Last time, we took a brief glance at some of the areas that existing contractors should be looking into as they start the New Year. After all, why keep making the same mistakes of the previous year if you can build upon that base to achieve greater success? However, for those of you who haven’t yet adopted a contracting lifestyle, have you considered making 2015 the year when you give it a go? Once they’ve been their own boss, most people are loathe to return to ‘standard’ employment, but the fact is that many exploratory business start-ups fail in a very short time. If you’re interesting in freelancing during 2015, here are some tips to get you set up for the long haul…
Get Your Structure Right
This advice is just as relevant in this blog as it was in the last, so not much more needs to be added. Rather than just leaping in and attempting to ‘make money’, set yourself up for long-term success by getting the right structure in place. You’ll reap manifold rewards not too far down the line.
As a budding freelancer, your reputation is not going to be ‘out there’ before you are; if you want to be approached by plenty of potential contracts, then you need to publicise yourself. If you have to spend money to join professional networking groups and the like, then so be it. It may be a short-term cost that you reckon you can do without, but think of it as an investment for the future.
The best way to attract more contracts is to showcase previous successes. That means you should have a website or social media channels in place to broadcast testimonials to as wide an audience as possible. With your client’s permission, you might also consider writing referrals for yourself. Many clients are happy to recommend somebody, but are disinclined to take the step themselves, so doing a sort of ‘collaborative effort’ with their approval is a great way to make it happen.
What Do People Want?
If you’re thinking of maintaining some form of contracting longevity, then one of the best things you can do is to give people what they want. Find out the in-demand niches where you can turn your skills to good use, and similarly research exactly what people want from professionals in this area. If you listen to what your clients want, and try to give it to them, you won’t go too far wrong.
Too many freelancing ventures are stymied when the professional in question gets bogged down in something mundane like bookkeeping, so be aware that services are out there to help you. The ICS team has been providing specialist accountancy and payroll solutions since 2002, so we know exactly how to take the stress out of paying yourself and a lack of stress is guaranteed to make your new lifestyle a more viable long-term option. If you’re considering freelancing in 2015, then be sure to download our Guide to Contracting or call us on 0800 195 3750.