Do you ever imagine yourself calling all the shots in your professional life and having to answer to no one? Many people around the world dream of leaving their 9 to 5s to be their own bosses, and the number of freelancers in the UK is growing every year. There were 1.91 million freelancers in 2015 (PDF), while 2016 saw this figure increase to 2 million (PDF).
Before going freelance, though, it’s important that you ask yourself the question: are you actually ready for it?
Can You Be Your Own Salesperson?
No matter what business you intend to create when you go solo, it’s important that you know how to sell your services and, of course, yourself. This means that you need to be comfortable about promoting yourself, attending relevant events, expanding your network of contacts, and just generally doing self-promotion.
It takes practice to get there and promote yourself with ease, but if you start simple (for example, by emailing your current contacts and inviting them out for coffee), you will slowly gain the confidence needed to ‘brag’ about yourself and your work.
If you feel like you can do this, then you’re one step closer to making your dream a reality.
You Are Very Organised
When you work for yourself, you need to remain organised at all times, as that can mean the difference between a regular paycheck and not knowing what or when to bill people. Being capable of keeping track of everything can contribute to the success of your freelance business, so make sure that you are prepared to be a one-person shop.
You Can Keep Your Own Deadlines
As a freelancer, you will be setting your own deadlines, so it’s vital that you are capable of keeping them as well. Clients like consistency and quality so, if you’re building a customer base, you’ll want to keep to any deadline you implement in order to create an image of reliability, responsibility, and excellence.
Time management skills are incredibly important for this.
You Can Chase Work
Are you ready to go after jobs and people? Work won’t fall into place easily, so you need the ability – and personality – to keep chasing them. As a freelancer, you will likely need to promote yourself, find work and set up contracts in addition to the job you are going to perform. It takes time and determination, so you will need to be able to handle the pressure and never stop moving until you find the next job.
You Have a Financial Cushion
While many freelancers experience great success, it is also important to note that saving up for a rainy day is crucial. If you’re working full-time at the moment, ask yourself: “do I have enough funds saved for a safety net?”. If the answer is yes, then you might just be ready for the next step. If no, you should build your savings.
After all, a freelance career, especially in the beginning, can be incredibly stressful and you don’t want to add even more to it – the worry of not knowing if you can pay rent will also be distracting and might not allow you to focus on building your business.
You Know Your Limits
It’s important that freelancers wear many hats. After all, you will have to not only perform your job to the best of your abilities, but you will also have to learn how to market yourself and promote your services, for instance. You will also need to deal with numbers, which is few people’s cup of tea.
Many freelancers also find that they’re too busy to deal with the accountancy side of things as well – this is a worry that you don’t need to have on top of everything else, especially when you’re focusing your energies on expanding your business or growing your network.
We understand that working with taxes and wages can be challenging, which is why it’s equally important that you find someone who can help you. At ICS, we know that understanding your limits will free you up to focus on the things that matter, so we provide you with the right people for the right job!
Are you ready to go freelance? If you think you can achieve these goals then you might just be ready to take the plunge and become your own boss – and ICS will help you get there! We’re at your disposal, so get in touch with a friendly member of our team who will be more than happy to discuss your accountancy needs with you, leaving you with time to focus on expanding your business.