Starting your own freelance business seems quite exciting. You can act like your own boss and have creative autonomy. But managing it like a pro is entirely a different story. Keeping a daily schedule, managing finances, client handling, freelancing comes with its challenges but nothing that you can’t overcome.
There keep coming many risks and unpredictable scenarios over the path of this journey of freelancing as you keep expanding your client base and financial goals but utilizing your time most appropriately and being a decision-making person can help you beat all and pave the way for success.
Below are the steps that you can take to overcome the hurdles and manage your freelance business more smartly.
Set up a dedicated workplace: Just like a student is more focused while studying in the library than at any college corridor, An ergonomic workplace with less distraction creates an environment that enhances the productivity of your work keeping you more focused. This results in quality output in relatively less time. Thus a dedicated workspace can help better manage your time as well.
1. Creating such a less encroaching workspace at home is a challenge. The ideal way to accomplish this is by keeping a small area of your home or maybe the extra room as a place of work and this psychologically makes you feel that you are at your workplace. Also, you can rent an office or a co-working space or spend most of your time in coffee shops to cope with your freelancing work. Anything that fits your budget and makes you feel comfortable to work dedicatedly is good to go.
Studies are showing, dressing up professionally increases the productivity of work. This might not apply to all but if it works then why not.
2. Create a daily work schedule: Initially, when you have just started freelancing everything seems to get completed within your time limits may it be engaging with fewer clients or accomplishing a task within the deadline. But as and how the journey goes ahead, you may feel like you are working round the clock with no work-life balance if not made a proper time-table. Thus creating a daily timetable and sticking to it is important to enjoy both your professional success and making personal time. Tips to follow:
- Know your commitments.
- Keep a set of hours for each client and have regular communication with them.
- Inform your clients about your vacation time and working hours for better workflow and not to miss out on anything.
- Invest in yourself to learn new skills.
- Take a break when required.
- Have better time management skills.
3. Crafting an elevator pitch: This is just like having a visitor card for your business for customers to remember you and eventually turn into a potential one. Remember, it’s the first call or mail with the new client that decides it all. Having a great elevator pitch creates a tremendous first impression of yours. Here are a few tips to market yourself well:
- Keep your pitch brief and distinct.
- State the deliverables you offer clearly.
- Keep it more conversational.
- Speaking with self-confidence adds a surety to your work.
4. Establish an online presence: You can have a personal website showcasing work to date which can be supported by social media profiles. Engage your audience with regular posts, conversation, valuable content, and campaigns. You can hit a lot of potential clients by using simple tactics of digital marketing. Don’t let your clients forget about your services by having a firm online presence. Online freelance platforms can also be a great source of networking which is an important factor of any business.
5. Learn how to manage your finance: In freelancing, just like any other business, there is no stable flow of money unlike for a job where you are provided with a constant salary. Thus, you must make a note on your spendings and earnings. Have a regular check on it and always believe in saving more than spending regardless of how much you earn. Once you reach a level where your earnings are quite good, learn certain investment strategies that will help you grow your earnings.
When you have more than one related offerings learn to upsell. This bit approach can enhance your business.
Certain times offering your services to family and friend in the meantime help you get recommendations and stack-up your portfolio.
Once your business grows and the client base starts getting diversified, you can think of collaborating with partners of different domains or hiring a team of skilled individuals who can work under you. There might be times when you feel over-pressurized by the increasing number of clients and work, rather than stopping at your saturation level its good to expand your business by having a great team.
Risk handling scenarios and avoiding common mistakes:
1. Understanding your client and project is as much important as a client- Many of the times you feel there was an unnecessary time you spent on a certain project. This usually happens when there isn’t a clear picture of the project. Thus having a broad understanding of the project and all its stages will help you in efficient planning and avoiding scope creep.
2. Try to avoid one client freelancing: Usually, as a beginner when you get a long-term full-time project from a single client, you tend to get satisfied. But eventually one day there will be an end. Thus, having side projects from different client which best fits into your time will help you to not fall into end moment hustle of finding a new client and do nothing until you get one.
3. Avoid picking the wrong client: This can lead your business to immediate risk. Avoid clients who don’t pay for your work, who don’t understand the value of your service, who don’t communicate with you well for your work requirement.
Do a quick research about the client well before in advance about their payment history, reviews, and client work ethics.
Try to communicate well with the client on calls and understand them thoroughly well before the start.
If the project is big, try to take payment parts for a win-win situation on both ends.