Make no mistake, freelancing isn’t for everyone. Although the prospect of becoming your own boss may be too tempting to turn down, plunging yourself into self-employment will always involve a great deal of hard work and dedication. For many, the increased sense of financial responsibility can become completely overwhelming, while others struggle to gain clients and feel lonely during the working day.
However, despite these unavoidable fears and anxieties, there are currently just under 5 million self-employed workers in the UK; accounting for over 15% of the nationwide workforce. So, even though you’ll undoubtedly worry about earning enough money to freelance full-time, you can at least rest a little easier with the knowledge that so many freelancers have managed to make things work.
Of course, these growing self-employment numbers mean that the freelance game is more competitive than ever before. To stand above the rising crowds, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got everything you need to be a successful freelancer.
Specialist Contractor Accountant
Managing your own finances is never easy. In fact, staying on top of tax return deadlines and recent legislation changes is often just downright stressful. When you aren’t particularly clued up on how business finances work, making sure you’re always fully compliant with tax regulations will quickly become incredibly time-consuming; ultimately reducing your billable hours.
Instead of allowing this heightened financial responsibility to hamper their productivity, many freelancers are now seeking the services of contractor accountancy experts. Providing a more specialised service than a regular accountant, these financial professionals focus specifically on self-employment laws; helping workers to maximise their profits and stay in line with all tax regulations.
When you’re taking your first steps into the world of freelancing, an accountant can prove essential in helping you get set up and growing your business.
Without an effective workspace, freelancers won’t be able to produce their best work. When they’re incapable of producing their best work, they’re significantly reducing the value and profitability of their business. Simple.
Although many freelancers will choose to work in coffee shops or shared office spaces, the vast majority choose to work from their own homes. Of course, your home is likely full of all manner of tempting distractions (such as the television), and you need to separate your workspace from these potential disturbances to keep operating productively.
Ideally, a freelancer’s workspace will include plenty of natural light, fast broadband connections, and all the equipment required to get the job done. A large number of freelancers experience difficulty in separating their personal and working lives, but shutting your workspace away from common home distractions is undoubtedly the best place to start.
Freelancers will find tremendous difficulty in advertising their services without a website. After all, a great site will quickly become the face of your business, providing you with the perfect platform to create your own brand and attract new clients.
But simply throwing up a site which includes your name and portfolio is no longer enough, because modern web users now expect a certain standard when they click onto a website. If your website doesn’t meet those expectations, then they’ll quickly click off again and try one of your competitors instead.
In fact, now that over 61% of internet sessions are completed through a mobile device, freelancers need to make sure they’re utilising fully responsive websites, so they can continue to advertise their business across multiple devices. Once you’ve created a website that looks great on the smaller screen, you can obviously appeal to a much larger audience.
Engaging Social Media Networks
While a website provides a great platform to display your freelancing services, a strong social media presence can help raise awareness of its existence. By developing a solid social media following, you can directly advertise your services to people who are interested in what you have to offer, while publicly interacting with clients will only enhance your business’ reputation and credibility.
Time Management Skills
For any freelancer, the ability to manage your team effectively is absolutely essential. When you’re attempting to juggle a heavy workload with sourcing new clients and managing your finances, you’ll undoubtedly need to create a plan and structure to help you keep a handle on everything. After all, freelancing comes with so many responsibilities, you need to ensure you’ve always got enough time to properly fulfill them.
By minimising workplace distractions, writing extensive to-do lists, and remaining as organised as possible, you’ll be able to make much better use of your time, while you also won’t feel as overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work on your plate. Once you’ve got a better grasp on your schedule, and have all the other above points in place, you stand a much better chance of becoming a truly successful freelancer.
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