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Things to Consider Before Working for Yourself

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Working for yourself seems to be something that everybody wants to have a crack at these days and with so many benefits, it's no wonder why! But just because everybody is doing it, doesn't mean it's easy. I love the freedom that comes with freelancing but there are definitely a few things you need to consider before taking the plunge and working for yourself. Here's six things to consider, which may help you make a smarter decision...

You have to work hard to find clients
Finding clients can be tricky, when you're just starting out. You may need to network at events, sign up to websites that allow you to advertise your services and create your own website so people know what you do. It can be hard to build up a client base when you don't have any references or reviews, so you'll need to find an incentive for people to choose your services and then ask them for a review. Providing you offer great customer service, you should be able to build a steady, returning customer base.

Education and experience will benefit you
Anybody can go freelance, but you'll be a much more attractive person to work with if you have an education and experience in the industry. You don't necessarily need a degree that you've studied for years but you should have some certifications that can back up what you're doing. This is why it's always a good idea to get a job or work experience in the industry before diving into the world of freelancing.

I personally found my journalism degree and work experience proved beneficial in working as a copywriter and helped me to win clients. It's all about finding relevant education and experience for your career path. For example, if you were considering a career in engineering, working at a company or for yourself, an engineering management masters could make you better at your job. Focusing on your personal development as well as your education is equally important and will help you become a better worker.

Keeping track of your finances is essential
It's not always an easy task but keeping track of what you earn and what you spend is crucial when working for yourself. You may not be able to afford an accountant to start with, so being good at it yourself or having someone to help you is a must (thankfully my mum gives me a hand as numbers aren't my strong suit.) Eventually, you could get an accountant as they'll ensure things run much better for you -  look at it as an investment!

Not everyone will 'get it'
Some of your friends and family may not quite understand what working for yourself entails and think you're free all the time. They may even try and drop in on you while you're trying to get important work done. It's best to set boundaries and let them know that just because you're a freelancer, it doesn't mean you can go out with them for cocktails at 2pm on a Tuesday! Of course you can be a little more flexible with your working hours but it must always be on your terms.

You might feel a little lonely sometimes
One of the downsides of being freelance is the fact that you're working alone. Even introverts can miss office chat and Christmas parties! There are pros and cons to everything, even working as a freelancer.

Having a schedule and routine is still important
Although the freedom to work your own hours is great, temptations like daytime TV will kill your productivity fast. It's best to get your work done and then go about your day, not the other way around. Of course, you might find you're more productive at night time, in which case, get your work done then. It's all about what works for you! Just make sure you have a routine you can stick to so things don't feel so chaotic.

Do you work for yourself? What's your top tip for a new freelancer?

Megan x
*Collaborative content.

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