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Fed up of the daily commute?
Had enough of mundane water cooler conversations?
Sick and tired of Sarah in IT and Jo in HR making your life a misery?
Then maybe it is time to go freelance.
While you might not have the security of a 9-5 role, a monthly salary or 21 days holiday a year, being your own boss does offer you flexibility and the chance to do what you love but on your terms.
We aren’t saying hand your notice in now, but have a think about what you want to do and if you consider the points below, we think you might start making that dream a reality.
Have a plan
Create a business plan that looks at finance, growth, location, activities and skills. This don’t need to be anything long or fancy but setting things out in black and white can give you a focus and realistic goals.
Breakfast meetings, lunches and evening events are all greats ways to start making connections even if you are still in a full-time job. If you are nervous, why not go with a friend and then swap notes at the end of the session?
The old saying, ‘it’s who you know not what you know’ is very true when you start a new venture. Maybe your best friend works on a magazine, your old school mate is a blogger or you know a couple of people who design websites or do PR? Make the most of the people you know and it could well be there is synergy between you and them that could lead to business opportunities.
Look at the Competition
You might be able to make a mean cake or write a really creative marketing plan – but so do loads of other people out there. Do your research, check out the competition and work out what makes you different and where your offerings would site in the market place.
Think About the Money
Let’s not beat about the bush, starting out requires hard cash investment and you are going to need this, so start planning. Look at how much money you need to start your business, what equipment you would need, and before you make a start make sure you have a buffer saved up for those unexpected costs and quiet patches. It might even be that you need to work part-time for a while to get things up and running and keep money coming in, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Marketing and PR
This is something you can do as you get ready to take the next step of full-time freelancing. Decide in a business name, get a logo, set up your social media feeds and ensure you have a website in place. All of this takes time, and money, but if you get the basics set up in the background, when you are ready to go, people will be able to find when you when you are open and firing on all cylinders.
The excitement of setting up something new can mean the details get left behind, but this isn’t a mistake you want to make. Finding an accountant or book-keeper, registering for tax, considering VAT status and researching professional insurance might seem boring, but they need to be done and will make you more efficient and professional in the long run.
Location, Location, Location
When you work for someone else, you go to their premise day in and day out but when you fly solo it is a very different matter. You need to make sure you have a base to work from and one that is ideally close to local amenities, has a decent internet connection and phone support as well as good transport links.
Whatever you do, if you have a dream, go for it.