What are the “Necessities of a Freelancer Business”?
The other day a good friend of mine called, his daughter wanted to become a freelance web developer. She had received a Bachelor of Science at a local university and had worked for a couple of years in an agency as a junior developer. They was not looking for any assistance with taxes, finances, or work flow. Just want to know how to get started. So what are the necessities to becoming a freelancer?
After my friend advised me that his daughter was still living at home, and he was okay with the living arrangement for the next six months (or until his daughter got off her feet). Sounded like she had been saving for quite a while, but was just wanting to become an entrepreneur. She had a mentor, her previous boss was going to be in that role. He had never been a freelancer, so was very limited in his knowledge of the lifestyle of a freelancer.
There are really six (no accounting or finance topics) necessities of a freelance creative business. Office space is the first necessity. Internet or mobility is the second one. Office set up is another one. Outside commitments is important. And finally, Distractions or the eliminating of distractions.
One of the first (and I would consider) biggest decision, when you decide to become a freelance is office space. Are you going to work from home? The pros are the comforts of your home. You know where everything is…and the cost is well minimal. There is no commute to work, you just drag yourself to another room or better yet…work in your bedroom. Sounds great to so many newbies. But lets look at the cons. You will need to have a meeting locations. Starbucks and coffee shops have been a great solutions in the past, but as your business grows…most large projects want to meet in an office. They do not want you to always come to their office all the times. So you might need to invest in a We Work or Roam solutions, both are rented office spaces.
What about mail? Surely you do not want your business mail coming to your home address. You would not want someone showing up at your house with questions about your services. It is very important to invest into a business mailing address, such FedEx, UPS Store or your local post office.
Internet or Mobility
While it is true, that most creative folks can work from just about anywhere. You will need to have internet connections. And not just any connection, you will need to have a strong internet connection. Also you will need to invest in a back up or mobile device. Nothing is more scary, then going to Starbucks and someone is getting on their public internet to fix client’s problems. That is a really good way to get hacked.
Depending on what are (in the creative field) of business you are looking at, can determine what type of internet bandwidth you will need. If you are a developer, then you are going to need a lot more bandwidth..then say a content writer.
Office Set up
You will need a computer, desk and chair. Note this is your business…treat it like it is a business. Do not work from your kitchen table!!! Go out and purchase a computer (if you do not have one for your business only), a nice desk and comfortable chair. You will find yourself at this location, sometimes 6 and 7 hours a day.
Office supplies will be needed. If you do not have a printer, then you will need to invest in one. Most are less than $100 bucks, but check out the printing cartilages. Sometimes spending a few extra bucks on a printer, which has cheaper print cartilages make more sense. Paper and pens (or pencils) are important. Folders for potential clients…even thought their are a few applications, which can organizes your client.
Something that must be discussed it the need to get out sometimes. You can find yourself working at the same desk for 8 – 10 hours a day. This is not healthy. Being a strong believer in exposing yourself to your community, I would encourage going to local meetup. You have to get out.
Go to your local bookstore. Read up on something outside of your work. Hit your local gym and push some weights. If you like to golf, then schedule a round once a week. The key is to do something outside of work. Freelancing can be lonely if you are not careful.
Okay, I have said “freelance can be lonely”, but now I am going to discuss distractions. Distractions can put you out of business really quick. Do not work near a television or radio, especially if you find yourself watching ESPN, Soap Opera, or daily talk shows more than one hour a day.
You should keep up with what is going on in the world, but just like in a Corporate America position…you should not have longer than two 15 minute breaks and an hour for lunch. So eliminate the distractions, and get yourself in work mode.
This blog was not about getting projects or handling finances…it was intended to paint the picture of what your necessities would be to begin your journey.
Image courtesy of Collins Lesulie.
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