Picking up freelance work is a great way to build up skills, improve your resume, and boost your income in your spare time. In fact, many freelancers find the experience rewarding and lucrative enough to consider turning their side job into a full-fledged business. This can be a great move, but it’s one you should approach with caution.
After all, the life of a full-time freelancer is pretty different than that of a traditional employee. You’ll need to deal with all the ups and downs that come with running a small business, but the risks can be worth it. Arrowhead Consulting is proud to offer classes, resources, and consulting services that help small businesses thrive. Here are a few tips you can use to figure out if now is the right time to take your freelance business full-time, and if so, how to nail the transition.
Make Sure You’re Well Equipped
If you’ve never managed a business full time, you may be surprised by just how expansive your job as a business owner will be. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools and services out there that can make your job a lot easier. There are dozens of software tools out there that can help you keep organized, manage finances, plan future projects, and more.
You should also investigate gear that can keep you well and healthy while working from home. Most offices have ergonomic features designed to keep employees well at work. You need to factor in ergonomics for yourself as well. For example, a high-quality headset — especially one with its own microphone — can be absolutely invaluable for any freelance work that requires making multiple calls throughout the day. You should also make sure your office chair and desk are the right height for your body and workstyle.
Assess Your Financial Situation
When you work a traditional role, you have guaranteed income as long as you are in that role. This means you know exactly how much you’ll be paid and when which puts you in a strong position for planning your finances. Freelance work, however, comes with far fewer guarantees. This means that when you rely on freelance income entirely, budgeting and planning ahead becomes that much more important.
For example, you’ll need to have a substantial emergency fund. You should shoot for more padding than your traditionally employed peers since this can give you wiggle room during leaner months. You should also work with a financial advisor to figure out how much you need to set aside for taxes, as well as learning whether or not you need to be paying taxes on a quarterly basis. You’re taking on a lot more financial responsibility as a freelancer; in turn, however, you get far more control over where your money goes and why.
Develop Your Brand
Another important step for freelancers who are looking to expand their business is to develop and commit to a brand. Once you’re working for yourself, you’ll need to be able to convince potential clients to pick you over larger, more established businesses. Branding can be one of your best allies when it comes to doing so effectively.
The right brand helps businesses see why you’re a good fit for them. It establishes the tone customers can expect when working with you, and it presents a polished, professional face for the public as a whole. Moreover, it can help keep your business memorable and marketable, especially if you intend to expand down the line. If you’re not a branding pro, consider working with a marketing agency to really nail this part of your freelance business.
Freelancing is a great way to make some extra cash on the side, but some people thrive in this type of role. If that’s you, then with the right game plan, you can turn your freelance work into a full-fledged business. We hope these tips help you manage that transition with confidence!
Guest post by Lance Cody-Valdez
Looking for more advice on how to make your business succeed? Take a look at Arrowhead Consulting’s service list or call (918) 631-7321.
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