It’s no surprise that more and more people are making the decision to ‘go freelance’ every year. It’s certainly an attractive option as your time becomes your own and you don’t have to answer to a nagging boss any longer.
However, the transition period from full-time employment or unemployment needs to be carefully considered for it to be a smooth one.
You want to enter this new period of your professional life with solid foundations to stand you in good stead for success.
With this in mind, we’ve put together our advice on how to transition seamlessly into the world of freelance.
Start working on your little black book straight away
Whether you’re still in full-time employment or in some professional limbo in between, it’s never too early to start compiling your contacts.
Attend networking events, talks, seminars and make sure you’re active on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter to start getting your name out there so you can really hit the ground running.
Consolidate your legal structure
Don’t worry, that sounds way scarier than it actually is. All this means is that you’ll need to decide whether you want to operate as a Sole Trader or Limited Company.
Each of these has different tax implications and commercial regulations but the Limited Company option often proves most popular as it enables you to keep your personal and business finances separate.
Check out our go-to guide on how to set up a limited company if you want to explore this avenue further.
Build yourself a strong brand
It’s not just big businesses that benefit from a solid branding strategy – even a one-man (or woman) band needs a strong identity in order to stand out in the marketplace.
This doesn’t need to be expensive – just start by being clear about who you are, what you stand for and the audience you want to attract.
You can then translate this into how you present yourself online (website, logo, name, social media) and offline (networking, business cards, traditional marketing).
Take responsibility for your tax and finances
The joys of freelancing are plentiful. You can wear your pyjamas until 2pm and still get stuff done and you are the director of your own workload.
On the other hand, going freelance also means that you have to take responsibility for your own tax obligations, Self-Assessment submissions and things like retirement fund (pension) savings.
As a freelance professional, you will also need to register with HMRC through whichever legal structure you choose to ensure you’re meeting all the necessary deadlines and regulations.
If you find that dealing with numbers, receipts, invoices, tax returns and everything in between is hindering your productivity or bottom line of business, consider outsourcing to a professional.
Have you recently made the transition into becoming a freelancer? Share your own tips and advice with us in the comments below or over on Twitter or Facebook to inspire others who are considering their next move!
If you’re looking for help with your accounting and bookkeeping as a freelancer, get in touch to find out how our team of qualified experts can help.