Starting your own freelance business can be a dream come true for many creatives.
Whether you are a writer, designer or artist, getting paid for doing what you love, being your own boss, and having flexible working hours can seem attractive compared to a regular 9 to 5 stuck in an office cubical reporting to an ever-demanding boss.
But before you launch your freelance business, here are 4 important points to remember to help make it as smooth-running and successful as possible right from the start.
You do have a boss
When you work for yourself, you are your boss. And sometimes, you are the most demanding boss to work for! You can end up working for hours on end with few breaks, be ultra critical of your work, so it takes longer, and perfectionism can lead to procrastination.
And that’s before dealing with clients effectively, managing your productivity, and factoring in your routine daily chores.
These and many more are all things you need to manage.
In short, you must learn to get out of your own way. And be a good boss to yourself while keeping an eye on the business.
Also, although you don’t technically have a traditional boss, you do have clients, hopefully plenty of them. You still have to work to deadlines, stick to the client brief, deliver projects on time and get paid! So in one way, you could say you have many bosses.
The difference is that you can let a client go if you’re not the right fit.
You need solid business processes in place
This one trips up a lot of freelance creatives when they are just starting out.
It could be because you haven’t worked in a corporate environment before and therefore don’t know their importance – or you have and didn’t realize just how crucial they were.
Without efficient business processes in place, not only does everything take longer than it should (so you spend less time doing what you are good at and get paid for), but it also becomes difficult for clients to do business with you.
Solid business processes cover the client front-end elements such as client onboarding and discovery calls, but they also cover important admin and traditional paperwork processes such as sending quotes and invoices and getting paid.
That’s where Invoice Ninja can help. It takes the time-consuming and tedious work of invoicing off your hands so you can focus on what you’re good at. It also comes with customized invoice templates, so not only can you woo your clients with branded invoices, but you don’t have to worry about missing any vital information from your invoice, enabling you to get paid faster.
You can ask for a deposit
Some creative freelancers are often unsure what to charge for their services and can even have an aversion to discussing anything money-related. But once you realize that money is simply an exchange for the value you provide to a client, the conversation becomes much easier.
Good client relationships result in a win-win for both parties. The client gets the deliverable, and you get paid.
Likewise, some freelancers can feel awkward asking for a deposit in advance for their
work. But it’s a perfectly common freelance business practice, especially for a new client relationship.
Invoice Ninja makes this process easier with its Deposits & Partial Payments feature, where the invoice automatically updates itself with the balance due and sets the new final invoice due date after your client pays the deposit.
You wear all the hats
Until you have a team in place, you are responsible for everything in your business – the buck stops with you.
You are the IT department, sales, marketing, finance, janitor, and much more.
And until you can monetize a product or have some form of recurring passive income, you don’t have paid vacation or sick days either.
These are all things you need to consider when working for yourself. So it makes good business sense to outsource time-consuming tasks that you are not good at and someone (or something) else can easily do – freeing up your time to make money.
Invoice Ninja makes sense for freelancers and small businesses. Not only does it come with a wide range of features perfect for the creative solopreneur – from professionally designed invoices to automated payment reminders– but you can also set different languages and currencies per client at no extra cost.
You don’t need to go it totally alone. Use Invoice Ninja as you’d use a member of your team!
We’re on your side.