No time today? Skip to the 3-Point Summary.
It’s a well-known fact that most businesses first starting out are not likely to make profit from day one. Perhaps it’s safer to say that there is always a time-period of ‘adjustment’.
If you’re considering becoming a freelancer, keeping your day job and practicing your trade on the side at first, might be your answer to paying the bills! At the beginning is better to simply focus on doing an amazing job for your clients, rather than stressing over having enough money to keep afloat!
Here are a few tips, tricks and thoughts on how to start smart, on the side:
1. Tell all your workmates you’ve started to freelance in your spare time.
Network, socialise, ask people for referrals, even tell the randoms in the coffee shop queue on your break at work (though that might be overkill!). Basically, don’t keep it a secret. LinkedIn is also a great platform to start linking with professionals to sell yourself (not literally, of course!)
2. You can take risks when making decisions about price, or dealing with clients.
Chances are, you’ll underestimate the time it takes you to do certain things so go ahead and charge what you think you’re worth for the jobs you’re doing. You’ll have nothing to lose and will appear confident to potential clients. There’s a lot to gain from having this time to make mistakes and learn before you fully make the leap.
3. Use the time to get ahead and develop new skills that can open new doors to companies/industries.
If you have talent or are willing to work hard and learn, you can build this business into something that truly energises and inspires you to get up in the morning. (And when the time comes, you can jump ship with a big smile on your face. :) )
4. Never poach clients from your current job.
It’s not worth it, and by getting ahead unethically you’ll paint a bad picture of your business practices to your clients. Plus, you’ll loose a great reference in the process. Instead, wait to quit till you acquire enough clients to cover your minimum income for survival. Once you do, you’ll have loads of spare time to go after clients to make up the rest, and your transition will have been smooth, peaceful and guilt-free (unlike the choc biscuits you just had with your tea!).
The 3-Point Summary
- Tell all your workmates you’ve started to freelance in your spare time.
- Charge what you think you’re worth for the jobs you’re doing.
- Use the time to ge t ahead and develop new skills that can open new doors to companies/industries.