Things to consider before going freelance

1. Are you self motivated?
You will need to be able to motivate yourself to work on your own initiative.

2. Are you happy working on your own?
If you are going to be working from home a lot you will need to prepared for the fact that you may be spending a lot of time on your own.

3. Are you a good organiser?
Not only will you be doing the design work, you will need to plan it, do any administration and accounts required.

4. Do you have enough money for the first couple of months?
Unless you hit the ground at a flying start you will need to be prepared that money may be tight at first. Not only will you be trying to build you business, most clients will want at least 30 days payment terms (and then still may not pay on time)

5. Do you have a plan?
You don’t necessarily need a full business plan, but you do need to plan how you plan to get work.

6. Do you have enough experience to go freelance?
It is useful to make sure you have a good grounding in graphic or web design, so you feel confident to work alone.

Tips for going freelance

7. Get a good accountant
If they are good they will save you far more than you will pay them. They know all the things you can and can’t claim for, and will save you money in the long run.

8. Create a website
Even if web design isn’t your specialty a web portfolio is a simple way to point potential clients to your work.

9. Write speculative letters to potential clients with a reference to your website and follow up a few days later with a phone call.

10. Approach design agencies, to see if they require holiday cover or an extra pair of hands when things get busy. Work with design agencies tends to be easier to get than work for direct clients

11. Contact previous employers
Previous employers may have freelance design work and would be happy to give it to you, as they know your work.

12. Set up a job book
As soon as you get new job in put it in the job book with date, client, job description, quote amount, and invoice date. This makes invoicing much easier at the end of the month

13. Keep a work in progress list
It is very easy to forget a job if you are busy. Keep a work in progress list and cross jobs off as you complete them and add to it as new jobs come in. Keep a note beside each job when it is due.

14. Meet deadlines
Don’t promise to meet deadlines that you know you can’t. It is better to decline a job than accept it and not deliver it on time.

15. Do the best job you can
Your reputation is based on the last job you did for a client. Do a good job and you may get recommended to someone else. The design world tends to be quite close knit so you want to make a good name for yourself.

16. Don’t worry if you go quiet
If work goes quiet don’t panic. Trying ringing around to see if any one has any work and send out some more letters and email enquiries. But don’t panic, you’ll regret not enjoying that quiet time when you are so busy you have to work late all the next week and weekend.

17. Pay yourself a set wage
If you can pay yourself a set wage just as though you were employed, this means when you have a good money you leave some money in the bank and when you have a bad one you can still afford to pay yourself.