2020 has seen many of us change our minds when it comes to our career paths. The coronavirus pandemic has seen a lot of us either unable to work or working from home. Those of us who have had a break may have had time to reflect on our current jobs and have determined that they’re not quite right for us and we’d rather pursue another career. Those working from home may have found that remote work is much preferable to being in an office and would like to continue this lifestyle free of long commutes and uncomfortable uniforms when people do slowly start to return to offices and other commercial premises. If you fall into either of these categories, you may have been considering starting out a freelance career. Here are the basics to help you to determine whether to pursue this lifestyle or not!
What is Freelancing?
When you are a freelancer, you work for yourself. You offer your services to others, choose who you work for, choose your own rates, choose your own work setting and choose your pace. As you can see, you are essentially your own boss and have a whole lot of flexibility. Of course, this is a working style that is only recommended for those who can manage themselves well. You’ll take a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, as you only earn as long as you bother to work properly.
There are, of course, steps you will need to take when starting out as a freelancer. Here are a few that you will inevitably face.
Register as self-employed
First, you need to register as self-employed. This will ensure you have a UTR number and can file your own taxes at the end of each tax year. Remember to put your tax and national insurance aside into a savings account as you go along. Most people will deduct the relevant amounts from each invoice to ensure they definitely have enough. Then, file your tax return at the end of each fiscal year.
Use an Accountant
Not all of us are financially savvy. If you struggle with numbers, or would simply like to rest assured that you’re only paying what you’re supposed to when you file your tax return, you should use digital accountants. These professionals will oversee your taxes and help you to file and pay the right amount on time, avoiding any fees, fines or legal action.
Once you’re all set up, it’s time to start finding clients. Ideally, you’ll want to build up a regular client base who you can rely on for repeat orders. Advertise your services and build connections consistently. Also keep an eye on jobs sites for freelance or contract positions that may be suitable for you.
Freelancing is a truly liberating and empowering lifestyle. But it’s not for everyone. Hopefully, some of the information above will help you to determine whether freelancing is for you and how to get started if it’s something that you want to pursue!