Down in the dumps about a job loss? Or perhaps employed, but still “over extended?”
Whether you’re seeking to create a new income source, or supplement an old one, freelance work could be the ticket!
In fact, in a tough economy, freelance work is gaining popularity, due to the Internet world, extinction of “job security” and new business dynamics.
Everybody from stay at home moms, to web designers, to photographers, to writers are getting in on the action.
And you can too!
But, proceed with caution. It’s not as easy as some would believe.
First, let’s dispel some misconceptions…
* Being a freelancer doesn’t mean that you’ll have unlimited “free” time, or a life of leisure. Sure you have some flexibility, can call some of your own shots, and report to work in your bunny slippers from time to time. But, free time needs to be scheduled carefully for optimal results. Especially if it’s your only source of income. Too much watching the soaps or playing video games all day will land you in the poor house. FAST.
* No, not anybody can do it. If that were the case, everybody would. 🙂
* Freelancers don’t have to pay taxes. (On what planet?) Consult a tax professional for details as it applies to your particular situation.
How to get started…
* Take inventory. You can’t approach this way of life all helter-skelter. Instead, start with identifying your strengths. Go a step further. Choose as many as realistically possible. Which of these are “marketable” skills that others would likely pay for? For example, for me writing was a natural choice that evolved from a passion, a penchant for the reative, and years of experience. For you it could be web design, or interior decorating, or baking, or business consulting. What do others complement you on the most? Start there.
* Have goals. Your venture into the world of freelancing will have greater success if you’re able to identify your long and short term goals. Where would you like to see yourself in 3 months? 3 years? How much would you like to make? These are key questions to consider.
* Have a game plan. Transform your goals into reality by having a game plan. Will you work out of an office at home? At the local coffee shop? How will you market to potential clients? Staff, or a one-man show? Decide then deliver.
* Start slowly. To test the waters, many transition to freelance work little by little, while maintaining a 9 to 5 gig.
* Save for that rainy day, now. Trust that a Tsunami is acomin’. Depending upon your line of work, your geographic region and the economic climate where you live, your experience, and a few other variables, you may not make a profit right away. Your mortgage company won’t care. In order to survive the hard times tomorrow, better put a way a stash today.
* Join an organization devoted to your industry, or those specifically for entrepreneurs– for guidance, resources and support. Some even offer discounts on car rentals, insurance, office supplies, prescriptions, trade publications, etc.
Keep in mind that for every gain there’s a trade-off. Though the freelance world has many benefits and joys, it’s not without its share of stresses and set-backs. Choose wisely.
This is a post by Jennifer Brown Banks, a veteran freelance writer and pro blogger. She holds a B.A. in Business Management. Visit her site @ http://penandprosper.blogspot.com/