You're sick of your job. You've been downsized. You need greater flexibility to care for your family. Or perhaps you just want to be your own boss. But starting a successful freelance career is harder than it looks. Here's what you need to do to get things off to a good start:
1. Put away some money
Having personal savings always give you options. Remember that you won‘t have a consistent pay cheque any longer, so the bigger your financial cushion, the better. You'll also need money to maintain your business and set income targets. Be realistic and plan for the unexpected.
2. Do your homework
Many people want to turn a hobby or passion into a revenue-generating machine. But doing the thing you love and making it a profitable business are two different things.
Those who are unsuccessful usually fall into two categories: those who don't have enough experience in their chosen fields, and those who have never run or do not understand how to run a business.
You’ll need to conduct your market research and competitor research figure out your competitors, your strength, weakness and opportunities through market and competitor analysis besides the mechanics of running a business.
3. Line up your benefits
Most employees rely on group medical coverage offered through their employer. When they strike out on their own, those benefits could end if they don't arrange to continue them as individuals.
You'll need financial support provided by medical insurance to protect yourself and your family from financial hardship should you fall ill. Thus, it’s wise to apply for personal medical coverage and health plan before it’s too late.
4. Organize your papers
Maintaining accounting records and keeping receipts for taxes are crucial. Don't just throw them into a shoebox. Record and categorize them in a way that makes things manageable for you and your accountant come tax time.
Freelancing isn’t right for everyone. But if there’s a market for your skills and experience, and you’re prepared to do the necessary groundwork, it could be your ticket to a rewarding career. Just remember to set yourself up for the challenge with these four important steps.
Deanne Gage, March 21, 2017, How to set yourself up for freelance success. Retrieved from Canada Sun Life Corporate Website. Read the article.
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