should be done with caution and after much planning. Moolr decided to collate some tips for working for yourself.
Whether going freelance is a life-long ambition, or the result in an unexpected change of circumstances, it’s important to create as much of a financial buffer as possible. Ir can be nerve-wracking and risky to go from a stable wage to depending on your ideas coming to fruition. Your options are thus two-fold. Either have funds saved away to back you up should the early days be rocky or try and start a new career as a sideline, whilst continuing your existing career. The first option has disadvantages as it would still be greatly frustrating to see hard-earned savings whittled away. You need to really believe in yourself.
The second option is preferable, as it comes with no risk, but will impinge on your time and could be exhausting. A friend built up his bike repair business whilst still in a job, then quite when it grew big enough to sustain him full time.
As with many careers, it’s not just what you know, but who you know. But also, it may be people that you don’t yet know that will take your business onto the next level. Go on Linkedin and similar sites, set up a website, be proactive on all social media platforms. Get out there. No one will use your business if they do not know you exist. Attend local business forums and events and keep your profiles up to date at all times.
Although you mustn’t get complacent, it’s also essential that you rest. It’s tempting to go hell for leather, working all day and all night. Working longer hours does not mean greater results. The greatest productivity results from regular breaks and a fresh mind and body
It’s hard to turn down work, especially when your business is just beginning to take off. But you need to use your time wisely, rather than chasing every penny available. This again links into not overworking yourself. If you work from home, walk away from your computer multiple times a day and relax. It is vital you do not overwhelm yourself. Stress and pressure are inevitable when you start a new venture. You must learn to deal with them.
It’s easy to get behind, but it’s also very easy to stay on top. Keep a record of every purchase, every sale, every transaction. It will save you days when it comes to doing a tax return. Be prepared. It may be financially sensible to hire an accountant, as your time could be spent better elsewhere. And always have funds held back to pay that annual tax bill.
Most importantly, make people want to deal with you. So be nice, polite and professional. Put across a persona that makes you an attractive proposition to prospective customers.