So you’ve decided to take your career in another direction and become a freelancer. You’re not alone. In fact, more and more people are choosing to leave their desk jobs behind in favor of starting a home-based business. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, self-employment is growing faster than any other job category and it has grown by 130% from 1995 to 2015 (almost double the growth rate of all other employment). But while becoming a freelancer can be rewarding, it isn’t easy—especially if this is the first time you’ve ever taken charge of your own career. There are many challenges that come with going freelance and even experienced pros have struggled when setting up their own business from home or working from home as an employee instead of an office worker.
The Benefit Of Being A Freelancer
There are many benefits to being a freelancer, but the biggest one is that you have the freedom to set your own hours. No more punching a clock or having to abide by someone else’s schedule. You can work whenever and wherever you want—as long as you get the job done. You also can set your own rates, determine what type of work you want to do, and decide how much you want to charge per hour.
How To Start A Freelance Home-Based Business
As with any new project, it’s important to map out a plan for how you’re going to get your new business off the ground and keep it running smoothly. Start by creating a business plan. This will help you think through the big picture and see potential obstacles that might otherwise go unnoticed. You can use online tools like Bplans or even Google Docs, or purchase an offline workbook at your local bookstore or office supply store. Next, decide on a name and brand identity. Think of a name that resonates with your target audience. And don’t forget to trademark your name. Then, create a logo and branding materials.
The most common mistakes made when starting a freelance business
Shoot For The Sky – One of the most common mistakes new freelancers make is setting their rates too low. You’ll find that you aren’t being paid what you’re worth, and your clients will quickly outgrow your level of expertise. – Another common mistake is trying to be everything to everyone. Nailing down your niche and specializing in a specific type of work will help you build up a loyal following and increase your chances for long-term success. Cutting Corners On Your Paperwork – If you don’t have proper business insurance or an LLC, your client can potentially sue you. But even if you have insurance, you’re putting your coverage at risk.
Networking Is Key
While it can be time-consuming and seem like a waste of time when you’re trying to get your business off the ground, networking is key to growing your business. You’ll want to build a network of colleagues, clients, and vendors that you can rely on. You can start by joining a local business or freelance group. You can also create a presence online by joining social media groups and forums.
Research Is Vital
Before you jump headfirst into a new project, you want to make sure that you’re taking the proper steps to make sure that you get paid and that everything is done correctly. You can use websites like Indeed or Upwork to find out how much other people in your field are charging for a particular type of work.
Don’t Forget About Working Conditions
Working from home can have its perks, but it also has its drawbacks. For example, it may be harder to stick to a regular work schedule if you have young kids or pets running around the house. You also want to make sure that you have a quiet environment for conducting business if you’re taking on clients.
Freelancing isn’t for everyone, but if you are interested in the lifestyle, be sure to do your research and avoid the most common mistakes that people make when starting a freelance home-based business.