One way to start a side hustle or to start your own business with low overhead and not very much start-up money is to become a freelancer. There are many different ways to freelance, but no matter what path you choose, it is a competitive market. You will need to know the skills and tips on being an effective freelancer if you are going to succeed.
Create a Workspace
It is important to treat your freelancing seriously like a real job. That means setting up a place to work that is going to help you be productive. You should keep it neat and free of distractions. It is also helpful to keep a regular schedule. This means you can keep important deadlines, stay organized, give each client the right amount of attention, and create a balance with your regular life.
Since you are a freelancer, you are in charge of your invoices. You need to start by calculating your rate. You should take the time to research what you need to charge to make a profit. It might make sense to bill per hour worked, or it may make more sense to bill based on the number of projects. No matter how you decide to bill, you need to be consistent and be sure to include the time you are spending and any materials or overhead costs you need to add in.
You should always have a contract in place when you start work. You will be able to solidify the rate they agreed to pay, what they need to be included in the project, the deadline, and policies for cancellations and revisions. This protects you from legal issues and disagreements with the customer. You can get templates for all kinds of freelance needs online to help you get started.
You may also want to get a deposit from the customer upfront. This is especially important if it is a large project and you are going to devote a lot of time to its completion. If you don’t get a deposit, then you may put in a lot of work and have the customer cancel. A deposit encourages customers who are serious about their projects to hire you.
Freelancers are also in charge of their own taxes. You will not get a W-2 form from an employer because you are the employer. Since taxes are not taken out of your earnings by an employer, you will be required to pay them when you do your taxes. This means you need to calculate the amount you will need to pay and put that aside for later. Factor this into your pricing, so you are not coming up short at the beginning of the year. If you also have to get your own healthcare and dental insurance, then you will need to calculate that into the price of your services as well.
Tools and Technology
Working by yourself means that you juggle all the aspects of running a business. Finding good tools and other technological helpers will help to streamline your process and free up your time to focus on what is most important.