10 tips for a freelance full timer

Your dream of a full-time freelancer is about to take shape. Here are few tips that will help you to translate your idea. From a regular employee to self-employed is with a lot of challenges. The transition is full of tribulations, pressure and requires unyielding will power. The corporate hang over you are carrying with you itself is a negative aspect for a successful freelancing. In the new challenging avatar you have a lot to do creatively and constructively.

1. Meet people and get the ball rolling

You may have to reach out to your circle of the personal and professional network. This move will open up a thinking process of the pros and cons about different aspects of your desired field. If you want to start your own business in marketing, graphic designing or writing you may have to ask professionals and veterans in the areas informally. It can be over a cup of coffee, over a phone or even through social media to get their advice. It is imperative that you build relationships to build up your armory. You have to be open to suggestions and advice and of course for criticism.

2. Homework that works

You have to set your priorities and goals straight by asking few questions yourselves. These questions can start from the ideal or minimum take home, the timing, your preference over the colour of the collar, etc. This action will also include the quantum of risk you can afford to take. While transitioning from a day job, your steady pay will transition too.  You have to remember that you are plunging into a new area from a well-laid office routine.

3. Organisational and operational spreadsheet

It is ideal to have a master plan of the organisational chart you contemplate. Whether you are going to work as a one man army or as a group is immaterial. When you’re just starting out, a spreadsheet covering your income and outgo will help. The invoicing pattern, outstanding, marketing expenses, etc. can be written explicitly. The outflow of the office expenses, stationary, software, taxes, etc. should be available at a glance. This decision will greatly help in meeting inevitable contingencies.

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4. Keeping the overhead low

Working from home or a small office which is not expensive would be the first step in running a profitable business start up. The hangover usually associated with working with the corporate may haunt you regarding the requirements and paraphernalia. You may dispense with most of those comforts when you are on your own. Many privileges you thought as essential in a workplace will soon become past glory. Your adaptability to a brand new set up is the turning point in the new venture you are planning to plunge into.

5. Sharpen your skills

You have to keep yourself up to date on know a bit about accounting, marketing, customer relationship, etc. The compartmentalization you were enjoying so far as a corporate employee ceases. The skills, software or reference material that was readily available so far have to be acquired by you by spend from your income. But there is no alternative but to learn the skills and equip you to meet the challenges. There are many online classes for freelancers for you to choose from that will help you to sharpen your skills.


6. Freelancer forums and platforms

There are many freelancer forums and platforms are available online. You may be able to join the suitable one for your skills and background. Social media networking is another useful tool in getting to know of the opportunity open for you. Blogging and micro blogging will widen your circle of associates. There are workshops and webinars available where employers and employees can meet up. These platforms do take a fee, but that is not prohibitive even for the new comers. There are also associations and unions for freelancers.

7. Set the goals right

As a freelancer, you have to be prepared to do right from menial jobs to the high-end presentations to the corporate clients. The number of bills and taxes you have to handle will be mind blogging. The bank management which you were not used so far is another chorus you will need to do now as a freelancer. A reality check is a right thing to do about your dream project and client. A personal introspection of the achievement and failures would help to a very great extent.

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8. Identify the customer and business base

Before plunging into a full-time freelancing, you should have a database of clients and companies that you want to tap. A good networking will bring in a lot of useful information. There are workshops to help you achieve in updating the database. Even apps are there to explore the various aspects in freelancing. Social networking is the ideal media for getting deep into customer base build up.

9. Tap for advice from different segments

Limiting your search for information and advice will not be the right attitude. You have to draw information from wherever you can lay hands on. You have to read business publications, watch advertisements as well we indulge into the social media networking to get the pulse right. Blogging and micro blogging will get you into the hub of activities where you can try your luck. The market trends and voids would be the good starting points for you to explore opportunities.

10. Bring in the 9 to 5 hangover and beyond

Setting the time frame of saying the one you were used to be so far suitable for your biological clock. You have to follow some work regime. The scheduling of meetings and follow-ups should be included in the time frame, the capacity to take up a project without over-straining should be emphasized on. The pressure on the job should be avoided. As a freelancer, the cost-benefit ratio for every move should be analysed and optimized.


Amit Acharya
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