At some point in your career, you can start to think that going freelance with your consultancy might be a nice idea. Whether it’s something you’ve considered thoroughly, or have just come up with, the life of a freelancer can be quite tempting. Not only are you free to choose your clients and your rates, but your working hours too. Sometimes it’s that levels of flexibility that draw people in.
But being freelance is more than just choosing your own hours. It can actually be quite a hard style of work to take on. Not only do you have to go out and find those clients, but you also have to know a little about a lot to make everything work. So, even if this is something you’ve thought about for a long time, you might need to ask yourself a few questions before you can figure out if you’re really ready to become a freelance consultant.
Do You Have What It Takes?
First of all, you really have to consider your personality type here. Being freelance takes a lot to become successful. It’s far from a passive job where you can clock in, get the work done, and clock out again. You need a lot of motivation. Because not only do you have to get out there and find your clients, you often have to chase them for money too. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to do it all. But if you’re driven enough, there’s no reason why you couldn’t become a successful freelancer.
How Are You Financially?
Before you take a huge leap into the freelance world, you have to look at your finances. If you’re barely making rent and your fridge is bare, throwing away a stable income might not be the best idea for you. When you go freelance full time, it’s a good idea to have savings behind you. Because you can’t always count on having a regular paycheck. So you need to make sure that you can pay your rent if a client pays you late or not at all.
Can You Market Yourself?
Next, think about your sales skills. You may never have worked in sales before, but when you’re a freelance consultant, you have to get good at selling yourself. Because nobody else is going to do it for you. When you work for a company, the owner or marketing team will be doing all of the promoting. But when it’s just you, and you need business, you’ve got to feel comfortable with putting yourself out there and asking for the work you want.
Do You Have Leads?
It’s also a good idea to have potential work lined up – or guaranteed if you can get it. Whether you test the freelance waters before you go full time and do your consultancy as a side hustle (if your job lets you), or have got clients that have said they will come to you when you go freelance, it always helps to know where your next meal is coming from. It will also reassure you that you can make this work.
Are You Covered?
And then there’s always the professional things that you need to tick off. When you work for a business, they will take care of the insurances and certification for you. But when it’s just you, you’ve guessed it; you’ve got to do it. Whether you get an income protection or PI insurance quote just to see what the expense is not, or bite the bullet and buy it anyway, you need to make sure your consultancy business is covered before you get started.
Are You All Set Up?
On another professional note, you’re also going to be responsible for your own taxes as a freelancer, so it’s a good idea to get up to speed with what that means. Whether you look into filing them yourself or hire an accountant to do it for you, you need to make sure that you file as a freelance contractor now.
Do You Have Somewhere To Work?
And finally, there’s also that (maybe not so) small matter of where you’re going to conduct your consultancy work from? When you’re freelance, you’re not guaranteed a place of work. But, you can be. Whether you put together the gorgeous home office of your dreams, rent a space in an office building or work from cafes for a while, before you take the leap, you need to make sure that you have a set place to work so that you can not only get it done but be productive too.
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Good luck in your search,