Freelancing is not as easy as people believe. Freelancers work just as hard as everybody else, sometimes more than eight hours a day and even during weekends. And soon enough, all that diligence will pay off and you’ll have to consider taking the freelancing to the next level to answer the growing volume of work. The great thing about this type of self-employment is that as your own boss you set the rules and give yourself some freedom in how to allocate the tasks. On the other hand, you have to show capable managerial abilities and answer every project with utmost professionalism and proficiency.
Sign the Contract
Contracts are not just for the big companies and projects, they should be signed for every business arrangement you are getting into. If you’re not good with legal lingo consider using the general contract and make sure it covers all the necessary basics. Having a contract will show your clients that you are professional and take your assignments seriously, and will also protect all parties involved. But if you are working on the projects which are complicated and include a lot of money, then the best you can do is hire a legal professional or a firm to handle your contracts.
Ask for Part of the Payment in Advance
Many freelancers have problems with payments. They either don’t get paid on time or for a long time. Some even have a problem to get paid at all. In order to avoid this inconvenience, you should ask for down payment in the percentage you deem right and appropriate. If project allows it, you can ask for payments in installments after the completion of every milestone, and before you deliver your work, you should ask to be paid the rest of the fee.
You can Afford to Refuse a Job
While you were starting out as a freelancer, you had to work twice as hard and to accept everything that came your way. Now that you have built your reputation and established yourself in the freelancing world, you can say “no” to projects. It will probably be hard at first since you’ll still feel insecure and worried about the future, but after a while, you’ll realize how beneficial it is. Overworking yourself in the stage when you’re established freelancer will keep you tired all the time and may impact the quality of your work. So, choose your projects, you’ve earned that right.
It may be tempting to widen your area of expertise, but focusing your identity on the specific profession is much better than trying to learn new things and work simultaneously. Focus on those services which are closely related to the work you do and don’t accept projects regarding the areas you’re not that well familiar with. By being focused, you’ll be able to commit to the ongoing projects 100% and define your expertise, and consequently make the name for yourself faster.
Be the Face of Your Business
You are the brand. When your clients hire you, they will associate the services you provide directly to you because you’re the only employee in your business. So be visible and transparent when it comes to communicating and dealing with your clients. It may seem different than what you thought since companies are usually all about the work, but adding a little personal involvement will leave a positive impression on your clients and help you get recommended and highly graded.
Always Have Goals
If your goal when starting out was to get to the stage when you have a steady and loyal clientele than it’s time for the new one. The best way to handle new goals and amount of work you have is by setting the milestones or diving your big goal into little ones. Of course, your new goal mustn’t interfere with your work or ruin the relationships you have with your current clients, so make sure that your well thought through what your next step and that you have enough financial resources and time to realize it.
Update Your Office
When a business grows, you have to update your office with new and better devices, equipment and tools to help you with responding to all responsibilities. Buying a better computer to help you work faster, and glass whiteboards to organize your tasks and more ergonomically appropriate chair to save your health are just only some of the things you’ll need when you have more clients. You can find many of such items on Yak Portal, an extremely useful b2b search engine. Even moving to the new office space is an option if you realize that you can’t manage the amount of work you have in the space you’re occupying right now.
One of the most important aspects of freelancing is patience and persistence. Since you have to do everything by yourself, it might seem scary and overwhelming at times. But after you manage to overcome rough patches, you’ll be able to accept new challenges and grow your business more.