Last Friday I published Future Friday: Get Ready Employers here comes a Generation of Entrepreneurs where I talked about Millennials working toward being entrepreneurial or holding freelance positions. Today’s post is from someone in that age group who is offering advice on how to be a better freelancer. I could not think of a better follow up to my post on Friday than this post by JonJon Yeung on Freelancers Golden Tips.
Freelancers Golden Tips
By JonJon Yeung,
Although it might seem daunting in the current economic climate, going freelance can be one of the most rewarding professional decisions you can make. At a time when there’s no such thing as a permanent job, it gives you the chance to be your own boss, dispense with office politics, choose your hours, choose where you work from and choose your clients.
In short: going freelance puts you completely in control of what you do and how you choose to do it. However, if you’re considering taking the plunge, there are a few things you’ll need to factor into your approach.
#1 – Determine what you’re worth
If you’re used to working for a company, then your ‘worth’ will have been worked out for you – namely, your salary. However, your boss will also have had to factor in his overheads and profit targets, so they will have been factored into your hourly rate. In the freelance world, you’re worth a lot more.
The best advice is to either use an online hourly rate calculator, which will factor in all the other considerations, or set yourself a rate that reflects the work you put in against what your costs are. However, not every job will fall into the hourly rate bracket and you may be called upon to give a quote for a one-off job. In these instances, you’re best to quote slightly higher than you normally would, as you’ll always overlook something when it comes to sorting out your administrative and labour costs.
#2 – Tax doesn’t have to be taxing
Too many entrepreneurs and freelancers fall foul of panicking about the tax system. Often, they’ll rely on the services of an accountant which, while they can give you that feeling of ‘someone else is taking care of it,’ can be costly. However, you can take charge of your own accounting to an extent. There’s plenty of accountancy software available that requires little or no accountancy experience and will allow you to deliver watertight tax returns. In addition, the advances in accountancy software mean that you don’t have to wade through pages of jargon; it’s simplified and easy to use, saving you both time and money.
#3 – Don’t miss an opportunity
When you’re earning money as a freelancer, every opportunity is one that you can’t afford to pass up. As a sole trader, you might believe that you’re going to be reliant on cold, hard cash, rather than forking out for a card-reader. However, PayPal offers a great facility for online traders, while new payment technology from companies such as Intuit Pay gives you the ability to take mobile payments using your smartphone or iPad. Essentially, these are dongles with a miniature card-reader built in. Your customer simply swipes their card, punches their security details into your mobile device and the transaction is authorised. It’s safe, secure and gives you greater flexibility for those one-the-spot payments.
#4 – Check out the freelance sites
Cold calling isn’t fun for anyone and there are more and more phone services available that will allow consumers to block your call. However, you still need to drum up new business, but you don’t want to become known as a pest! So it’s a better option to check out the many freelance sites on the Internet, where you can get up-to-date information about the jobs available in your area.