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How To Go It Alone In The Freelance World

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If you’re looking to start a new chapter in your career – whether you’re dissatisfied with your current

employer or feel that you’re able and ready to tackle some tough challenges on your own – then

going freelance might be the booster to your confidence and CV that you need.

There are a number of things to consider when you’re ready to make the leap from employee to

being your own boss, so be sure to have the following in mind before you start writing that epic

resignation speech.

The Paperwork

If going freelance you’ll need to set up your financial status as such – this will mean registering

as self-employed, if the bulk of how you pay your bills comes through acquiring your own work.

You’ll need to visit the HMRC website to set yourself up for income tax and national insurance

payments, as well as a VAT registration if you’re turning over £79,000 or more per year. Fill in your

self-assessment form and – this is very important – keep hold of every scrap of paper you’ve got

involving payments, receipts and the like. You’ll need them as evidence to keep the taxman happy.

The Client Base

Once you’re settled on what it is you’ll offer that separates you from other companies – whether

it’s a fresh approach to copywriting or some edgy web design that’s got people talking – you’ll have

the basis to start approaching prospective new clients for their business. In the short term it might

be advisable to offer to work for free or a low rate on smaller projects to give your contacts an idea

of what you can do with a proper budget and more turnaround time. Once you’ve established a

portfolio of projects and figured out what you can achieve on a full-scale project, start dialling and

emailing!

Insurance

Be sure to take out the right forms of insurance in order to retain your sense of professionalism –

clients in high-risk fields won’t work with anyone who doesn’t have professional indemnity insurance

to protect them from giving erroneous data or communicating fraudulent information on the client’s

behalf. Any mistakes you made are just that – mistakes – but they could end up costing your client a

significant financial or reputational hit, which means you could be liable for thousands. Having this

protection will give you and the client peace of mind that you take your duties very seriously.

Time Management

Now that you’ve got the calls coming in on a regular basis you need to find out which projects you

can afford to turn down and which will keep you ticking along nicely. Just like a proper business

you should think about having some ‘opening hours’ if only to keep the work/life balance properly

adjusted – but that doesn’t mean you need to live the 9-5 life. Plan some milestones with your client

so they’ll know when they can expect to see a finished product, and stick to a schedule; a more

urgent job might get in the way but keep on top of what your priorities are and make sure to keep

them at the top of your list

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