Life can be challenging as a freelancer, but it can also be a liberating and exciting experience. Having the freedom to say ‘no’ to work you’re not interested in and maintaining a more healthy work-life balance is a massive appeal for the ever growing amount of freelancers in the modern ‘gig economy’. In fact, on last count, there were 4.8 million self-employed people working in the UK.
Not having the infrastructure and protection that being part of a company brings can be daunting, but we’ve put together some tips on how to enhance your freelance business.
Staying on top of your accounts and keeping a record of your incomings and outgoings can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. In a company, you can leave this to the accounting department, but as a freelancer, you’re out on your own. By all means, you can handle this yourself with a spreadsheet or record system that works for you, but we’d recommend using one of the many accounting software tools on the market.
Tools like FreeAgent and QuickBooks are great for people who aren’t familiar with accounting at all. They help you to create and keep track of invoices, keep a record of incomings and outgoings and help you with your all-important tax returns too. Definitely worth it, especially as your business grows.
Professionalise with a Virtual Office
No-one wants to meet new clients or host a meeting in their kitchen with their dog barking, so why not enlist the help of a virtual office to instantly professionalise your business. You can use this as your business address when you’re listing your business on Google and use the meeting rooms, equipment and facilities to impress new clients, have meetings or hold seminars.
At Hyde Park House, there’s a range of different business packages for self-employed businesses to suit you. Call handling and mail forwarding are all possible and if your business gets big enough, you can even upgrade to a serviced office.
Network, network, network
For some people, networking can strike fear into their heart and leave them quaking. Putting yourself out there as a freelancer can be scary and nerve-racking, but it’s a necessary part of running a successful business.
Networking online is a great way to start, most regions and cities have their own Local Hours, where a hashtag is used on Twitter to connect and introduce small businesses. It’s a great way to find new work and partnerships.
Look at your local Chamber of Commerce website too, as they’ll have plenty of face-to-face networking events listed that you can join and be part of to generate new business.
Think of your website like a hub, most people look for services online, so if they search for you and find your website, you want it to give a good first impression of your business. Investing in a good website should be one of your top priorities as a freelancer.
Make your website clear and easy to navigate. If the information that clients are looking for is simple to access and it’s easy to get in touch with you then you’re making it more effortless for clients to get what they want – win, win.
You can use a website builder or get in touch with a local digital marketing company to help you out.