As the media keep telling us, freelancing is on the rise. Once upon a time it was almost frowned upon, but nowadays it is regarded as a completely “legit” way to make a living and more and more people are following the path.
Of course, it’s a big jump. Suddenly you are out of the comfort zone that a standard 9-5 job brings. Suddenly, the days of annual leave and a guaranteed pay check at the end of the month are no longer guaranteed, and you enter a career of mystery. At the same time, this mystery can result in countless advantages, ranging from flexible working to higher earnings.
London is one place in which more freelancers seem to be arising. However, just because you have opted to work for yourself in the capital, don’t for a moment think that it’s going to be an easy ride. Let’s now take a look at several questions you should ask yourself before taking the plunge.
Question #1 – Have you accounted for the people-factor?
Most of the questions people pose to themselves before making this jump revolves around finances, and this is something we will cover in more detail later on.
However, there might be a more pressing issue at hand. Having worked in bustling offices for much of your career, to be thrust in on your own can be quite daunting. Loneliness is a big problem amongst freelancers, and you need to make sure you get out and about to legislate for this.
It might mean turning to co-working spaces, or even finding a decent cafe in a vibrant part of the city so you can interact with a few more people.
Question #2 – Do you have any cash reserves?
Now, let’s talk about the cash. As we have already alluded to, you can no longer rely on a regular pay check. Instead, you need to fend for yourself, and this means that there will be periods where work is quiet.
Make sure that you can account for these periods by having some decent cash reserves. When the going gets tough, and it will from time to time, this will be invaluable to fall back on.
Question #3 – Can you wait for your money?
This next point follows a similar path from the previous one. Suddenly, you don’t have that definitive pay date – it just happens whenever your clients decide to pay.
Obviously, there is some legal protection here, but it’s not uncommon for payment terms to span as much as 60 days after your work is complete. Suffice to say, this is a lot of time to wait, so making sure that you do have the resources to wait for such payments is essential.
Question #4 – What is your plan for finding new clients?
In truth, this should be the first question that you ask yourself, but as it’s one of the most important we will conclude today’s article by talking about it.
Again, without stating the obvious, if you don’t have any clients there’s little point in being a freelancer. You need to have a plan on how to net these new clients and ideally, this is going to start long before you decide to finish with your normal day job.